~ British Council ~

Music is Made Out of Smoke by Tanya Shirley

Iranian-British filmmaker Roxana Vilk with a poem by Jamaican poet Tanya Shirley. It’s described on the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival website as a “tribute to Jamaican reggae artist Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and an elegy to the sultry fields of the American South.” The Vimeo description notes that it was “Commissioned for Commonwealth Games 2014 by Scottish Poetry Library, British Council and Creative Scotland and executive produced by Scottish Poetry Library & United Creations Collective.” According to Vilk’s website, it was one of eight short films she directed and produced for her Composing the Commonwealth series in 2014 featuring four different poets, the camera work of Ian Dodds, sound and music by Peter Vilk, and editing by Ling Lee and Maryam Ghorbankarimi. Go watch.

The Songs by Choman Hardi

Kurdish poet Choman Hardi in a videopoem uploaded to Vimeo by the UK think-tank Counterpoint. (No editor or videographer is credited.) Here’s the Vimeo description:

Poet Choman Hardi recorded her poem ‘The Songs’, in 2004 at the British Council in London for their think-tank Counterpoint. The performance appeared first on a multimedia CD Rom exploring the theme of memory and migration. The CD containing perspectives on this topic from photography, creative writing, psychotherapy and cognitive neuroscience is still available free from Counterpoint. Email counterpoint [at] britishcouncil.org (replace [at] with the symbol @)

Eleven years on, Hardi’s second collection of poems in English, Considering the Women, was published last month by Bloodaxe — who, by the way, have just debuted a new website. (Check out the multimedia section.)