Monday, December 5, 2011

Students at Parsons the New School for Design were asked to interpret a poem through motion graphics. The poem, entitled "Shilling Love," is part of a book entitled "Migritude" by Shailja Patel, published by Kaya Press.

Vote for your favorite animation of text from Shailja Patel's tour-de-force poem Shilling Love. Which do you think does the best job of pulling you inside the poem? How do you think animation can enhance or contribute to a poem? "Like" your favorite animation on Facebook (the winner gets a $50 gift certificate to Amazon!) and give your thoughts on collaborative interactions between poetry and moving images.

This project was assigned in Fall 2011 for Motion Graphics 2 class, taught by Ken Tanabe.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Behnaz Babazadeh

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Behnaz Babazadeh from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Jae Won Lee

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Jae Won Lee from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Katherine Maguire

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Katherine Maguire from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Haley Shibble

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Haley Shibble from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Charrel Montalbo

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Charrel Montalbo from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Entire text of Shilling Love Part I from Migritude

They never said / they loved us
Those words were not / in any language / spoken by my parents
I love you honey / was the dribbled caramel / of Hollywood movies / Dallas / Dynasty / where electricity surged through skyscrapers / twenty-four hours a day / hot water gushed / at the touch of gleaming taps / banquets obscene as the Pentagon / were mere backdrops / to emotions without consequences / words that / cost nothing / meant nothing / would never have to be redeemed
My parents / didn’t speak / that language
mother speaks battle / storms the bastions of Nairobi’s / most exclusive prep schools / hurls / our cowering, six-year-old bodies / like cannonballs / into all-white classrooms / scales the ramparts / of class distinction around Loreto Convent / where the president / sends his daughter / where foreign diplomats / send their daughters / because / my mother’s daughters / will / have / world-class educations
she falls / re-groups / falls and re-groups / in endless assaults on visa officials / who sneer behind bullet-proof windows / at British and US consulates
1977 / twenty Kenyan shillings to the British pound / my father speaks stoic endurance / he began at sixteen / the brutal apprenticeship / of a man who takes care of his own / dreams / of pilot / rally driver / relinquished / to the daily crucifixion / of wringing profits / from beneath cars / my father / the foot soldier / bound to an honour / deeper than any currency
you must / finish what you start you must / march until you drop you must / give your life for those / you bring into the world
I try to explain love / in shillings / to those who’ve / never gauged who gets to leave / who has to stay / who breaks free / and what they pay / those who’ve never counted love / in every rung of the ladder / from survival / to choice / a force as grim and determined / as a boot up
the backside / a spur that draws blood / a mountaineer’s rope / that yanks / relentlessly / up
My parents never say / they love us / they save and count / count and save
The shilling falls against the pound / college fees for overseas students / rise like flood tides / love is a luxury / priced in hard currency / ringed by tariffs / and we on the raft / devour prospectuses of ivied buildings / smooth lawns / vast libraries / gleaming science labs / the way Jehovah’s Witnesses / gobble visions of paradise / because we know we’ll have to be / twice as good / three times as fast / four times as driven / with angels / powers / and principalities on our side / just / to get / on the plane
Thirty shillings to the pound / forty shillings to the pound / my parents fight over money / late in the night my father / pounds the walls and yells / I can’t / it’s impossible / what do you think I am?
My mother propels us through / tutors, exams, scholarship applications / locks us into rooms to study / keeps an iron grip / on the bank books
1982 / gunshots in the streets of Nairobi / military coup leaders / thunder over the radio / Asian businesses wrecked and looted / Asian women / raped / after the government / regains control / we whisper what the coup leaders / had planned
Round up all the Asians / at gunpoint / in the national stadium / strip them of what they carry / march them fifty kilometres to the airport / elders in wheelchairs / babies in arms / pack them onto foreign planes / like
battery chickens / tell the pilots down rifle barrels / leave / we don’t care where you take them / leave
I learn / like a stone in my gut / that third-generation Asian Kenyan / will never / be Kenyan enough / that all my patriotic fervour / will not / turn my skin / black
As yet another western country / drops a portcullis of immigration spikes / my mother straps my shoulders back with a belt / to teach me / stand up straight
Fifty shillings to the pound / we cry over meltdown pressure / of exam after exam / where second place is never good enough
Seventy shillings to the pound / they hug us at airports / tearless / stoic / as we board planes for icy / alien England / cram instructions into our pockets like talismans
eat proper meals / so you don’t get sick / cover your ears / against the cold / stay away from the muffathias / the ones without purpose or values / learn and study / succeed / learn and study / succeed / remember remember remember / the cost of your life
they never say / they love us