My thinnest girlfriends always complain
Of gaining weight, which confuses me
When I think of fat girls.
But then I remember
That I’ve never suffered from loving my lover,
Except when it provides a good excuse to leave her,
And I reflect that things are less important
Than they seem, if we look at them
Which eases my terror a little.
So I say to myself that the world is really like this:
The thin fear fat,
The fat love food,
Lovers never suffer for the right reasons
And everything does not ride
The Vimeo description includes a full list of credits in English:
Text: Youssef Rakha
Screen Adaptation: Mariam Alferjani
Actors: Alaeddine Slim – Mariam Alferjani
Photography: Alaeddine Slim – Mariam Alferjani
Producers: Kamel Laaridhi – Alaeddine Slim
Editing: Mariam Alferjani
Mariam Ferjani’s “Screen adaptation/reinterpretation of the short poem by Youssef Rakha,” an Egyptian writer and photographer. The description on Vimeo includes a translation, which I’m guessing is by the author:
Woman wants eternity
Man wants heaven
And sometimes, not often
In the meeting of their desires
They become a cloud
And sometimes, even less often
They actually die
Before it rains
So that the world stays dry
And everything is alright
Swoon re-edited a video he originally posted eight months ago, making it shorter, more visually appealing and I think more effective in the process. I’m not sure why I didn’t share the original, but I love this videopoem now. The poem was written in English by the Egyptian poet Yahia Lababidi, and has been translated into Dutch by Katelijne De Vuyst for the soundrack. Swoon and his wife Arlekeno Anselmo, who reads the translation, are Belgian. This is perhaps an extreme example of a widespread tendency I’ve noticed in the online videopoetry community to ignore national boundaries and strive to overcome linguistic ones, as well — facilitated, I would argue, by the change in focus from written text to audio and visual media. We are no longer quite so locked into our separate linguistic and cultural rooms.
“Sleepdancing (Giddoo)” is the latest collaboration between Belgian artist and composer Swoon and expatriate Egyptian poet Yahia Lababidi, and is as different from its predecessors as can be (while still remaining recognizably a Swoon video). The decision not to include a reading of the text in the soundtrack seems appropriate for the subject matter.
I’m having a hard time keeping up with the videos Swoon has been making for Lababidi’s poems. This one incorporates Dutch sign language by Marjan De Cuyper and painting by Arlekeno Anselmo for a truly multimedia and multinational exploration of, and exploring through, language.
Another collaboration between the Belgian artist Swoon (videotreats, editing, music and production) and Egyptian writer Yahia Lababidi (poem and reading). Arlekeno Anselmo provided additional whispering and speaking voice in Dutch.
(Updated version of the video. Selected for and screened at Bideodromo, Bilbao (Spain), 2011; selected for and screened at Visible Verse, Vancouver, 2011; and screened at the Neustadt Festival, Oklahoma, 2011.)
Update: Video has been made private.
Swoon has been busy lately, so again we end the week with one of his creations. This one’s based on a poem by Yahia Lababidi — a collaboration sparked, I think, by this very blog. Which makes me happy.