Uprooted at REELpoetry Houston

By Sarah Tremlett on January 5, 2020

“Honoured to be part of REELpoetry, Houston (24–26 Jan) where Dave Bonta of Moving Poems will be featured this year. I will be presenting Uprooted – poetry films relating to migration and the refugee crisis – with Canadian media artist and storyteller Mary McDonald, whose powerful, thought-provoking and arresting film On the Margin of History (2019) with Serbian-born poet Natasha Boskic and Syrian poet Mohamad Kebbewar will be a highlight of this curation for the first time. Mary will also be getting us immersed in augmented reality; also Outspoken Bean and workshop by Toni Holland. Much admiration for Fran Sanders and her hard work and strong vision at Public Poetry – for tickets go to https://www.publicpoetry.net/reelpoetry/ and many thanks to Mary – who I am very pleased and proud to say is now co-managing screenings of Uprooted across the pond.”
from Liberated Words

Bowen Island, Library event, September 26, 2019

In “Bowen Island Undercurrent”

Electronic literature and new media art

July 11-17, 2019: Glucksman Gallery

The Glucksman presents a week-long exhibition of cutting-edge expression in electronic literature and media art as part of University College Cork’s hosting of the international Electronic Literature Organization conference and festival in Cork. (Full text)

July 11, 2019: In the city news: Cork

July 20, 2019: MIX 2019: Experiential Storytelling – poetry film meets profiling and the panoptic gaze

Sarah Tremlett

Canadian multimedia artist Mary McDonald, Serbian-born poet Natasha Boskic and Syrian poet Mohamad Kebbewar have been working together on a poetry film and AR project On the Margin of History (2019) that expresses thoughts about the similar horrific war-torn fates of Syria and Serbia. It begins with shadows on a wall, the initially ‘normal’ background sounds of a bell and traffic, and then a sudden interjection of gunfire. Kebbewar ‘On the margin of history, time is over for my generation / Play no more, think no more’ … The wall begins to peel like turning a page in history; and still, fragmented images and photographs that twist and turn float steadily across the screen, carrying the memories of lives with them. Boskic ‘It started with a boring evening after basketball practice, but turned into a dark sky with shiny orange balloons / all TV channels merged into a single message, our country is in a state of war’.
Then the poets’ words alternate, as if fusing together in the pain and suffering: Boskic ‘How long do we need to stay here?’ Kebbewar ‘One more bomb blast throughout the city …’ We are made to see from the horrifying point of view of the victims. Boskic ‘There is no language to explain the logic of how that man in the plane can see us as dots and x’s on his map’… ‘holding two little hands in mine with sweaty palms’. Gradually text echoes individual spoken words, such as ‘peace’. Through oral and visual symbolism, such as the use of layering, time lapse, double exposure and hyper lapse, the film generates metaphors of fracture, destruction and loss. This project is also available as an AR exhibit consisting of ‘a mosaic of stills. When viewed with the AR app on a smartphone, the stills become short video clips from the video poem. These fragments explore the surreal experience of displacement’. As Mary says, ‘you stop the progression of the film to hold on to one moment’. This concept ratifies the sense that in a war zone, you must constantly be aware that each moment could be your last.
Read more about the MIX.

July 10. 2019 Novi Sad, Serbia, Fortress of Peace

The Fortress of Peace Program celebrates Novi Sad as the European Capital of Culture, 2021. Still/ed Here and On the Margin of History were exhibited in Novi Sad. The key event for this festival was the launch in Novi Sad of Yoko Ono’s, One Day, a monument of peace.

[This] multimedia project, which includes media, poetry, photographs and videos, discussed the topic of migrations and war consequences in Syria, as well as describing a situation after NATO bombing of Serbia. Mohamad Kebbewar – poet from Syria, Mary MacDonald – multimedia artist from London and Nataša Boškić – a citizen of Novi Sad who works as a director of the support group for the use of educational technology at the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, worked together in the project. Read more

June 21, 2019: In Social Media: Serbia

War is a part of human history, but it becomes history only when there is no one to tell its story. What happens with the consequences of wars that we still witness?

A project “On the Margin of History” talks about migration and deals with the consequences of the war in Syria, as well as depicts the situation after the NATO bombing of Serbia. Although starting as a form of video poetry, the project has grown into a transmedial installation, which goal is to create empathy, humanity and closeness in chaos following the conflict. The use of augmented reality technology contributes to expressing those emotions through art. Read more

June, 2019 Surrey Gallery, Arts 2019

screenshot of Surrey art gallery Arts 2019 exhibition announcement

On the Margin of History Augmented Reality installation was awarded first prize in digital, performative and new media art in the juried exhibition, Arts 2109.