A Silent War - Storm of the Century

A Silent War - Storm of the Century

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Belfast, University of Atypical





04min 28sec








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.


 Storm of the Century by Ross Thompson, written during 2020 Lockdown. 

Remember ten years ago the country was hit,
      full force, 
by a cold front so fierce that no amount of grit 
      could thaw 
the ice. No shovel could dig out the snowfall
and return the sucker-punched country to normal.

Well, just before the storm drew in, I was rushing 
      through town, 
trying to get to my car, pushing and shoving
      through crowds 
to reach home before the police closed the motorway
and blocked safe passage and promises I had made. 

Halfway to the bay, I stopped in the skirmish when 
      I noticed 
a family, dead still in the melee, staring
      like tourists 
at a plateau of black cloud covering the tips 
of spires and roofs, dropping down like a mothership, 

unfurling wings of inky black and slate grey curls
      to reveal 
further swirling folds of bitter cold to which we
      would soon yield. 

In years to come, when someone asks me for the facts,
I will say: waiting for the virus felt like that.


Storm of the Century 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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