NEW ASLI CAMPAIGN – CAPITALISM, POVERTY AND WAR – CALL FOR ARTISTS

NEW CALL FOR ARTISTS!!

NEW CAMPAIGN!

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC ART BY CHARLOTTE FARHAN

 

Here at Art Saves Lives International we are now launching our 3rd campaign and call for artists. With or first “celebration of women” and second “mental illness, health and recovery” we have created an exciting collaborative space to share art and create change.

So what is our next topic?

THE NEW CAMPAIGN:

CAPITALISM, POVERTY AND WAR.

Misused and Abused - By Charlotte Farhan
Misused and Abused – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Our world is in turmoil and it seems everyday we wake up and hear of more people being killed by war and poverty, either directly or indirectly. Poverty is known everywhere around the world, even the most “developed” countries have excessive poverty rates.

War and conflicts are happening in most corners of the world.

Capitalism is at the heart of these issues in many ways.

So we at ASLI wanted to shed light on these ever increasing problems and discuss them using artistic expression and creativity, allowing for a conversation to be had, from and by the unheard. So if you are interested in the CALL FOR ARTISTS click here.

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC

However please read on to find out why these issues are so important.

 

 

 

Here are some facts:

  • Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.

  • 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.

  • 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. Food banks are especially important in providing food for people that can’t afford it themselves. Run a food drive outside your local grocery store so people in your community have enough to eat. Sign up for Supermarket Stakeout.

  • More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day.

  • In 2011, 165 million children under the age 5 were stunted (reduced rate of growth and development) due to chronic malnutrition.

  • Preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia take the lives of 2 million children a year who are too poor to afford proper treatment.

  • As of 2013, 21.8 million children under 1 year of age worldwide had not received the three recommended doses of vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

  • 1/4 of all humans live without electricity — approximately 1.6 billion people.

  • 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day.

  • Oxfam estimates that it would take $60 billion annually to end extreme global poverty–that’s less than 1/4 the income of the top 100 richest billionaires.

  • The World Food Programme says, “The poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty.” Hunger is the number one cause of death in the world, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

There are 42 ACTIVE CONFLICTS worldwide today!

Civil war has been identified as one of the main causes for the persistence of poverty in many regions of the world: war damages infrastructure, institutions and production, destroys assets, breaks up communities and networks and kills and injures people.

“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”
― John Steinbeck

We at ASLI are committed to being against war and we aim to highlight the struggles war creates and the impact it has around the world.

CAPITALISM! 

CONSEQUENCES TO CAPITALISM ARE:

INEQUALITY – The top 1% of the world’s population are the elites, the bourgeoisie those who have capitalised on the system of “top down politics” and fill the population’s minds with the idea “anyone can be rich if they work hard enough” which is a fallacy designed to get more people working and making money for the people at the top, remember there’s only so much room at the top. Making money by effectively taking it from others through the consumer market, taxation, debt, interest, insurance and many more…

WASTE and POLLUTION – The top percent of people have resources in abundance and an excess of “things” and necessities, with all of this being with the minority at the top, it is no surprise there is so much waste. Even the middle classes in developed countries waste so much of what many do not have. Food is wasted the most and often simply because food distributors and stores are afraid of profit margins reducing. Pollution is excessively caused by overproduction of goods and companies refusing to responsible for their impact on the environment in general. It doesn’t matter to them that, in the long term, we’ll all be dead, as long as in the short term they’ll have the most money.

HUNGER – When there is such an unfair distribution of wealth there is a majority around the world who have less and not enough resources to survive. This world houses the excessively over fed and the excessively malnourished, the minority is in between. We know that there is more than enough food for everyone to be fed adequately, but the capitalist nature of the world only wants those who can afford food to eat, inturn wasting more food which could be given to those starving. 

UNCHARITABLE SOCIETY – When capitalism rules, making money and keeping money for profit is a greater need to individuals and companies than being altruistic. This leads to less charitable societies and is due to a forced need to put oneself first above all else. This is fueled by governments cutting benefits and scapegoating the poor. 

