Here is a Box - collaboration with Fiona Brennan (Film-maker), Ria Czerniak-Lebov (artist, performer), and Dimitra Xidous (writer, performer)
I believe in celebrating the body, because the body endures and is enduring, it yields (and yields, in equal measure), and it has (so much) power. The body is public, and the body is private, and the body is political. Last year, I was invited by Choicebox to create an artistic piece which touched on themes of choice and bodily autonomy. Along with artist Ria Czerniak and film-maker Fiona Brennan, we collaborated on film based on my poem ‘Here is a Box (Vive La Petite Mort!). The poem was first published in Room Magazine (in their Duality Issue - 2012), and later in my first collection 'Keeping Bees'.
Here is a Box is a strong and celebratory poem about the body, a poem that is aware and celebrates the nature of boxes: we come (raging) out of one box, and then, as with all things, we end up in another, the kind of box to go down, deep, and off in. There is play going on here, a playing of, and in, and with these words; they are sexy and sensual, and that is the intention. The link between the little (and big) death is important too: sensual, joyful living, and then, the (slow) dying; ‘decay does not rage in the same way’.
Here is a Box is about the body, the body living and the body dying between the two boxes. Alongside joy, and pleasure, there is sadness, and pain, and the body enduring, and the body yielding, and a woman’s body most of all, and all because woman is not a machine for suffering; women’s rights are human rights, and autonomy and choice belong to each and every one of us.
I was born in a country that affords me choice, and autonomy; however, I currently live in one that does not. I am very thankful for Choicebox’s invitation to create this work, and I was equally thankful to work with both Ria and Fiona on the film.
We had fun, and we played, and we danced…