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By Emma Marzi, Donatella Gasparro and Wiebe Heetvelt

A journey of discovery and sudden loss, a story of belonging and of abrupt dispossession through a video-poetry project.

In BIRD’S EYE | Spoken word and performance on environmental justice, the broken harmony of a bird’s life in a forest condenses metaphorically multiple harsh environmental justice conflicts where external agents rob people and communities of their resources, land and waters, and ways of life.



This video-poetry project  was born in the spring of 2022 from the fertile collaboration of three students of the master’s in Political Ecology, Degrowth and Environmental Justice at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Combining the languages of filmmaking, music, poetry and contemporary dance, this project attempts at conveying the incomprehensible and unjustified loss of one’s environment, livelihoods, landscape and ways of life, to profit-making enterprises.

The video is based on Donatella Gasparro’s poem “Naked I came to this bundle of leaves”, originally written for and performed at the Global Landscapes Forum 2019. It narrates the simple story of a bird who learns about its world and sees it soon taken away. The bodily movements that accompany this journey of loss stem at times from some of the poem’s verses and at others from a sense of both nest and discomfort – the first permeating the first part of the poem, and the second overtaking the disruptive, second part. The piece builds on both a sense of safety and caress, of self-nurture, and on an increasing desire to shake something off, to take flight, to dissolve with the lost home.

The music reflects the repetitiveness and persistence of environmental injustices, perpetuating a drag, carrying a load. The first part of the musical piece reflects an understanding and unfolding of the world. Then comes sudden distortion, confusion, anger, and action –the distorted world of the dispossessed, put into altered sounds of instruments, to create a directed chaos.

The entire video was filmed in the Collserola Natural Park, hinting at a connection with environmental justice issues in the Barcelona metropolitan area. The footage was partially filmed in the middle of the forest and next to the water of the Rierada de Molins de Rei, to echo the sense of nest and symbiosis with nature, at the origin of all life. In contrast, the second part was shot in one of the urbanised areas of Collserola, alluding to environmental injustices with the invasiveness of concrete, and at night, to also represent the sense of darkness when vital resources are lost.

All the additional footage used also comes from the Collserola mountain, in the first part from squatting initiatives such as Can Paskual and Can Masdeu as well as agroecology networks like Alimentem Collserola. The second part uses footage from a 2021 wildfire and from a video about biodiversity in the natural park and the infrastructure-related problems.

The video was selected to be screened in Brussels for the World Poetry Slam championship in September 2022.

Here’s the full text of the poem:

naked I came to this bundle of leaves
my mum cleaning my quills
I had nothing but her and the green
I couldn’t see the bark of our trees
nor their roots, nor the ground
brewing my food

I didn’t know of all other birds
and the fox, nor of the water
where we land with the flock
naked I came to this bundle of leaves
and naked I stayed spreading my wings
when I saw that my tree was just
one among many trees
there’s an origin I see to this house
a mother that’s bigger than mine
it’s down it’s the earth it’s the ground
I scan it and learn it in all of my flights

I can map it, with my eyes I can own it
everything is in my sight

I speak beech, I speak oak
I know where’s the fruit that is ripe
naked I came to this forest of leaves
with the one purpose to sing
this house is a theatre, conductor the wind
I’ve never known anything else than this.


nobody taught me this could stop exist
nobody said I could lose it – my bundle of leaves
nobody taught me maize – nobody taught me soy
nobody taught me grey and nobody taught me noise
nobody told me my house could fall
my house could burn my house could stop
my tree was huge and now is small
my tree was small and now is
wall, wheel, wane, hole
nobody knows beech and nobody speaks oak
nothing the earth brews, the mother is choked
where did you all bring the fruits
where did you all hide the streams?
conductor left, the audience is deaf

I’ve never known anything else than this.


Filming & editing: Emma Marzi

Emma is an anthropologist, filmmaker and grower. She is interested in raising awareness on political ecology issues and in degrowth as an alternative way of existence within communities. You can find some of her short documentaries and video poetry here.

Poem, voice, dance: Donatella Gasparro

With a background in agroecology and political ecology, Donatella is interested in reimagining rural futures in Southern Italian hinterlands. She is about to start a PhD in critical agrarian studies at the University of Münster. She is a poet, performer, and contemporary dance enthusiast. Check out her poetry on her blog and her work on LinkedIn.

Original music: Wiebe Heetvelt

Wiebe Heetvelt is a creator and writer of music. He is the frontman of the Dutch band Jacht (Instagram: @jachtmusic). On a Political Ecology level, he is mainly interested in social transformations and what drives them.


External Footage:

Alimentem Collserola (…)

Tour del bosque comestible de permacultura de Barcelona (…)

El patatal de Kan Pasqual (…)

Kan Pasqual (…)

Can Masdeu, una experiencia rurbana (…)

Can Masdeu 2022 (…)

Racons de verd – Collserola (…)

Collserola, quan es fa fosc (…)

Collserola Natural Park – Valldaura Labs (…)

Collserola, més massificada que mai (…)

Incendio Forestal en Collserola (…)