Tell me, how do I feel?


Digital video

Single channel moving image with voice over, captions and audio description

23 minutes 

Moving image work Tell me, how do I feel? challenges the positioning of people as unreliable narrators and inaccurate witnesses of their own bodies. Grounded in my own experience of ill health and hospitalisation, and informed by numerous conversations, the work collages together archival imagery with new footage and excerpts from medical television dramas. With a voice-over formed from exchanges, quotations, and found texts, the work foregrounds personal testimony and storytelling in an attempt to dismantle the power dynamics inherent in medical practice.

Accompanying the film are digital collaged extracts from my research at the Wellcome Collection.

Captions by Collective Text, with support of Edward Scoble

Audio description informed by training with Quiplash.

Supported by Glasgow International, Creative Scotland, Hope Scott Trust, and the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow.

Three versions of this film are available: one with captions, one with audio description, and one with detailed audio description and no soundtrack in which I narrate the visual and editing techniques used in the film and describe the textures, colours, and content. You are welcome to watch them in any order, or pick one, whichever suits your preferences – there is no ‘master’ version of the film, all three are the work. 

Content notes:

Discussion of consent

Essentialization of gender by medical discourse and policy documents

Medical trauma

Psychological and mental distress

Mental health policy (being sectioned, etc.)


Loss of bodily autonomy

Abuses of power and power dynamics in care / medical settings

Eating disorders & anorexia

Imagery of self tattooing

Hand washing

Tell me, how do I feel? (captions)


Tell me, how do I feel? (audio described)


Tell me, how do I feel? (detailed audio description and no other soundtrack)



‘Blue Monday’, New Order, 1983

‘Grey’s Anatomy’, season 2, episode 3: Make Me Lose Control, 2005

Our Bodies, Ourselves (via Glasgow Women’s Library)

Patsy Westcott, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease & Chlamydia: A guide to causes, treatment and prevention,1992 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

Women’s Reproductive Rights Information Centre,Women’s Health: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, information pamphlet, 1992 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

Gary S. Berger & Lars V. Westrom, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Raven Press, 1992 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

Allan Templeton, ROG Study Group, Recommendations: The Prevention of Pelvic Infection, RCOG Press, 1996

Report, ‘Using Women’, Wellcome Collection special collections, 2005 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

Family Circle Magazine, Health Report: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: The Silent Epidemic, July 1986 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

Intimate examinations-report of a working party, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Press Release: A Guide to Intimate Examinations, RCOG Press, 1997, ISBN 1 900364 06 9 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

Geoffrey Trew MRCOG, Consensus in adhesion reduction management, RCOG Press, 2004 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

Community Practitioner, Volume 78, Number 7, July 2005 via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

PID News, Issue 12, 1995 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

PID News, Issue 13, 1995/96 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

PID News, Issue 16, 1997 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

PID News, Issue 17, 1997/98 (via the Wellcome Collection rare materials archive)

Tell me, how do you feel?

A conversation hosted by artist Annie Crabtree exploring medical trauma and the medical system, with joy and solidarity, care and determination.

Episode 01 – Billie Manu & Jill Powell (originally broadcast on Clyde Built Radio for Glasgow International, June 2021)

The original idea for this series of conversations was brought about as a way to contain the well intentioned yet invasive questions that often arise when you make work about a deeply personal or sensitive subject. As a way to navigate that, and to provide deeper context to Tell me, how do I feel?, the following two chats with my mum, Jill Powell, and my friend Billie Manu, both of whom feature in my new work, examine the process of making the film, what it was like to collaborate, and their thoughts, opinions and experiences of and about medical trauma from two very different perspectives. 

Further reading, listening, watching...


Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, Health: The ethical, aesthetic and political significance of practices, positions, and theories connected to health in contemporary art, MIT Press, 2020

Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World, Oxford University Press 1987

Naomi Pearce


Sop, The Den, Wellcome Collection, 2020-21

Carolyn Lazard, Improved Techniques, 2013, HD video, 3 min 50 secs

Anne McGuire, When I was a Monster, USA, 1996, 5.5 mins

Saoirse Wall

Lucy Beech

Oreet Ashery

Canaries & Taraneh Fazeli

Jo Spence

Patrick Staff

Mathew Wayne Parkin

Rita Munus

Development of this project is supported by:

Residency at the Burnieshed Cabin, Bamff, with support from George Finlay Ramsay, April 2021

Tell me, how do I feel?  Screening with works by Annie Crabtree, Saoirse Wall, and Carolyn Lazard,  Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow, November 2019

Experimental Film and Artists Moving Image Residency, Cove Park, August 2019

LUX Project Bootcamp, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, September 2018

Using Format