Interdisciplinary Conference


in Art & Science

27-29 September 2023, Malta Society of Arts, Valletta

We are the granddaughters of those who didn't burn
Anna Walker
Keywords: Transformation, Cailleach, Crone, Storytelling, Worlding

Single-channel film, stereo sound

‘We are the granddaughters of those who didn’t burn’ (Haraway, 2017), is the story of The Cailleach, taken from a culmination of written and oral accounts about the Celtic wise woman and/or crone. She is a dynamic force and a continuing presence in Irish and Scottish culture. The Cailleach exemplifies the psychodynamic process of change and transformation, and in this video, symbolises a feminist reframing of Irish culture and a reclaiming of the demonised otherworld female of Irish tradition. Opportunistic, contingent, The Cailleach is worlding through myth, through feminist principles, and through the extraordinary.

The title: ‘We are the granddaughters of those who didn’t burn,’ is taken from a talk by Donna Haraway given at Yale in 2017. The making of this video happened through lockdown, and is a recycling of found imagery. It is a cut-up, which Simon O’Sullivan calls doing violence to, to create something new, something different, (2017).

It is a reusing of footage, in this instance bringing it forward from the past to create a future fictioning (Burrows, O’Sullivan, 2019). The found footage, from YouTube, news footage, nature, and surfing videos has been animated, recoloured, chopped up, and reframed before being layered into current video footage filmed by the 3-artists, Anna Walker, Jo Milne, and Fin Walker.

Original lyrics by Pearl King / Dave Bartholomew, arranged and reworked by Stacey Blythe and edited by Anna Walker.
The hands of the older woman: La Roser de Cal Timoneda.

Anna Walker

Anna Walker, PhD, is an artist, writer, and researcher, who has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She was awarded an MA in Fine Art from Southampton University in 1998, and a certificate in Psychotherapy from CBPC, Cambridge, in 2010. An interest in the effects of trauma on the body, developed during her work as a psychotherapist, led her to a PhD in Arts and Media at Plymouth University, which she completed in May 2017. Using a multidisciplinary approach her research shifts between video, sound, performance and writing. In her practice, she embraces methodological abundance to facilitate a greater understanding of memory, trauma, and its wider cultural implications. Over the past 5-years she has focused her research on understanding the passage of trauma through collective bodies and the landscape, using traditional storytelling as a vehicle to hold, address and embolden alternative narratives for the future.

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