LESS CONCERN FOR PUBLIC SAFETY – When a world is more concerned with profit and looking after themselves over others, big companies will often cut corners in health and safety requirements due to cost. Many injuries and fatalities happen due to this and could be simply avoided. 

UNDEMOCRATIC POLITICS – The wealthy and powerful will always have more monopoly in a capitalist society and this in turn creates undemocratic practices. Governments will put big business and banks before the public. Also money within politics means candidates who do not have financial backing will be disadvantaged in elections and against lobbyists.

WAR – Most conflicts around the world in recent years have been for profit. War is big business, funded by big companies, oil and arms dealers. Even private military and special forces are now used in conflict zones. Many interventions from developed countries are due to a particular interest of theirs is in danger of losing them money or there is money to be made from an opportunity. 

TOTALITARIANISM – Forms of dictatorships are seen not only in corrupt governments but also within big business and organizations. With huge bonuses being given to those at the top, those who do less work are rewarded whilst their staff is paid minimum wage. The media industry is also run like a totalitarian state, with normally one organisation monopolising the majority of media outlets within capitalist countries. 

PROPAGANDA – Capitalism would not be able to exist if it weren’t for advertising. With the power of suggestion, psychology and “brain washing” media can reach and influence you in so many ways throughout the day. Making you want to buy those “things” you do not need or even want. It is also used as propaganda and allows ideologies to be pumped out of your media outlets and devices telling you, if you have more money you are a success, telling you to blame the poor, the disabled and migrants for all that is wrong, leaving you guilt free to buy more “things”!

 

SO GET INVOLVED

WITH OUR CALL FOR ARTISTS

CLICK HERE!

 

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC

 

REMEMBER our call for artists are open to all who create:

visual artists, photographers, musicians, singers, dancers, performance artists, creative writers, poets, spoken word artists, journalists, film and documentary makers, actors, fashion designers, crafters, artisans, tattooists, textile artists, street performers, cartoonists and animators, graphic designers, bloggers, vloggers….

basically if you are using your art and creativity to communicate to the world WE WANT YOU!

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC

 

If you feel you have something to say or create which will comment on our campaign “capitalism, poverty and war” then click here to see what you have to do to get involved.

 

“A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.”
― Fidel Castro

Rosie Swayne tells us about her song Cider Mill and how it is a reaction to her observations of a violent, darkly manipulative relationship

Rosie Swayne tells us about her song Cider Mill and how it is a reaction to her observations of a violent, darkly manipulative relationship.

 

Rosie Swayne

 

 

Rosie Swayne, 38, living between Helsinki and the UK.

I grew up on Dartmoor (on a farm on the edge of the moor, not in the prison) and started writing music as soon as I started learning instruments. I met Rachel Sanson at Northampton Uni where we were on the same Performance Studies degree: her superb vocals, performing skills and understanding of my material were a great writing inspiration and we continued doing music together in our band Invocal for the next 10 years – playing live everywhere and releasing lots of brilliant CD’s that were largely ignored by all but our small but awesome fanbase. The band ceased as a full time endeavour in 2010 and I am now writing music for theatre as my job, but Rachel and I are still performing.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of ‘violence against women’ in your art?

It’s The idea of being kept captive by someone’s aggression and influence which is assisted by the validation of the surrounding community and culture. The experiences some people around me have had are staggering – it’s humbling to think they must carry these dark and complicated memories around with them and try to process them as they try to get on with their lives. I try to keep this in mind when I’m complaining about my own hardships, which are more based on things like why oh why did they have to take all the salt and fat out of hula-hoops? now they just taste like general building supplies.


Tell us why you chose this submission?

I wrote this song shortly before I started a family and I was thinking about babies a lot. I guess I was attracted to investigating the lengths a mother might go to to protect her young, and so now I am a mother it has a renewed resonance. It doesn’t seek to convey a moral message, just tell a story based on somebody pushed to the limits. I think Rachel’s voice is perfect for the character in the song – it sounds awesome.


 

 

About the song:

CIDER MILL by Rosie Swayne, performed by Rachel Sanson and Rosie Swayne

The song portrays a character being kept captive by the aggression and influence of an unseen figure, whose power is assisted by the validation of the surrounding community and culture.  It considers the notion of seeking freedom at any cost.

