Poetry performance promotes peace

October 3, 2021 BY

Renovations: Megan J Riedl passionately performs the third section of the three-part poem near Queen Victoria Square on Sturt Street. Image: SUPPLIED

POET and spoken word performer Megan J Riedl has released her piece Fallout as a short film.

Filmed by Sam McColl of Green Eggs and Ham productions, the video of the poem for peace was put together by the pair between recent lockdowns, and was commissioned by Let’s Talk Peace – Ballarat.

It explores the ideas of nuclear proliferation, how this could affect everyday Australian lives, and how each person contributes to a society being peaceful, or not as peaceful as it should be.

“Those themes make people think about their own part in the way our societies currently work,” Riedl said.

“The video can come across as confronting but we wanted to really make people sit up and listen because Let’s Talk Peace are wanting to start those conversations.

“We did want it to be a piece that could jolt you out of your seat.”

Victoria Park, Sturt Street, and even some bus shelters in Ballarat East are locations that feature in the film.

Riedl said this audio-visual medium is an ideal one to start important conversations.

“These topics are about emotions, communication and community, so creative forms of expression lend themselves to starting those discussions and can be a way in for people that’s not as scary as going to a lecture or reading a document.

“A film is accessible in that way,” she said.

The poem was originally gifted by Riedl to Let’s Talk Peace – Ballarat at the beginning of 2021.

The group launched on 22 January to coincide with the introduction of the United Nations’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and encourages institutions and outlooks that generate and maintain societies that are peaceful.

Let’s Talk Peace – Ballarat co-convenor Madonna Quixley said Riedl performed Fallout at their launch event.

“After the forum, we realised we needed to highlight peace on International Peace Day, also Australia’s first National Day of Compassion, on the 21st of September,” Ms Quixley said.

“Megan suggested she could video the poem. Incredibly grateful for Megan’s powerful performance poetry and her commitment to peace, we immediately commissioned her to do so.

“We hope the poem video keeps peace conversations alive in Ballarat, helping us to support peace work, especially the Australian endorsement of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

The film was also shown as part of a seven-hour National Day of Compassion event run by Australia’s Charter for Compassion.

Founding members of Let’s Talk Peace – Ballarat are also part of Ballarat Arts Alive, Ballarat Writers, Compassionate Ballarat and the Charter for Compassion, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

Watch the film on Vimeo at bit.ly/39UYiKV.