The 16th of January the London Tube will once again be invaded by the 2nd edition of “Smile for London” (this year named “Word in Motion”), the video competition MemePartnership, CBS Outdoors, London Tube & friends organise each January to give commuters a few relaxed seconds away from the advertising torrent the Tube has become.
This year the XTP Underground screens will be covered once again with short movies but not only to make us smile, an inspirational flow from some of the UK’s best poets & motion artists will touch around 1.5 million people for a couple of weeks.
“Word in Motion” will transform poems or prose of up to 40 words into 20-second-typographic-films. The motion artists picked their poems blind with no knowledge of which writers’ work they chose to animate. This selection process was done to encourage a spirit of democracy and ensure the artists have an emotional engagement with their chosen poem.
We haven’t been able to judge the works this year at their Vimeo talent pool as this edition’s contest was mainly oriented at established poets, we know however a few names of those collaborators… Murray Lachlan Young, Kate Tempest, Inua Ellams, Scroobius Pip, Rick Holland who we interviewed recently…. , and talented poets from Bang Said The Gun, the UK’s number one stand up poetry group.
On the other side the poems will be animated by collectives such as Whilst Why Not Associates, Malcolm Garrett, Studio AKA and featured artists from this years onedotzero festival as well as some artists from last year’s edition. A few of the poets & animators collaborations have been made public on Smile for London’s website, so while we wait for January 16th to unveil those works you can start wondering for example… what Liam Brazier will do with one of Jarvis Cocker’s own poems….
… although I’m personally more excited about what may come out of Mikill Pane & Fiona Woodcock. 3 weeks to go! More info this way.