HEART OF HAWICK
SATURDAY 29 APRIL
14:30 – 16:00 / 63′ + Q&A
Hope Strickland, Elian Mikkola, Natasha Thembiso Ruwona and Mark Lyken will be present for the Q&A.
The films in this programme have descriptive captions. The introduction and Q&A will have BSL interpretation.
Waiting for the Buff to Rub Me Out is also available to enjoy with Audio Description online throughout the Festival (27 – 30 April).
Content warning: contains flashing imagery; discussion of Orientalism, colonialism, sex work, sexual assault, racism; depiction of eye surgery, animal carcasses, slavery, insects.
by Rachael Disbury
In Music On A Farm Was A Rare Thing, seven films probe the constructs of image-making in relation to ownership, authorship, framing and power.
In A Letter to Time, Katie Somers, Seb Lord, River Uhing and Esmé Babineaux – four participants of Alchemy’s creative learning programme Film Town, facilitated here by Lydia Beilby and Sana Bilgrami as part of Folk Film Gathering – use photochemical film as a tool for creating archival documents for the future, reflecting on place, community and personal identity.
Hope Strickland’s I’LL BE BACK! interrupts conceptions of time, moving fluidly between myth and recorded history, fabulation and institutional power, digital and analogue techniques. Strickland meditates on colonialism, resistance and Black metamorphosis, complicating practices of museum cataloguing with an exploration of the transubstantiation of Haitian Maroon leader François Mackandal into a fly at his 1758 execution. Misrepresentation and colonial fantasies within archival practices are also critically examined in Silhouettes Remain, in which Maya Jeffereis traces the origin of harmful stereotyping of Asian women across paintings, archive footage, museum interpretation materials and mainstream media.
In MAN MADE, Elian Mikkola creates a surreal narrative questioning gender performance and expectation. Mikkola manipulates, repeats, freezes and lingers on existing film frames to create a stuttering, uncanny tale revealing the absurdities of historical ideas of masculinity. In Laura Ohio’s Hello, Whale, a sex worker reflects on the intersections of work, life, love, and survival through the diaristic cornerstones of encounters with three distinct versions of a whale. Ohio’s gentle pace and contemplative gaze allow for observations on the entanglements between bodies and the systemic pressures of late capitalism.
maud., by Natasha Thembiso Ruwona, addresses systemic failings, focusing on Black, queer and female erasure. Through conversations with Black artists working in Scotland, the film compiles a portrait and understanding of the largely undercelebrated practice of multi-disciplinary Scottish-Ghanaian artist Maud Sulter.
In Waiting for the Buff to Rub Me Out, Allana James and Mark Lyken explore the obstacles of maintaining platforms for expression in an age of sterile surveillance. Through the fictionalised portrait of Shadow, a Scottish trans femme graffiti writer, issues of erasure are made literal through a deceptively playful cat-and-mouse between the protagonist and an official in Hi-Viz.
A LETTER TO TIME
Alchemy Film Town participants
Scotland – 2023
I’LL BE BACK!
10’58 – UK – 2022
10’11 – USA – 2022
8’08 – Canada – 2022
13’00 – Canada – 2022
Natasha Thembiso Ruwona, Tomiwa Folorunso, Xavier LaCroix, Chizu Anucha
15’14 – Scotland – 2022
WAITING FOR THE BUFF TO RUB ME OUT
Mark Lyken, Allana James
5’ – Scotland – 2021