Profiles in Regeneration: Joe, 25, UK
A key moment when I realized I needed to make this film was when I learned that 390,000 people in the UK are both blind and deaf. Unless you’re related to somebody with the condition or work in the care sector, it’s incredibly rare to meet somebody with deaf-blindness.
Young people all around the world are working to build a regenerative future. At 25, Joe Bloom is one of those people. He wants make a short film about deaf-blindness and raising awareness for disability, which affects 0.2% of the population.
Regenerative Futures: How are you feeling right now?
Joe Bloom: It’s Monday now, and I’m feeling that I want to make this week count so that by the time Friday comes around I’ll have made something tangible and interesting which at the moment doesn’t exist.
RF: What’s a secret your search history can tell us about you?
JB: Ive been watching too many fail videos.
RF: What are you reading/learning about at the moment?
JB: I just finished reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s a ridiculously good book which I’d highly recommend to anyone who fancies a little cry before bed every now and then.
RF: Who is your favorite human and why?
JB: The only poster of a human I had on my wall as a kid was one of Dizzee Rascal, although as much as I like him, he is by no means my favorite human—or musician for that matter. It’s quite hard to put someone on the pedestal of favorite human, but if I really had to say one person it would be my Grandma. She truly knew the value of a positive, non-judgmental attitude, which is something I try to learn from every day.
RF: Which key moment inspired you to start your project?
JB: My project is a short documentary film about my great uncle Michael and the world of deaf-blindness he lives in. A key moment when I realized I needed to make this film was when I learned that 390,000 people in the UK are both blind and deaf. Unless you’re related to somebody with the condition or work in the care sector, it’s incredibly rare to meet somebody with deaf-blindness. I hope that through this film more people will have an understanding of this incredibly challenging disability, and like me be given a sense of perspective by these people who have learned to live in silent, dark worlds.
RF: In two years’ time, what would success with your project look like?
JB: Success with my project would look like a globally relevant, completed short film which offers an emotive and informative look into the little known world of deaf-blindness, leaving audiences with a greater respect for those living with the condition, allowing a sense of perspective on their own life.
RF: If you could focus a large percentage of government funding on one industry or project for the next five to ten years, which would you choose and why?
JB: It would have to be renewable energy, because without actual widespread advancements in that, any other long-term project is pretty much futile.
RF: What is the best and worst thing about the education system in your country?
JB: I think a great thing about education in the UK is our access to incredible libraries and other free public resources, such as amazing archives, galleries, and museums. There are plenty of bad things about the UK’s education system, one of which has really come to light during the past few months, and this is the lack of curriculum regarding our colonial history and the implications this has had on attitudes surrounding race, migration, and ideas of nationalism. Oh, and private school — yuck.
RF: Do you have a message for anyone your age living in the year 2060?
JB: Buy a PlayStation 2 and play some Crash Bandicoot. I guarantee it’s timeless.
RF: What inspires or frightens you most about the future?
JB: I’m unfortunately almost certain that we are in the process of devastating our planet beyond repair. Corporate polluters and rising right-wing groups show no real signs of slowing down. While I’m incredibly inspired by the efforts of my generation, I struggle to be convinced that as a worldwide community we have the ability to right our wrongs. But I do maintain some hope—perhaps after reading about some of the ideas from the people on this list, my hope will be strengthened?
Joe Bloom is a Regenerative List Finalist. See more of his work here.