Image by Tom McDowell, text by Carolyn Defrin
In this rubble rust red heartbreak time of tumult
Grows a movement of remembering
Of a hundred thousand kisses that you gave me
And a hundred thousand more I’ve yet to give
This shape will shift
These holes will hold
And a healing will become me
In the meantime,
in the waiting, willing, wanting time
Let my forensic heart shine light and show
That even just one hundred thousandth of a kiss
Burns brighter than a bomb
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Days after the Paris attacks in November 2015, Abigail and I were in Chicago desiring to contribute more positive narratives to the dominant ones of fear and anxiety affecting our home cities of Paris, London and Chicago- as well as the world at large.
Inspired by the social media message many of Abigail's French friends and relatives were circulating "Il va falloir beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup d'amour" (it's going to take a lot, a lot, a lot of love) we gathered friends around international dinner tables, recording a spectrum of stories that began with a kiss. With numerous connections to family, culture, love, sex, politics and identity, we are drawn to the universality in this simple, but complex gesture and how it offers healing through joy, sorrow and continuous commitment to love and care.
After receiving commissions from London's Albany and Ovalhouse theatres, we are currently growing the project with local London and Los Angeles communities (where Abigail and I are respectively based) and will create an audio-installation and theatrical performance in November, 2019.
Read an article about our collaboration in Performance Research Journal's most recent issue 'On Generosity,' and stay tuned for all the details on the upcoming events.
Framed with a kiss.
Here are some of our extraordinary storytellers that we've met over meals and in passing.