Saliva & Tears/ Underneath You
- Madinah Farhannah Thompson
i built a space for my healing
there didn't need to be anything inside of it
i have brought myself
and this is my recipe
politically my healing is beautiful
it occurs despite
i need not say what
and this healing will be beautiful
my feet get so hot at night
this cold stone floor soothes them
my healing is beautiful
this is my recipe for restoration
and if i cannot be restored by this
my own recipe
written with my own hands
spoken by my own tongue
then let this be a record
i tried to break a cycle with my words
now i am mute
rest now my love.
Saliva & Tears/ Underneath You is a film, which uses Thompson's poem Underneath You, alongside other texts which discuss emotional abuse, control and manipulation within romantic relationships as a starting point. The film juxtaposes these works with imagery depicting a black woman's search for spiritual cleansing. This work explores the ritual of touch and gesture as a way to both summon and preserve memories, connect to ancestral knowledge and continue legacy.
Madinah Farhannah Thompson is a visual artist and writer currently living in London. She graduated with First Class honours in BA Fine Art from The Cass School of Art (London Metropolitan University), and received the Owen Riley Prize for best in show. She was a British Council Fellow, spent a month stewarding the British Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited and performed in venues in London including Camden People's Theatre and RAW Labs. She has been published in Shades of Noir journal and on the British Council Website and co-facilitates Prism Writers, a writers group for black women and non-binary people in London.
Thompson's practice centres the Black British experience, interrogating the (mis)representation of the black female body and the paradoxical space it often exists in; between hyper-visible and invisible. In order to disrupt, dissolve and deconstruct the negative images of black people which reinforce white supremacy she portrays black existence with depth, contradiction and nuance.