The Slow Media project
Real Time and the Open Mind project are collaborating with Small Silence on a
slow media project to create videos for in-patients at Royal Berks Hospital in Reading,
UK to access via iPads.
The soundscapes of hospitals are a colossal disjuncture from the comforting and familiar
surroundings of everyday life. The sounds of monitors and machines, fellow patients,
unfamiliar medical terms, the activities of clinical staff and the absence of familiar routines
and diurnal rhythms, makes the environment quite alien.
In addressing this, the slow media project aims to anchor patients in the familiarity of local
scenes, and familiar sounds embedded within slow film and music. Hospital in-patients can
experience a lack of personal control over their environment and their own bodies.
In exercising choice over their listening and viewing, patients gain some agency over their
environment, enhancing wellbeing and recovery.
The Project Partnership
The slow media pieces are being created by local artists and arts and mental health groups,
guided by experienced community artists. Organisations backing the project include the
ICU at Royal Berkshire NHS Trust, Real Time’s ‘Open Mind’ creative multimedia project for
people recovering from mental ill-health, Prospect Park NHS Hospital (mental health
in-patients), The Engine Room arts and mental health group. The project will also be
working with local established and emerging artists and a volunteer intern from
Oxford Brookes Fine Art department to develop slow media work. The project coordinator
is Richard Bentley from Small Silence.
Real Time is also working with project partners to produce a short film to capture the
creative processes in the project, particularly the positive health and wellbeing outcomes
To contribute to the project or take part in one of Open Minds Slow Media workshops contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
What is Slow Media?
The primary outcome of the project will be the production of a suite of audio-visual slow
media for in-patients to access on iPads and headphones. The videos (audio will need
to have a visual image(s) as accompaniment) will softly engage patients with familiar
everyday scenarios that reference local places and events.
Slow Media can be thought of in a number of ways:
e.g. cooking, washing, making art, chopping wood
Journeys by boat/bus/train/bike/walking
Allotment/garden, parks and gardens, shopping streets
These could be urban or rural filmed during day or night in differing weather conditions
Local soundscape recordings, calming acoustic and electronic music
Some examples of slow media:
Impact of Covid
While Covid is restricting some filming, particularly inside, there are still lots of opportunities to
create new work. To ensure everyone remains safe Real Time and Open Mind are delivering the
project under PACT’s TV Production guidelines.