‘Using footage shot on a trip to Mexico, this feature-length essay film explores the childhood memories of Irish artist and filmmaker Nick Stewart, and Mexican writer and artist Helen Blejerman, while also reflecting on contemporary Mexican life as encountered on a two week trip there.’ Director: Nick Stewart. Script: Helen Blejerman and Nick Stewart. Footage: Nick Stewart. Voice over: Nick Stewart and Helen Blejerman. Audio Edit: Pip Norton with thanks to Pinewood Studios. A project by Nick Stewart (assureastherain.com) Music by Nils Frahm.
Our Language Garden (El jardín de nuestra lengua)
This is a radio project I wrote in 2012 and co-produced with cultural Radio UNAM 96.1 fm in Mexico City (fifteen vignettes 7 minutes each). In each transmission, I spoke with a Mexican person based in Britain and asked them to bring with them a meaningful Mexican word and a personal story connected to that word. We looked at the dictionary to see the origin and the use, but above all, we listened to the intimate anecdote, we engaged in the guest’s memory. And we felt how that allowed closing the gap between the person and their homeland with language.
Broadcast by Radio Sheffield Live 93.2 fm March 2012 and by Radio UNAM in Mexico City, September 2012 and January 2015. Radio UNAM, producers Emiliano López Rascón and Arfaxad Ortiz; research- philosopher Paniel Reyes Cárdenas; musicalization- Xanic Galván Nieto (In Spanish).
I wrote and co-produced in Sheffield, UK a project where I was commissioned by The Department of Hispanic Studies- Institute for Lifelong learning, at Sheffield University; and by Radio Sheffield Live 93.2 FM, to write one hundred original Calaveras in Spanish for the Mexican Day of the Dead in Sheffield. Calaveras are mocking epitaphs of persons living and deceased, in the form of satirical poems, addressing always the person’s characteristics. They speak usually about how ‘La Parca’ – the Lady Dead – takes them and what happens next. In each Calavera I wrote about the life and death of Mexican singers, poets, places, animals, and flowers. I held a session with a group of The Institute of Lifelong Learning in the Department of Education at the University of Sheffield, where people spoke about the cultural differences and similarities between Mexico and the UK. This session informed the broadcast on Radio Sheffield Live when, with philosopher Paniel Reyes Cárdenas, we spoke about the cultural significance of each of the characters in the Calaveras. With this radio sessions, the poems reached the streets of Sheffield again, but now in English.
Deciphering The City
How to decipher the soul of a city through the eyes of a stranger? A radio piece I wrote and co-produced in 2010, divided into ten episodes. There I explore the possibility of deciphering the city of Sheffield in the UK through foreign eyes. As the presenter, I visited several border-like points of the city of Sheffield. Once there, I wrote about the place and about my personal impressions as a stranger. I read my notes over the radio every Sunday morning, and in that way, the notes landed back over the city, where I think they really belong. (In English).
Our Language Garden
I was a guest on Rony Robinson’s show at the BBC Radio, where based on my radio project Our Language Garden we played a language game with the audience and people in the studio. The first rule was to say one word that brings back memories.
On Pain, the Dead and Other Delicacies
This is a two-hour radio special in English and Spanish that I produced, about the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. It was transmitted by Radio Sheffield Live 93.2 fm. The stories were written and interpreted by actor José Montini, actress and theatre producer Pilar Flores del Valle and actress and theatre director Luciana Sylveira. In addition, the programme featured an essay by Mexican philosopher Paniel Reyes Cárdenas focusing on the Day of the Dead from an anthropological viewpoint.