At Engaging Empathy Lucy and I gave presentations about our latest touring screening – Uprooted – comprised of a collection of searing and arresting films by international poetry filmmakers on the refugee crisis. Films are divided into those centred on war zones, in transition and accounts of their experiences trying to build new homes in a strange country. It is interesting to see how an empathetic approach to poetry filmmaking has combined with different approaches and levels of first-hand experience by the filmmakers and poets taking part. Lucy’s films included in the main screening were Numbers by Maciej Piatek and The Last Days by Marie Craven, and I screened my latest film Night Bus. It was interesting to hear writers such as Nathan Filer (and his upcoming new book The Heartland) discussing the questions surrounding creative writing and non-fiction, particularly relating to the delicate topic of interviewing subjects and how they are then portrayed.
It was impossible not to feel enriched and wanting to learn more, with fascinating presentations that ranged from the ‘I’, neuropsychology and creativity; empathy, personal trauma and art as therapy; the ethics of creating narratives around non-fictional subjects and political climates changing what we call ‘home’ and a way of life. It was also a meaningful moment for Lucy and I since Liberated Words had its first screening at the first Mix at Pound Arts Centre in 2012. Setting aside the time for lengthy personal projects (The Book of Hours and The Poetics of Video Poetry Film) I feel as if we have steadily built on our aim to host screenings combining international poetry filmmakers with workshops by others whose voices are less heard, and we will be developing this aspect in 2019.
A big thank you from myself and Lucy English to the very thought-provoking Engaging Empathy Through Creativity Conference organisers at Bath Spa University: Professor Maggie Gee, Dr Kylie Fitzpatrick and Dr Tanvir Bush and everyone else who made the day so worthwhile.
Congratulations to everyone exhibiting; Lucy has a number of films in the festival which includes my film (and poetry) Solstice Sol Invictus and I also have Night Bus, so I wish I could be there but it isn’t possible this year :(( Have a really good time everyone who can manage to get there. Thinking of you, and many exciting new projects.
So proud to have been given the opportunity to contribute my thoughts to this extraordinary body of work, tracking the development of two innovative and inspiring videopoets, 🙂 who are also helping to change the way we think about and value this precious planet. Sarah x
VIDEOPOETRY, a book project
Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas have been creating videopoems since the mid and later 1980’s. Their individual and collaborative works are comprised of stand-alone works, i.e. for one channel screening; as well as multi-channel selections intended for gallery installation. This videopoetry collection will feature still images and texts from 120 works as well as essays outlining the authors’ philosophies within the genre of this creative medium. Most of the works featured have been shown in festivals and galleries in various locations around the world but the publication will be the first document to contextualize the content of these works as a whole.
Videopoets and scholars, Lucy English and Sarah Tremlett, have authored an introduction to the collection and a breakdown of several aspects of this body of work.
This project is supported by the New Brunswick Arts Board
Ce projet est soutenu par le Conseil des arts du Nouveau-Brunswick
Projected publication date: Spring 2019
Had a lovely conversation with Sou from Rabbit Heart poetry film festival in the USA near Boston - Mr Sky is a finalist in the best Valentine and so a finalist for the best film in the festival. Hand on heart no thoughts about winning at all but really pleased it has been recognised and very very pleased for whoever actually wins - but Lucy and I both have a soft spot for this film.
A conversation on a night bus in the UK. Set against the dawn sky, a refugee attempts to forget the memories that he has left behind, and value love and the relative safety of his new life. The fourth in the series of poetry films on light and time, with Mr Sky, Solstice Sol Invictus and Summer Solstice.
Night Bus was premiered at the windswept, inspiring and unforgettable North Cornwall Book Festival (centred around the ancient church of St Endellion which apparently, according to poet Sir John Betjeman CBE, keeps praying when the congregation have left). It was part of the Uprooted screening, which featured films on the refugee crisis: set in war zones, in transition and building a new life in a strange country. Many thanks to the festival creator, talented novelist craftsman Patrick Gale for having the vision to host the screening. He not only constructs fine details within the pages of a book, but also made sure that every aspect of the event was memorable for everyone: audience, writers, artists and musicians alike.
If you have the chance to get there next October you will be transported both in landscape: rugged rocks and horizontal straggling trees, right near Port Isaac and crashing Atlantic waves, but also into the imaginations of many of our best novelists. A real escape and if you are lucky dramatic, transporting weather too!
My last film for the mammoth Book of Hours project by Lucy English, and one of the last to be made. It is the only film where she features and she says she really loves it - I hope everyone does. Part of the light and time series (including Mr Sky, Solstice Sol Invictus and Night Bus, it is a celebration of colour and sound as much as sun.