For anyone who has ever heard me go on about the uniqueness and beauty of remote Scottish Island life, but has never really understood what the big deal is, watch this beautiful video by Kensington for their latest single ‘Ghosts’:
The video is filmed on Out Skerries, part of the Shetland Isles, where some of my family lived for over 6 years. The landscapes bring back so many vivid memories of the remoter parts of Mull and Skye where my ever-moving clan finally settled after much trotting across Scotland and the wider globe. As a child, coming from the urban sprawl of London to join my aunties, cousins and Granny on these magical, wild Islands populated with burns, “cocoanut money”, and towering rocks covered with a carpet of (tenacious) sea pinks was one of the most incredible feelings in the world. They are landscapes that in my mind are synonymous with adventure, with love, and with freedom. They are landscapes that whenever too much time has passed, find a way of pulling me back even from the sunny shores of the Mediterranean on a Year Abroad. However boggy, and however fecking freezing they may be at times, they have a unique almost haunting quality which, for better or for worse will “get in your blood, and leave you hooked….for life”
Le temps des tempêtes arrive
Avant qu’on l’ait prédit
Quand tout s’abîme, quand même nos rêves fuient
Il ne reste qu’une île, un port, un parti
On n’est riche que de ses amis
As part of my Undergraduate Dissertation I conducted an interview with Italian film maker Simone Brioni on his latest documentary Aulo: Roma Postcoloniale, which has been distributed since 2012 by Kimerafilm (http://www.kimerafilm.com)
The interview focuses on Brioni’s use of what I dubbed ‘a revised form of cinematographic cartography’. His protagonist Ribka leads her spectator through the streets of Rome with an energy and force which is palatable, transforming the way we perceive, and relate to, the urban space with it’s complicated historical and sociological codes. Aulo is an attempt to root what has previously been rootless, it is a challenge to fixed ideas of commemorative sites and of a homogenous sense of home. Simple yet poignant, it is a testament to both Simone’s talent as a filmmaker and of the very pertinent nature of the changing role of spatiality that we are being forced to confront in an age of mass migration and global movement.
Perhaps the true power of the film lies not in direct confrontation of polemical issues, but in it’s subtle illusions to bigger questions which extend beyond the realms of the film space. When the walls of home come tumbling down, and when our relation to space and culturally legitimised sites of commemoration is called into question, where do we truly belong? When we are forced to constantly navigate “tra ombre e luce”, is it possible to put down roots? In Aulo' Brioni does not answer these questions. His role is, like the film's protagonist Rika, one of a guide. He is entrusted with the task of leading his spectator into a space “tra ombre e luce, tra ciele e stele” where such questions can be opened up and examined, where notions of boundaries, memory and mapping are not fixed but infinitely flexible. It is a task he performs with diligence, with elegance, and with skill, and I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him.
Ecrire, c’est lire en soi. L’écriture ranime le souvenir,… Tout écrivain est un ‘ghost buster’, un chasseur de fantôme.