trees can hear you

the film is a rendition of a poem written by a survivor of locked in syndrome of their lived experience while in hospital. the poem was published anonymously (june 2021) on the dear york website – a safe space for service users to write about their experiences in york (uk). this poem particularly moved hilary conroy, the guardian of the website who put out an invitation in a creative action group (of york complex needs network) meeting to create a response to the poem.

shortly after this invitation, while on a residency period in an empty shop in derby(uk) i explored the poem within the space, that i was locked inside.

i can’t remember now how i made the connection between responding to the poem and being in the residency space, maybe it doesn’t matter really – the thing was i saw how being alone in a space gave me the starting point to work with the poem.

i originally intended for the poem to be read by someone who regularly worked with their voice. when there was no interest i decided to take a risk and read it myself. reading out loud is something i find challenging.

i thank hilary conroy (disability programme coordinator
york human rights city network
centre for applied human rights (CAHR))for the invitation to respond to the poem and east street arts (leeds) for the residency opportunity.

the film won the ‘best experimental film’ category at the august/september 2021 edition beyond the curve international film festival.

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