Rachel Sanson sings the main vocal on this recording, which was recorded at Fitdog studios, Northamptonshire and produced by Rosie Swayne & Chris Furner . Music & Lyrics by Rosie Swayne.

Cider Mill

The last time I killed

Was in this mill

One Big Wheel

They let out the hounds

To track me down

Cogs Creak Round

Heave ho

Turn the wheel

Slow stone

Crush the apple

Keep the seed

Crush the captor

Keep the dream

Bolted door

Shards of sun

Feel the dust

In the lungs

Here’s the Adam

Here’s the Eve

Here’s the serpent

Come to free me

I’m nothing for you

Empty subdued

Mill, Crush, Fold

Your oppression has crawled

Into these walls

Mean, Dark, Cold

Heave ho

Apple must

Alcohol

Here’s the blossom

Here’s the tree

Here’s the person

We conceive

Awful dry

Dreadful numb

Never cry

Cork the lungs

Here’s the madness

Here’s the grief

Here’s the anger

Come to free… (repeat)

Hush time little munchkin

There isn’t very long

Cos the hounds’ve gone a-hunting

And mamma’s on the run

It is strange to be so present

So conspicuous and full

Having been until this juncture

Empty, null, invisible

There are scratches in the girders

There are hand prints on the floor

There are claw marks in the door parts

That I couldn’t let be yours

Seems they’re blocking all the bridges

But I’m running in the fields

And the river feels forgiving

As I’m breathing in the free.


 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

Well… music is the only thing I can do well (apart from write long letters of complaint to KP Snacks). But it’s pretty great to work in an artistic medium that people actually carry around with them in headphones and utilise in their daily lives. As for the style, I set the song in a kind of folky historical world as I have been more and more influenced by folk tales and story telling in my writing in recent years, since I moved through my introspective ‘6th form’ phase which lasted two decades.

What is your process when creating?

I’m very boring about it. I’m extremely detailed (read: slow) which I’m trying to work on now I’m writing for theatre and working to other peoples schedules. People ask me about the process a lot. I’d like to invent something a bit more interesting – perhaps involving me keeping a pencil and empty manuscript by the bed and writing my dreams in notation as I sleep, but the reality is I just sit down and get it done. In between large Facebook breaks of course, which are very important.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

Like most composers my list of musical influences are vast and diverse but I am lately being inspired by Karine Polwart, The Tiger Lillies and Serj Tankian . I am also very inspired by the way current issues are being dealt with in the standup world by artists such as Josie Long and Bridget Christie. Also, while I was heavily pregnant, housebound and looking after my 1 year old we watched a LOT of musicals on my laptop in preparation for my next project. I got very excited about Urinetown and I’m about 10 years too late but I discovered Jerry Springer the Opera and found it to be a work of actual genius. Aarni liked Starlight Express, but what does he know?

 

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Actually I prefer ‘feminazi’- I’m taking the word back. Not really. Feminism means the pursuit of equal rights and opportunities for men and women to me, and is also a word that inspires a lot of uptight jibber-jabber from men AND women which is beyond tedious. People started referring to me as a feminist long before I decided I probably was one. I’ve been continuously accused of man hating in my songs even though if you actually listen to them, men rarely get a mention anywhere.  It’s as if a female person with the slightest attitude just needs to get close to a guitar and OH MY GOD A FEMINAZI! WHY DO YOU HATE MEN SO MUCH?! Um… I was just about to sing a song about tinnitus actually?

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I’ve seen some of your stuff on the internet and thought it would be cool to submit something.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I do think all people outside of convention have their struggles, but women do experience a certain type of brutal sexualised ridicule for not meeting certain (often irrelevant) expectations, which anyone who has spent more than 5 seconds on the internet can surely confirm.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Um… overall I think we could probably do a *bit* better

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I have campaigned with anti-racism groups and support raising awareness of mental illness issues (which, btw, I do *hilariously* with the song ‘Cheer Up Frowny Face’). But at the moment it’s hard not to focus on the rapidly intensifying issue of climate change. They’re releasing worse and worse data every day and we’re still prattling on about Jeremy fucking Clarkson like particularly idiotic lobsters being cooked alive.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

I’ve seen the amazing effects art and music therapy can have on a person and I would definitely agree that it helps save lives. So hooray for art!

