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Power and Protection

A partnership project with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dead Earnest were commissioned to produce two short films, based on research led by Janet Weston.  The project is part of the ‘Measuring mental capacity’ research study at the Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It was funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The dramas are based on two case studies of women who lived in the 1930s deemed ‘incapable’ due to their ill health. The films examine the Court of Protection and how vulnerable women could be controlled and manipulated. The characters and storylines were carefully created using historical sources and archives. 

The films were produced in 2021, with a screening taking place as part of interactive online events during the Being Human Festival that year.  These events aimed to introduce the history of the Court of Protection to a wider audience, to generate interest and awareness of archival holdings about mental capacity law, and to encourage reflection and discussion about how decisions regarding capacity, vulnerability, and protection should be made.

'Power and Protection' was the winner of the Harley Prize, awarded by The British Records Association. 

For more information about the project and to view the films go to

Power and Protection | LSHTM


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