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Dito e Feito #22 – the vacuum cleaner – How to Hold the Bug


“Was that your most challenging experience…?” I ask, and then she says “No, I need to talk about her. I need a tissue first tho”. I have to make an edit there, and think about the rest. Because I can’t share all of what is said, legally or ethically. I have to take things out that I want to share, and I have to think about the audience, and if they are ready.

Over the summer of 2020 I made film portraits of 47 health workers for a project called EXPOSURE, I’m now stuck with material that just maybe too challenging or ethically problematic to work with. What am I going to do? I still don’t know. But I am using this audio record as a way to test, to try working with a very small moment from the hours of footage I have.

How to hold the bug results from a commission made to British artist the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter) for Dito e Feito (Said and Done) podcast. In his performances, films and site-specific interventions, the vacuum cleaner employs various creative legal and illegal tactics to mock and disrupt concentrations of power. With roots in activism and radical art, his work addresses socio-political issues including consumerism, mental health discrimination and institutionalisation.


created by: the vacuum cleaner
assistant producer: Becky Sumerling
music excerpts: “Edge of Seventeen” and “Leather and Lace” by Stevie Nicks
Part of EXPOSURE´s project: the vacuum cleaner in collaboration with Dr Emma Young, Dr Cecilia Wee and Newham’s Hospital Health Workers
EXPOSURE has received support from:
Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Wellcome Collection
photo by: Richard Pelham
edited by: Sara Morais
original music from the generic: Raw Forest
produced by: Teatro do Bairro Alto



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