Honorable Mention – “The Swallow” (UK)

Title: The Swallow
Runtime: 6 min
Country: UK
Director: Natalia Jezova
Placement: Honorable Mention
Competition: June, 2022

Synopsis: During an art residency in the remote village of Psarades in Northern Greece I was part of a group of artists who visited places most affected by the Civil War in Greece. Places where life suddenly stopped…

In the film The Swallow I explored themes of place, trauma and the displacement of the Macedonian diaspora in Northern Greece. I decided to include the story about a revived swallow that we had seen in the abandoned school in Psarades village.

As always, in my art practice I put a big emphasis on the symbolic meaning of things. Swallows are traditionally among the most beloved and honoured birds in culture and a common belief was that swallows were birds “blessed” to carry spirits. Following my research on folklore, I discovered that “dead children return as swallows in spring to console their parents”(Porter & Russell, 1978, p. 188). In one scene in my film the swallows play a central metaphorical role and the significance of the scene symbolises the souls of departed children who are searching in space and time for a way to return home.