Finally we can shout about this! Since June last year Bethlem Gallery’s Mental Health and Justice project has been working alongside the Lewis Family. The result is RIP SENI, a short documentary about mental health, injustice and art.
The World Premiere of RIP SENI takes place on Sunday 6 June at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2021
Overnight on 24th June 2020, graffiti reading ‘RIP SENI’ appeared on a public artwork outside Bethlem Royal Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in South London. The red spray-painted letters called attention to Seni Lewis, a 23-year-old black man who died at the hands of 11 police officers while in the care of the hospital in 2010.
The artwork had been created by Turner-prize nominee Mark Titchner. It was made up of eight placards asking questions about mental capacity and assessment, creating a powerful resonance between the artwork and the new graffiti.
This film reflects multiple perspectives, from mental health professionals to families who have lost loved ones in police custody, prisons and psychiatric hospitals. It explores Seni’s story, the crisis of mental health and racism in the UK, the long fight for justice and what happens when members of the public take art into their own hands.
Commissioned by Bethlem Gallery and the Lewis Family
Director: Daisy Ifama
Creative: Lizzie Reid
Producer: Grace Shutti
Executive Producer: Lucy Owen
UK 2021 / 20 min
We plan to show the film at festivals and at targeted, policy driven events for the next few months but this will open out into more and more public viewings as the year progresses and we’ll keep you all informed about each new chance to see the film.
The first opportunity will be the world premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2021
Read more about the Olaseni Lewis Campaign for Justice and Change
United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) is a coalition of those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody and supports others in similar situations.
INQUEST provides expertise on state related deaths and their investigation to bereaved people, lawyers, advice and support agencies, the media and parliamentarians.