six things: Pamela Robertson-Pearce

Pamela Robertson-Pearce

About Pamela

Pamela was born in Stockholm, Sweden and now lives in Northumberland, UK.

She has a BFA in film and video from St Martin’s School of Art, London, where she studied with Malcolm Le Grice, and an MA in Theatre Arts from Emerson College, Boston, USA, where she studied with Kristin

Pamela is a filmmaker and artist, a visiting lecturer at Durham University, a freelancer for Bloodaxe Books in book cover design and filming poets, and also works as an editor and translator.

She runs a bookshop and art gallery called DJANG the art of life.

Pamela’s website:

• One thing that’s always worth getting out of bed for

Life. Let me explain. Getting out of bed in the morning leaving sleep and dreams behind and facing another day requires a certain curiosity, courage and faith in what life has in store. I am grateful that I want to get out of bed now and it has to do with wanting to live. To live life. For many years when I had debilitating depression and getting out of bed was impossible. I did not want to live another day, especially not my life and as myself. I was paralysed and the glass was not half-empty, it was empty, every day. I wanted to die every day. Now, thanks to a proper diagnosis, therapy and medication the glass is half-full and I am willing to get out of bed and face another day! Life beckons.

• One thing about myself that often obstructs me

Fibromyalgia. I have had fibromyalgia now for over ten years. Before that I had boundless energy and juggled many balls like motherhood, graduate school, work, family life and creative work. I lead a physically active life and enjoyed swimming, hiking, cycling etc. Since my first attack of fibromyalgia I have been in chronic pain with chronic fatigue. It has changed my life enormously like a BC and AD kind of thing. What I do today is despite the illness. Every day I have to rest in proportion to what I do. I also have to manage the pain, sometimes a very acute pain and sometimes just a dull throbbing constant ache. I try not to let it take over my daily life and cause irritation and depression. This is a constant struggle and worth having in order just to live. (See above!)

• One thing I’ve learned the hard way

To NEVER ever work on a collaborative creative project with best friends, friends, loved ones, lovers or family WITHOUT a WRITTEN contract. Things always change. Especially with time. Contracts don’t. (NB I do have contracts with my work with Bloodaxe Books.)

• One thing that gets under my skin

Everything. I have thin skin, literally, being a redhead. That is scientific data! I take everything personally, even the weather, especially when it is “bad”. Hypersensitive with antennae that pick up toxicity, abusiveness, danger etc. Yet I wonder if I am sensitive enough to others and that I really would like to be. So that when I say I am sensitive it is in equal measure.

• One thing I’d love to change

Mental Health care in the UK for starters. Despite all the progress in research since the Fifties which were still the dark ages as regarding to mental health care worldwide i.e. lobotomies, ECT, and (often untested) use of medication with severe side effects. The NHS system in the UK is very much still rooted in the Fifties except less expenditure on patients at all costs! If you have mental health issues in this country it is very difficult to get the right kind of treatment and support and for the time you may need it. Meanwhile you are also treated less than any other type of patient i.e. those with cancer, or diabetes, as if your intelligence was also impaired. It is such a struggle to get what you need, having an advocate is essential, but how many have that? Many end up self-medicating, turning to other forms of help not always helpful and/or suicide. There is a bottle neck system in place and very few resources, however with increased problems in society at large the mental health care should be a priority. I am thinking about abuse, depression, addictions, violence against the vulnerable, this is all on the increase and treatments need to include proper diagnosis, therapy, safe medication and most importantly a follow-up care program. Too many people and their families suffer unnecessarily and without any help or support at all.

• One thing I hope for

To have the power to right the wrongs in order that I could change the past so that the present and the future would be different. Radically different.

About six things

‘six things’ is a series of micro-interviews with interesting and creative people, in which they’re asked to respond to a standard set of six prompts. A new ‘six things’ is published on the site each Saturday.