A Silent War - Distanced

A Silent War - Distanced

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Details

Location

Belfast, University of Atypical

Year

2021

Date

Length

02min 57sec

Audio

silent

Format

Digital

colour

Source

Courtesy

Hands That Sign, Paula Clarke, Ross Thompson

Rights Holder

Northern Ireland Screen, Ross Thompson

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.

Description

 Distanced by Ross Thompson, written during 2020 Lockdown.

1.
As a child, you were told to keep away 
      from tree boles rubbed smooth by scratching cattle, 

to not build dams in fieldside sheughs or play
      in stagnant water or stage mock battles 

near borders where acerbic nettles crept
      through remnants of ancient kettles and jars: 

a silent war of blades and bayonets
      dipped in histamine, each eager to mar 

gentle flesh on exposed arms, thighs and shins.
      If not treated with dock leaves, welts would rise 

up like braille, spelling out patterns of stings
      and poisoned trails that brought tears to your eyes 

but you toughed it out, and on the way back
      avoided marauding dogs and strange men 

and the house on the corner with the cracked
      windows rumoured to be a dealers’ den. 
2.
Late this evening, you followed the same route,
      avoiding paths traced by fellow strollers, 

trying to outrun the wolf in pursuit,
      trying not to glance over your shoulder. 

Credits

Distanced by Ross Thompson
BSL translation and performance by Paula Clarke
Filmed in University of Atypical by Stuart Calvin
A Silent War Creative Producers: Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell & Ann Donnelly
Funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen

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