Hosted by Neu! Reekie! but conceived by The HaVeN Hearing Voices Network Dundee, Heard It. Seen It. Done It. brought together multiple art forms in a stimulating night of film, rap, spoken word, poetry and music at Bonar Hall. The event was presented by Dundee Literary Festival, the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival and supported by Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Booked! initiative.
Michael Pederson and Kevin Williamson together comprise Neu! Reekie!, an Edinburgh-based literary, music and animation collective described by The Skinny as ‘Scotland’s favourite avant-garde noisemakers’. Though, at Heard It. Seen It. Done It., they weren’t making as much noise as that might suggest. Instead, they did a remarkable, comedic and enthusiastic job of hosting (and running some of the tech!) at this very well put together event.
The evening began with the incredibly poignant, BAFTA-nominated film ‘I am Tom Moody’. The stop-motion short, written, directed and animated by Scottish filmmaker Ainslie Henderson can be seen on his Vimeo channel. This beautiful, extraordinarily emotive short is hard to put into words, and certainly better seen than described.
Following the film were Glaswegian performers Loki and Becci Wallace (along with a very talented violinist named Merissa). Loki is known as a writer, performer, community activist and journalist, and at Heard It. Seen It. Done It. he explored his own experiences with mental health and addiction, alongside other social issues through his impressive, insightful raps.
We were then treated to a poetry reading from Joshua Swinyard from the HaVeN. The poem was the result of a session, described by Michael of Neu! Reekie! as a ‘collective lyrical disco’ that took place at The HaVeN, led by spoken word poet Holly McNish. The poem itself examined the features of street poet Kevin McCabe’s face, and he, along with his band the Kettle Bilers, were the next act on stage.
They performed four tracks, exploring current social issues including the situation in Palestine and the issue of Scottish Water, as well as the human experiences of friendship and love. As with every performer of the evening, they were incredibly and deservedly well-received.
The second reading from the HaVeN came from Margaret McKay, examining different experiences of her childhood through her lyrical and humorous poetry, while the last came in the form of a video-recorded reading from Tricia. In this film, she performed her thought-provoking poem ‘Mother’s Love’, which explored the complicated relationship between child and mother.
The night concluded with talented Scottish ambient-electro singer-songwriter Panda Su, who previously toured with Neu! Reekie! on their arts adventure ‘Anywhere But the Cities’, which focused on bringing arts to the more remote areas of Scotland.
This varied and compelling evening was a testament to the power of the arts to bring together groups and people from all over the country, at every level of artistic engagement, to explore and share their experiences through a whole range of media. It was a remarkably enjoyable event, with so much to be heard, seen and done.
Written by Nicole Bell
The HaVeN provides a safe and supportive space for those who hear voices to take part in self-help groups, activities and volunteering, in order to promote independence and recovery. The HaVeN café is open every weekday from 10am to 4pm and you can find a list of the various support sessions here.