Julie Poitras Santos is interested in the physical work and human scale of the traditional craft of rope making and how working with the body is a form of memory making. “Walking Backwards” will weave together historical narratives collected from rope makers in Karlskrona, accounts of travelers and fragments from Xavier de Maistre’s 1794 “Voyage Around my Room” to create a fictional memoir that introduces a character constrained by place, work and class, but who imagines leaving it all for a life of adventure and travel.
The work takes the form of a video that braids together imagery from performers walking in the ropewalk and in the surrounding rural landscape of southern Sweden, hands that are making rope, along with other imagery gathered from the coastal region.
“Walking Backwards” uses the power of visual and narrative storytelling to investigate connections between home and away, longing and the lure of the unknown, and the paired acts of looking back and looking forward as functional ways in which we construct our identities.
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