Aleppo by Howie Good

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A new videopoem by Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon for a poem by Howie Good. Soundbites from Al Jazeera appear in the soundtrack together with Marc’s original music. When he shared it on Facebook, he included a brief note about its origin:

Howie Good wrote a strong poem, Aleppo. It called me and in one burst I created this video/soundpiece yesterday. Enjoy!

And a few days later, he indicated it might lead to more Swoon videopoems this year. Fingers crossed!

At the border by Jan Baeke

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This videopoem from Public Thought, the collaborative team of Dutch poet Jan Baeke and designer and media artist Alfred Marseille, was screened at ZEBRA 2016. Completed last July, it is sadly more relevant than ever: a “Poetic reflection on the ambiguities of the refugee crisis, media coverage, extremist propaganda and EU politics,” as Baeke and Marseille describe it. (Click through for the text.)

Daisy Chain by Lucy English

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A recent addition to Lucy English’s ambitious, multi-filmmaker Book of Hours project, this time from director Eduardo Yagüe—his third for the project, I think—with music by Podington Bear, voiceover by Rebecca Tantony, and an appearance by the actress Gabriella Roy. The stark contrast between the wintry footage and the summery text creates an interesting spark gap for the imagination to leap.

Hybrid by Nigel Wells

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A recent video by Marie Craven extends her experimentation with kinestatic videopoetry in an ekphrastic direction. She described the process in a public Facebook post (links added):

Hybrid: a new collaborative video. The process of making it started with the original art by Marguerite de Mosa. Then came the music by SK123. Then finally the words, written by Nigel Wells in response to an early draft of the video. It’s a change in the order of how I usually put things together for a videopoem, and it was interesting trying things this way. Thanks to the great collaborators, Marguerite, Steve and Nigel, for working with me on this!

Dog by Richard Scott

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An animation by Kate Jessop:

A young man comes to terms with his sexuality and confronts his bully in his home neighbourhood of Merton (London).
Specially commissioned for the Southbank Festival of Neighbourhood 2013, adapted from the poem by Richard Scott.

Click through to Vimeo for the text of the poem (or watch the newly uploaded version with subtitles).

Marchant grenu / Walking Grainy by Henri Michaux

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This film version of an Henri Michaux poem by Francois Vogel was one of my favorites at the 2014 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. The program description:

A whimsical look at movement in the city. While reciting the poem, Francois Vogel »walks grainy« on the stairs of Montmartre, in Paris.

For this version, Vogel recites an English translation of the poem, but if you know French, the original is also on Vimeo.

(Hat-tip: ZEBRA Poetry Film Club.)

Song for Koko by Tommy Becker

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A poetic music video or a musical videopoem? Tommy Becker‘s videos for his Tape Number One project are hard to categorize, which is why I haven’t featured them here as often as I should. They blend “the artist’s poetics, songwriting, performance, costuming with found footage and computer design,” according to the statement on his website.

“Song for Koko” is from 2015. The accompanying text on Vimeo reads:

An elephant escapes from the circus and begins a rampage down a city street. His trunk tosses aside everything in his path. We cheer for him. Why? A man sits on an alligator and attempts to tie his mouth shut. The alligator contorts his body, throwing the man off before turning to bite. We are unsympathetic. Why? We take our children to the zoo to look at the monkeys. The children complain about their inactivity and we feel a sense of betrayal as we admit to ourselves that our observations are a fraud. What’s important in these situations of conflict and captivity is that we are seeing animals as equals. They are no longer the lesser species. A life force is being held against its will or once again running wild through the streets. The moment the lion lunges at the tamer we understand his motives. We relate viscerally to his oppression as we connect to the soul of its being.

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