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

Well I don’t like to brag, but my next project is writing a stage musical that will fix climate change.

What are your goals as with your art?

To fix climate change through the medium of musical theatre.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

it’s a stage musical …that we’re seeking finance for incidentally … and well I don’t like to brag but… it’s definitely going to fix climate change. You’re welcome!

If you would like to know more about Rosie Swayne please follow these links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

SoundCloud

 

The band Brittle Sun discuss violence against women in their song Last One Standing and use their music to challenge the status quo: ASLI speak to lead vocalist Viki Mealings

The band Brittle Sun discuss violence against women in their song Last One Standing and use their music to challenge the status quo: ASLI speak to lead vocalist Viki Mealings.

Viki Mealings lead vocalist from Brittle Sun
Viki Mealings lead vocalist from Brittle Sun

 

Vicki Mealings is the lead vocalist from the trio band Brittle Sun who are Melbourne based. With a vivid personality as a band and enigmatic live performances Brittle Sun are more than musicians they are artists who use inspiration from spoken word and collaborate with local poets.

The song ‘Last One Standing’ was co-written with my friend Megan, who’s a writer and editor. We’re a small but diverse bunch in terms of age and background. I’ve always loved music. The first song I loved was ‘Alexander Beetle’ by Melanie. I started out drawing and making little storybooks when I was tiny. It didn’t occur to me to play music until much later. I grew up in Melbourne, which is a great place to be if you like poetry and music.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of Violence Against Women in your art? Tell us why you chose this submission?

The song is very loosely autobiographical, but also inspired by the experiences of women we knew. The song was written a while ago, and it will mean different things to different people. We saw the call out, and we thought the song might be what Art Saves Lives were looking for in terms of the subject matter.


 

Submission Song: Last One Standing 

Lyrics by Megan Green and Viki Mealings. Music by Brittle Sun.

Our song ‘Last One Standing’ is very loosely autobiographical, but also inspired by the experiences of women we knew. The lyrics took a long time to get right, as there are a lot of stories in there and we wanted something a bit universal. The final edit of the lyrics is a long way from what we started with, but we kept the basic hook that makes the chorus.

We wanted to keep the music really simple so as to keep the main focus on the words and the voice. So we just laid down three tracks-acoustic guitar, keys, and astbory bass. That’s all.

David Jetson played the bass on the track and Stewart Garrett played keys. The song was recorded and produced by Kim Lajoie at Obsessive Music in Melbourne, Australia.



Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I used to do visual art, but I couldn’t really say what I wanted through it. So I started writing poems and songs. Writing is the most satisfying part of the process. Performing is also a necessary part of the process, but writing is what gives the joy.  

What is your process when creating?

Sometimes ideas will materialise out of nowhere-just snippets. The process is all about having the discipline to write them down and then build on them. It takes work.

 

 

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

There are so many influences-family, friends, enemies, other artists, and well-known artists. Of the well-known artists, Lou Reed was a pretty big influence as is Patti Smith.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

It’s going to mean different things to different people. Enabling equal opportunity is the tenet everyone’s familiar with, but for me it goes further than that. It’s about recognising and addressing the injustices of the past and present and taking responsibility for the future.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

ASLI is inclusive. It provides a voice to the voiceless.

 

 

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

In general, I think women are taken less seriously, whether they conform or not.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s  societies  around the world? Have you any experience of this?

No. The average woman in global terms works as an unpaid farmhand and does most of the work. We’re a lot better off here in the West but there are still issues for example difficulties with balancing home and family life and unrealistic societal expectations in terms of work, parenting and physical appearance.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

It concerns me that children from low income families don’t have the same educational opportunities as those from higher income families. I’m also concerned about Indigenous health, in terms of the scandalously high infant mortality rates, higher rates of poverty, and a greatly reduced life expectancy.

