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A full length feature documentary film 'Notes
based on John Hull's book, 'Touching the Rock' premiered at the Sundance Festival in Utah earlier in 2016 and will have its British premiere on
June 12th at the Sheffield Documentary Festival. This film explores John's struggles with profound blindness, and
indeed with the nature of loss.
For anyone who may have seen the original 12-minute film 'Notes on Blindness' (available on UTube etc) this is a much longer version, but with the same name! The short film was so successful (culminating in winning an Emmy in 2015 - see below) that the company raised enough money to make a more in-depth film. This is also doing very well, and has just won an award at the Tribeca Festival in New York.
The film uses John's voice throughout, incorporating original tape material as well as new recordings made right up until the month before he died. It is technically interesting at a number of levels, not least in its sister virtual reality project which is experienced separately from the film. Both are described on the website Notes on Blindness.
The directors will be talking about it at the Hay Festival - as well as in Australia and at festivals around Europe - and the London release will be in July 2016. (It will also be shown at a memorial event at The Church at Carrs Lane, central Birmingham, on July 20th - see the Home page of this website.) Thereafter we hope it will be in cinemas all over the place! Watch this space.
The Serpentine Gallery's Memory Marathon was the 2012 event in its
annual 'festival of ideas'. During it, on Saturday 13th October, John Hull delivered an address on 'Blindness and memory: being reborn
into a different world'. It can be watched here.
"Elaborating his experiences with blindness and memory, John Hull maintains that there is a strong link between his somatic inability to see and his inability to recall certain information. Hull affirms a link between bodily function and memory stating that 'the sighted world is a projection of their sighted bodies.' " Julian Vigo, Huffington Post UK.
As an introduction to John Hull's writings on blindness and
disability, you can read his 1990 book Touching the Rock, an Experience of Blindness. Published in several English
editions and several foreign languages, the original edition is now out of print *. It may be found
in second-hand book shops, or could probably be borrowed from a public library.
Alternatively, everything in Touching the Rock is included in a new and enlarged edition with the title
On Sight and Insight, a Journey into the
World of Blindness (click on the title to read an excerpt). Additional material makes it about one third as large again as the original. You can buy either
* In May 2013 the SPCK published a new edition of Touching the Rock: an Experience of Blindness, in their series of SPCK Classics. ISBN: 978-0-281-07073-2. £10.99 (pb). You can order it at www.spckpublishing.co.uk/shop/touching-the-rock.
Other books, articles and book chapters that John Hull has written
on the subject of blindness and a theology of disability are:
Disability - The Inclusive Church Resource
by John Hull and others. The Inclusive Church Resources Series (Series editor: Bob Callaghan). Paperback; 96pp; 178x110mm,
July 2014. Includes A Theology of Disability by John M. Hull
(The link is to the poster for the series, a 1.3 MB pdf.) The Tactile Heart: Blindness and Faith, published by SCM Press on 30th August 2013. ISBN: 9780334049333.
£25 (pb). You can order it at www.scmpress.co.uk/books/9780334049333/Tactile-Heart.
(Those added most recently are shown in bold)
Disability - The Inclusive Church Resource by John Hull and others. The Inclusive Church Resources Series (Series editor: Bob Callaghan). Paperback; 96pp; 178x110mm, July 2014. Includes A Theology of Disability by John M. Hull (The link is to the poster for the series, a 1.3 MB pdf.)
The Tactile Heart: Blindness and Faith, published by SCM Press on 30th August 2013. ISBN: 9780334049333. £25 (pb). You can order it at www.scmpress.co.uk/books/9780334049333/Tactile-Heart.
‘Lord I was deaf’: Images of Disability in the Hymnbooks Stephen Burns, Nicola Slee and Michael Jagessar (eds) The Edge of God, New liturgical texts and contexts in conversation. London: Epworth 2009, pp 117-134.
John Hull interviewed by Sebastian Lübben Blindness, the Wind and the Holy Spirit: An interview with John M Hull by Sebastian D. Lübben, Epworth Review, Vol. 34, No. 1, January 2007, pp. 69-79.
In the Beginning there was Darkness, a Blind Person's Conversations with the Bible (2001). This was published in the UK and in the USA - for details click on the title.
The Broken Body in a Broken World
Open Letter from a Blind Disciple to a Sighted Saviour
A Spirituality of Disability
The Material Spirituality of Blindness and Money
Blindness and the Face of God
Could a blind person have been a disciple of Jesus?
Recognising another world
Do you think I am Stupid?
Sight to the inly Blind: Attitudes to Blindness in the Hymnbooks
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