Ghosts from the Recent Past: Poem Films at IMMA

Running July 20th through September 26th, 2021, Ghosts from the Recent Past: Poem Films is a series of three short films commissioned by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), directed by filmmaker Matthew Thompson, and co-produced by IMMA and Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation, in collaboration with Poetry Ireland.

The films, set within the exhibition Ghosts from the Recent Past at IMMA's Main Galleries, each act as a call-and-response between artwork and poet. Films can be viewed online on our site and IMMA's as they are released, as well as experienced in person at IMMA in Dublin.

The poets—Sarah Clancy, Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi, and WeAreGriot—perform new and existing works that seek to internalize meanings embedded within the exhibition and connect these outwards to audiences. Their readings present multiple perceptions of the exhibition. Such interpretations, tensions, and translations shift back and forth between artwork and poem, each becoming a catalyst and a conduit for the other. In this way, through the lens of the filmmaker, the films offer tangential replies and rebuffs to the vital question embedded within the exhibition – How can we care for a shared world?

Film featuring Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi: July 20th – August 8th

Film featuring Sarah Clancy: August 10th – September 5th

Film featuring WeAreGriot: September 7th – September 26th

About the Exhibition:

Ghosts from the Recent Past explores how urgencies of the recent past continue to inhabit the present. Framed by key political events of the past 40 years, both in Ireland and further afield, the exhibition presents artworks from the IMMA Collection from the 1980s onwards. These works tell stories of colonization and contested borders, of human relationships to the environment, and of radical self-representation in the face of oppression and of love.

About the Poets:

Sarah Clancy is a poet and community worker from Galway city, living and working in County Clare. She has published three collections of poetry— Stacey and the Mechanical Bull (Lapwing Belfast), Thanks for Nothing Hippies (Salmon Poetry), and The Truth and Other Stories (Salmon Poetry). Clancy has been involved in many campaigns in Ireland over the years, for environmental justice, bodily autonomy, marriage equality, and most recently, the ongoing campaign to end Direct Provision. Her poems have been published in Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Slovenia, Poland, Italy, and Nicaragua and broadcast on RTÉ and BBC Radio. She has poetry forthcoming in an anthology of queer poetry, Queering the Green (Lifeboat Press, Belfast), and a new collection from Salmon Poetry which is years overdue but still in the works.

Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi is a poet, columnist, editor, and arts facilitator. Her work is widely published online and in print, notedly in the anthology The Art of the Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories, edited by Sinéad Gleeson (Head of Zeus, 2020). Enyi-Amadi is co-editor of the anthology Writing Home: The ‘New IrishPoets (Dedalus Press, 2019). Her work was longlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards Short Story of the Year 2020.

WeAreGriot is a collective of Nigerian-Irish poets and storytellers: FeliSpeaks, Dagogo Hart, and Samuel Yakura. They state, “Our goal is to reflect the times we live in through our work, to celebrate culture and community, and to stretch the boundaries of poetry. We create to serve both Art and Agenda.”

*Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (Verso, 2019)

Still from "Women and Other Flowers," performed by Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi and directed by Matthew Thompson.