 

 

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and  has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

I once witnessed a music therapist working with a young person who had a suffered a traumatic brain injury. That person was agitated, confused, and restless most of the time. Except when the music therapist was singing and playing guitar. The music definitely had a calming effect. Every time the music played, it was as though the former, uninjured personality resurfaced; something that was thought to be irretrievably lost. It was quite a thing to witness.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

Art can create change in a number of ways. It can help people to think in different ways about a given situation and it can challenge the status quo. Sometimes it’s a conscious thing, sometimes it isn’t. We want people to enjoy what we do and to feel proud of who they are. I think it’s really important to celebrate diversity and to promote solidarity.

What are your goals as with your art?

To keep on improving and to leave behind a body of work we can be proud of.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

We’re currently recording some new songs for our next EP. I also want to get my poems into print.

 

Viki Mealings - Brittle Sun
Viki Mealings – Brittle Sun

 

If you would like to know more about Brittle Sun follow these links:

Website

Facebook Page

YouTube 

 

 

Writer Cath Bore “In my writing I create female characters who meet the world on their own terms”

Writer Cath Bore “In my writing I create female characters who meet the world on their own terms”.

 

Cath Bore
Cath Bore

 

Cath Bore, Liverpool, UK, started as a music writer in her early 20’s then went on to write creatively. Cath has an MA in Creative Writing, and lots of her flash fiction and feminist essays / creative non fiction is published in the UK and the US.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of domestic violence in your art?

Domestic violence is a cause very close to my heart. I find it odd domestic violence victims and survivors are put in boxes labelled “it was their own fault”. The more we talk about DV in its different guises, the better.

 

Tell us why you chose this submission?

I wrote FRIDAY ROSES after I saw a Facebook meme about a woman who received flowers every birthday from her husband even though he died – he’s set up an on going order every year until she herself passed away. Many people thought it a romantic gesture; I looked at it from a different angle, what if he was abusive? What is really she wanted free of him? What if he was controlling her from the grave? What if the flowers every year were another way of belittling her, so she is never free? I think as writers and artists it is our duty to question everything.


 

FRIDAY ROSES

The red roses Brian sends on Fridays are delivered to the house, bound in a tight bundle. The taut rubber band pinks my fingers and thorny stems long and tentacular splice my skin as I unpick the stubborn brown rubber. My fingers cut and bleed but push the flowers into a vase.

‘Have they arrived, the flowers?’ Brian rings up and asks, as always.

‘Yes, they’ve arrived. Thank you.’

‘And do you like them?’ He says this each time too.

‘I love them.’

He makes me say it every week, forces me to lie. Sometimes I think I hate the roses more than I despise Brian. They offer up no scent, shiny plastic petals scratch the end of my nose as he forces me to sniff them and inhale plain air that smells of tap water.

Flowers every week, how romantic, everyone says.  You’re so lucky.

‘Yes,’ I smile. ‘I’m lucky.’

My cracked ribs creak as I force uncomfortable words out from lips stiff and awkward with lies.

In the end, all it takes is a little push. I watch Brian fall down the stairs, arms in frantic circles, hands grabbing air, gob flapping silently. He breaks. I taste copper in my mouth and smell its perfume, realise I’ve bitten my tongue and hold it between my teeth as I watched him windmill downwards. Relief washes through me like a flood but the police believe my tears.

The following Friday roses arrive as usual, red like blood.


Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I love writing and I always have, ever since  I was a little girl.

What is your process when creating?

I write, leave it for a while then redraft, redraft, redraft. I always leave work for at least a week after that and give it another polish before I submit it anywhere.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I love good writing, my favourite author is Marian Keyes, although we write in different genres. Her dialogue sparkles, every word a diamond. I carry a notebook around with me at all times and scribble words and phrases down, making note of what intrigues me. I use them for inspiration; I am never short of something to write about. At the moment I am getting lots of ideas from songs and song lyrics.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism is true equality of the genders. Men and women are different but not the same and I believe we should celebrate our differences, and include men and self-defining women in those celebrations. Get everyone on board!

