Chilean arts collective Casagrande droppped 100,000 poems from a helicopter over the south bank of the Thames river at twilight. Rain of Poems serves as a symbolic reappropriation of the past. All five cities that have been hit with poems (Berlin, Warsaw, Gernika, Dubrovnik, Santiago, and London), are cities that have been bombed during military strifes in the past. Through this symbolic “bombing of words,” Casagrande hopes to “open up questions that help us to understand cultural works as pacifist practices and also to discuss what the place of poetry could be in the history of war.”
As for the poems themselves, there are poems by a poet from each of the 204 Olympic nations along with an additional 50 poems by Chilean poets and 50 by UK poets. The event kicks off Poetry Parnassus in London (running through July 1st), which is the largest poetry festival in the UK. The project includes readings, workshops and discussions with various poets elected through public voting.
Casagrande’s slogan reads, “no se vende ni se compra,” translated to “can’t be sold, can’t be bought,” meaning every project, every performative act, and each poetic utterance is completely free and for the collective imagination or re-imagining. Cheers to more events like this in the future! The bookmarks are released at twilight and printed in two languages, written by both Chilean writers and writers involved in Poetry Parnassus. This performance has a symbolic value that serves to create an alternative image of the past and is a gesture of remembrance but also a metaphor for the survival of cities and people. –The Southbank Centre
“People who witness the gliding, glinting bookmarks exchange them, turning them into coveted goods for barter rather than litter.”
The film is by Studio Revolt