A woman’s life – Poetry video

The piece is a poetry video of a poem that I wrote few years ago for the death of Savita Halappanavar. At the time I was shocked to see how a woman is treated in the health system and how she loses all control on her life just for the fact that she is pregnant and the life of the foetus has more value than her own life. Unfortunately the poem is still relevant as the condition of the women in Ireland has not changed much; even if there is now a law that allows abortion in case of risk for the life of the mother, still a woman loses her right to complete control her body and health once she becomes pregnant.

The video is an interpretation of the poem through images and sounds. There is the voice reciting the poem (my voice) and the word that are reproduced on the screen; but the poem is also materialised with the image of the pregnant mother that is just a silhouette in contrast to the vivid image of the foetus; the silhouette of the woman transforms in a vase to show how she is just a container and her life has no value; in the end the life punches her in the face and breaks her in pieces.

I created this piece with the intent to combine different type of artistic expressions: poetry, recitation, computer graphic, video animation. I used several programs from the Adobe Creative Suite. The graphics were created with Illustrator; Savita face was vectorised from a photograph taken on the web; breaking the face in pieces was a bit laborious as I had to create the shapes of the pieces and then merge each one with the vector graphic of the face. Audio was edited in Audition. The animations were made in After Effects; it has presets to animate the text, so I experimented with that and tried to synchronize the words with the voice. Everything was put together in Premiere Pro adding also sounds and music.

My dissertation project is an interactive video where I merge videos of poems written by women about events and issues related to women in Ireland. I will have to create several poetry videos, so making this piece let me start to explore and experiment on how a poem can be interpreted through a video; how visuals, sounds and music can enhance the written words.

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