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I love the message you’re putting out, using art of all kinds to educate, engage and express. It is something creatives do naturally, it’s great we get to do it en masse like this.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

Of course we do. We have to look a certain way, not be too loud or be funny – funny women scare people. I’m still trying to work that one out.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Until women and men share things like childcare and housework equally in the home, equality is still a long way off. It’s great that men now do so much more than their fathers did, and they’ve done it without anyone telling them to – worked out themselves that spending time with their children and so forth makes for a happier family life. A 50/50 housework split in most households is still a long way off, though.

I’m disturbed by the new trend to put down men, as if they are imbeciles and can’t cope with domestic tasks on their own. I did a reading away from home recently so had to stay overnight; someone seriously asked me “how will your husband cope?”. I replied, “he is not a child”. We need to give good men more credit.


What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

Domestic violence, women’s Refuges.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

If I didn’t write I’d go bonkers. End of.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

In my writing I create female characters who meet the world on their own terms. I believe that creativity can be used as an amazing and effective tool to promote empowerment.

What are your goals as with your art?

I’d like even more people to read my work and to have my novel published and for it to be successful and critically acclaimed.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I am working on a crime novel which I’m madly in love with, and lots of flash fiction. I’m increasingly writing feminist creative non-fiction, which I enjoy so much.

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

I’d like to thank you for publishing my short story and for all the fabulous work you do. You’re ace.

If you would like to know more about Cath Bore follow these links or email:

Website  

Twitter

email cathbore@gmail.com

 

asli quote

 

 

Lorraine Nolan re-imagines Lucretia and creates a modern day domestic rape tragedy where the only downfall is that of the victim in her film Lowly Lucretia

Lorraine Nolan re-imagines Lucretia and creates a modern day domestic rape tragedy where the only downfall is that of the victim in her film Lowly Lucretia

 

Lorraine Nolan
Lorraine Nolan

 

Lorraine Nolan, aged 33, based in London. Originally from Ireland but based now in London for several years. Initially trained as an actor and has worked in theatre, before returning to college to study Film-making. Lorraine’s move to London was to pursue an MA in Film at Goldsmiths University of London, where she specialised in Directing. Currently working as a Creative in TV, but also making time for personal projects under LOR Create, most recently making a music promo for the artist Warsnare featuring Russian Doll.

 

What motivated you to deal with the subject of RAPE in your art?

When I was studying my MA in 2009, a census was published exploring UK university student’s attitude to rape culture. The report included questions such as:

When is a woman not/partially/fully responsible for being raped in a list of scenarios such as walking down a dark alley late at night, or wearing revealing clothing?

I was really disturbed to discover the large percentages of students who, in a western culture in 2009, perceived that a woman is partially or fully responsible for her own rape in any of the given situations.

Upon further research into rape and violence against women, I discovered the insanely low convictions for the crime and indeed that most rapes are committed by a person close to the victim.

This led to my re-engagement with Lucretia, a classical figure that has appeared in art through the ages, painted by a wide range of artists including Titian, Botticelli, Rembrandt and Artemisia Gentileschi. She has also featuring in literature and music; Benjamin Britten has composed an opera about her. Lucretia was a Roman noble woman whose rape by the kings nephew Tarquinius, and her consequent suicide, caused the downfall of the Roman monarchy in 509BC and the establishment of the first Roman Republic.

This reaction to that crime in 509BC leaves me dumbfounded at the rape culture that still prevails today and I decided to re-imagine Lucretia’s story in a modern setting where victims mostly carry their burden alone, let down by society and government.

 

 

Lowly Lucretia:

Lucretia was a Roman noble woman whose famous rape and subsequent suicide in 509 BC caused the downfall of the Roman Monarchy. Lowly Lucretia is a modern day domestic rape tragedy where the only downfall is that of the victim.

16mm Film, produced at Goldsmiths University of London.

 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I moved from acting and theatre to film-making, which I think is a natural progression. I have always loved film, music, and particularly drama and working as a writer/director means that I get to work across a multitude of roles from working with actors, developing ideas and stories, to edit and sound design. I enjoy being across all the creative elements that bring moving images to life.

What is your process when creating?

