a short choreo-film entirely produced by women of color against street harassment. The video is the collective effort of a group of interdisciplinary artists from New York City who came together to highlight the importance of looking at street harassment from a lens of reclamation of power.
We believe that all people who identify as women as well as gender nonconforming individuals who are impacted by street harassment have a right to their bodies and in this video we take our bodies back.
If you or any one you know has been impacted by street harassment in any way we invite you to share.
The poem was written out of a passion to challenge the invisibility of the many ways women are silenced and I tried it out in performance with many different audiences of women – in schools, universities, feminist groups, at poetry events and in prison. Clare and I then collaborated with three drama students at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England who interpreted the poem through movement.
This locally-produced, no-budget film has been screened internationally at feminist film festivals.
The dancer/choreographers are Kristin Bacheva, Vanessa Owusu and Elle Payne. The sound is by Daniel Battersby, with music by Jahzzar and Ars Sonor.
I’ve been championing the dance category of videopoetry for years, so I was pleased to see this worthy representative of it take the top honors at last weekend’s Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival. Written and performed by “modern-day mystic” Rachel Kann, with choreography by her and Jhon Gonzalez, and directed by Brad (Bradford L.) Cooper, it won Best Overall Production and Best Sound/Music (the work of Cooper and Atom Smith). See YouTube for the complete credits and Hevria for the text.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “resting bitch face” (apparently it’s mainly an American expression), the Wikipedia article will get you up to speed. Once you’ve read it, you’ll understand why this response by poet Olivia Gatwood and the dancer/choreographers Rebecca Björling and Rebecca Rosier of the We:R Performance Collective is so, so good. The video was shot and edited by Tim Davis. Björling and Rosier note on Vimeo that
Our latest work ‘Bitchface’ is a dance film we made in reaction to the amazing fierceness of Olivia Gatwood’s poem ‘Ode to my Bitchface’. Beautifully delivered by Olivia in a live performance, we felt like we had to dance the chills out of our bodies as soon as we saw her original video.
And here is the original video in question, posted to YouTube on April 2. It has already been viewed more than half a million times: