Film ‘Rehearsals for Empathy’ by Dr. Kaisu Koski awarded at two festivals

Kaisu Koski Rehearsals for Empathy

Lab4Living Associate Professor Kaisu Koski has received two awards for her documentary film Rehearsals for Empathy. She was announced as winner of the Best Short Documentary at the Luleå International Film Festival, Sweden and received a Judges’ Award Special Mention at the Science on Screen Film Festival, Galway, Ireland.

The film, which was premiered at the Science on Screen festival, demonstrates concepts and exercises used in clinical empathy education and will be soon used in several medical (humanities) curricula internationally.

Rehearsals for Empathy introduces us to methods such as “Rainman exercise” and “bird’s eye view”, through which medical students learn about emotional alignment with the patient. It brings to surface questions about how the patient should be encountered in times of suffering, and what the role of a modern physician might be. Should the physician “feel” what the patient is feeling, or rather stay detached to be able to function without emotional overwhelm? How can we help medical students to be more attuned to what the patient is going through, while following clinical protocols under time pressure? 

This film-based inquiry has been financially supported by the Academy of Finland, Tampere University and Sheffield Hallam University. The film trailer can be seen here.

The Science on Screen Film Festival, hosted in Galway from 5th to 8th November 2020, invited audiences of all types to immerse themselves in scientific storytelling, and hear from filmmakers and researchers on critical topics such as climate change and health research.

The Luleå International Film Festival in Sweden encourages short, feature & documentary filmmakers from around the world.

Kaisu Koski - Stoneface

Kaisu Koski – Whiteboard Speculations (2020)

About the artist

Kaisu Koski is an Associate Professor of Art and Design and joined Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University in 2020. She is a cross-disciplinary artist and humanities scholar with a background in performance and screen-based media. She also works with biological materials such as soil and plants. Kaisu collaborates with scientists, clinicians, and engineers, focusing on empathy, simulation, and human–nonhuman interactions. She has conducted research fellowships in various medical schools and developed films for medical curricula on topics such as vaccine-hesitancy and breaking bad news.

Kaisu’s work has been exhibited and performed in multiple gallery shows and theatres, and received awards in the film festival circuit. The venues include Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt, Hasselt Triennial, Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Estonian Museum of Applied Arts, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in Korea, Helsinki International Film Festival, and Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam. She has also received several research grants including organizations such as the Academy of Finland and the Portuguese National Science Foundation.