Aan Het Water is a 2014 commission from Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp.
Alastair takes up the story “I was right pleased and certainly humbled to be asked if I could take my Filmpoem project to Antwerp, to The Felix Poetry Festival, which takes place in the Felix Pakhuis, a delicately restored warehouse on the Willemdock to the north of the city.
As part of the festival, Swoon and I were commissioned to do a joint Filmpoem for presentation at the Festival alongside our other work. The poem is called Aan Het Water and is by Bernard Dewulf, the City Poet for Antwerp: the city grew around The Scheldt, a magnificent river flowing north from France through to Zeeland en het Nederlands and Bernard’s words entwine a life growing in the city, that great bend in the river which divides the city and it’s industry to the north, the exit point.
It was immediately clear to me we couldn’t make one film and so suggested to Swoon we do two, one in Dutch and one in English, using the same commissioned soundtrack by Luca Nasciuti to give us our boundaries, our parameters, our safety net. What is most intriguing is how without talking about what we might do, we both used women as our subject and both lingered outwith the urban area, mostly. It seems that my wee Filmpoem project is leading its own life rather nicely.”