It varies from project to project, in my TV Creative role I usually work to briefs. In my personal projects I start with the idea and research around it. I then spend time writing, and developing and flesh it out with friends who I collaborate with. Collaboration is key! Once I have a script ready to go, I then rely on the specialist talents of all the people I work with, from cinematographers to production designers. I assemble a crew of skilled people, and have been very lucky to work with such talented people again and again.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

It is not an exhaustive list; influences are everywhere! I am inspired by the visual arts, music, fashion, literature and design. Currently I am very much inspired by the beautiful film Ida, and just discovering the work of artist Marlene Dumas.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism to me means equality and freedom. I am definitely a feminist. How can seeking equality across all areas of my life be a thing I wouldn’t want? Why would any person want their daughter doing the same job as a man to be paid less solely because she is female? It’s a serious issue that still needs a lot of fighting for, and to me being a feminist is inclusive of men, women, and the LGBT community, it is equality for everyone.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

The celebration of women across the month of March captured my imagination, and again I felt it was the perfect home for Lowly Lucretia.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

In the work place, a woman that knows what she wants can be seen as being aggressive, whilst a man displaying the same tendencies is seen as a go-getter. And female stereotypes in film are perpetuated by a mostly male dominated industry.

In terms of female directors there are so many agencies in London without any female directors on their books, which I really find sad. Recently a cinematographer that worked with me commented that the agency that hired him was surprised that he had worked with so many female directors!

There are plenty of women directing but not enough industry support. Things are changing but slowly and I am hopeful that more women will work across the industry as a whole to enrich female representation. But this problem not only extends to women it is also a challenge faced by ethnic minorities and their representation in film and TV both on-screen and off.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

There are equality issues in almost all societies globally; women can’t drive a car in Saudi Arabia, women have no reproductive rights in Ireland as the government refuses to implement abortion rights even in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities, women in UK are not represented equally in government and so on; there is an endless list of global inequality. I once worked with a woman who had the same skill-set and experience as her male colleague but found out her pay was 10K less than him when they were both doing the same job! Insane!

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I am passionate about female representation and I like writing stories for strong female characters.

Also Ireland has two issues to deal with that are close to my heart. There is a referendum in May to vote for Marriage Equality, which I am hoping that Irish people take to the polls in support of.

And previously I mentioned abortion rights in Ireland, which are non-existent and resulted in the death of Salvita Halappanavar, who died from septicaemia from a hospital’s refusal to terminate her pregnancy after it was discovered she was miscarrying. She was told by the hospital that they could not carry out the termination, as it was the law, that Ireland was a Catholic country. Truly awful that a dying foetus was given more rights to life than the life of a woman. How is that Pro-Life?

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

All civilisations have made art; it is an extension of what it is to be human. The inner-self expressed through all kinds of wonderful, creative ways. I believe art has the power to save lives, if a child has been through a trauma psychologist’s look to the art they create to discover their inner feelings and help them overcome distress. Art can make people laugh, forget their woes, provide escapism, and enrich imagination. It can challenge people to think, raise anger, cause controversy, educate, divide people and bring people together. For me it provides fulfilment and I become anxious if I am not working on some sort of creative project.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I just want to be a good storyteller and make engaging work.

What are your goals as with your art?

I hope to one day direct a feature film, and would like to have the opportunity to eventually work full-time on my own personal projects.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I am very excited to be collaborating on a female led comedy sitcom with two very talented women, writer Rhiannon Carr and writer/director Ciara Kennedy. I am also developing a short fiction film that is part animation, which is a new area for me, but I am very excited to get both projects off the ground this year. A dream is to get some music projects happening too if I can find the time. I need more hours in the week!

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

Only to say thank you so much for connecting with my film and for the opportunity to reach to a wider audience.

If you would like to find out more about Lorraine Nolan please follow these links:

Website 

Films page

Twitter

Facebook

Warsnare promo

 

Directed by Lorraine Nolan
LOR Create: https://www.lorcreate.com
WARSNARE: https://www.facebook.com/warsnare / https://soundcloud.com/warsnare
Russian Doll A.K.A. Swirlesque: https://www.facebook.com/RussianD0LL /https://soundcloud.com/emilyrosechansonnette