Affirmation #6, BSL poem film
This short poem film in British Sign Language is a collaboration between Lisa Fannen (Poet), Alison Smith (BSL Poet/Performer) and Monika Smekot (Filmmaker). It features two poems Affirmation #6 and Ambulance; the first and last poems of a collection ‘Faultline’, speaking to climate change in the context of systemic injustice and violence, also orienting to possibility and transformation.
Length: 4 min 8sec
Cultivating creative cooperation, is in some ways akin to forging coalitions. The film is an exploration of what it is to work together with English and BSL, juxtaposing across artforms; poetry, dance, movement, sign language and film. Doing so in order to speak to, respond to, and be part of swelling movements for the transformation of historical legacies, and current machinations of structural oppression and damage.
In the planning stages of the film, we were overheard talking in a cafe in Glasgow, by some activists who were organising protest around the anticipated COP 26 gathering, which was planned to take place there in November 2020. The confluence of this project with that upcoming climate change focus in the city influenced some of films’ direction and location decisions we made together.
The Covid 19 pandemic postponed that conference, and related protest, but for sure highlighted even more so the virus that is capitalism, the implications of climate change in relation to global sickness, and the deeply racialised nature of structural inequality. The film stands as protest and rallying call in that context; filmed just before the Covid19 restrictions, and edited as we moved through them.
Poems: Lisa Fannen
BSL interpretation/performance: Alison Smith
Camera: Elga Dudareva & Monika Smekot
Sound: Lisa Fannen
Edit: Monika Smekot
Directed in collaboration: Lisa Fannen, Monika Smekot, Alison Smith
Screendance UK 2021 jury award finalist,
Take One Action Film Festival 2021