Watershed is a short film that begins a mapping of the River Cole in Birmingham through foraging, dyeing and walking its length. This work-in-progress combines fictionalised, scientific and historical narratives of water, pollution, and contagion, particularly within the current viral crisis, towards a utopian proposal of bodies’ capacity for survival when viscerally re-connected with our immediate environments.
Watershed reflects Linda’s overlapping interest in ecologies and queer survival strategies. In 2019, they visited the Arctic Circle and produced a project that reframes horror and science-fiction tropes of ancient viruses emerging from ice via contemporary realities of the climate crisis. This short film extends the project on a conceptual and methodological level: Linda altered their hand-sewn Arctic costume – a mask made from fabric dyed with local flowers, a hoop skirt with a two-metre circumference – to fit the requirements of the current crisis, and incorporated foraged objects (flowers, feathers, string, sticks, bottle lids) towards an intimate non-division of their body and the river.