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I don't want to be human anymore

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Written by Dora Furnival

Read by Dora Furnival

Album Artwork by Dora Furnival

Sound Design by Katie Rutson

We are super lucky to share with you an interview we have undertaken with Dora Furnival, the writer reader and artist responsible for this piece! Check it out…

What was the inspiration behind the poem?

“I wrote this just before the lockdown started, and there was a sense of all this looming on the horizon. I was beginning to feel, for a while before this pandemic happened, disconnected and like an outsider looking in at how we are treating the planet, the disconnection to the natural world. Ultimately this pandemic was caused by humans exploiting the Earth, particularly animals, and seeing how the world humans had carved for themselves was falling apart because of this virus, I thought of the phrase ‘unevolve’; how our huge, ‘incredible’ leaps to make the Earth into what we felt it should be, were being felled by a microscopic germ. I felt overwhelmed and wanted to escape and remove myself to something more simple. I had to move back to my parents how in the countryside and I felt a sudden surge of reconnecting with nature, having grown up in the countryside, seeing wild animals and being simultaneously in awe of and envying their simple, beautiful, innocent lives; I stood in the woods near my house, watching birds and looking out for rabbits, and I just wanted to run, join them, and escape. I felt like I belonged more with them than with my own species.”

What is my response to the video?

“The first thing I thought was how much the woods in the video look like the woods I was walking in when the words for the poem came to me, it was amazing! And I love that at the beginning, as it says ‘I don’t I want to be a human anymore’ it looks desaturated, lacking in life, and then as soon as it says ‘unevolve’, it is flooded with light, heavily saturated colours, almost like thermal imagining; it feels like you are looking through the eyes of an animal. I love how it shifts into fantastical, surreal colours, as the imagination of becoming an animal runs wild. One of the things I love most about where I am at the moment, is the bird song. It is a constant, so much so that you often tune out of it and it becomes background, so I loved hearing samples of birdsong in the audio piece.”

How did the poem influence your artwork?

“I had a few ideas, one of them was of this creature sitting in ‘the tallest tree’ and howling at the moon, as I feel like that is the line I connect to the most. But I loved the idea of capturing the moment when she first turns and steps through the bushes, the moment she decides to turn her back and ‘unevolve’. She is standing there, in the moonlight, taking a moment and feeling her body change into an animal’s body, before taking her hands to the ground and running away through the grass. I feel as though I can feel her exhaling, the relief of finally becoming free of human wants, needs and triviality and just becoming a mammal again.”

Explain your use of Texture and colours?

“I chose to use pencil, firstly because I really wanted to get this idea down quickly, and also it works well to get the texture of the long grass, hair/fur; I wanted it to feel expressive and alive, and I think the fast, gestural marks of pencil can achieve that. Colour wise I wanted it to feel golden, warm and hopeful; the dawning of a new life. If I could do it again, I would love to make it even more gestural and free, maybe even turn it into a comic strip; I would love to draw her running through the grass for the first time! And I would like it to have more of a night time feel perhaps, seeing as the moon is mentioned and is important to me.”

This poem is part of 'Pandemic Poetry' a project for bringing together writers, readers and artist in this time of isolation. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved.

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