8 min

In development



Directing: Ula Sowa


SWARM is an animated sonic VR journey through a city swarmed by a group of protesting women together with a colony of bees.
On October 3rd 2016, alongside hundreds of thousands of other Polish women, I took part in The Black Protest, against the newly-proposed abortion ban. It was the biggest self-organized protest in my country since 1989, and one of the most important events of my life. Women of all ages and backgrounds gathered to resist injustice and to fight for freedom of choice. There was this palpable feeling of togetherness, of collectiveness, of anger in the air. The kind of anger that can change the world. The protests were also rich in sound: loud discussions broadcast on the media, chanting on the streets, the sounds of rain and the rustle of umbrellas.
But at the centre of the protests there was another matriarchy: a beehive. The newly-elected Government had put the beehive in front of its main building to demonstrate the State’s commitment to ecological sustainability. The new bee colony, however, had its life inadvertently but constantly interrupted by the protests. Bees communicate via sounds and vibrations; but when it’s too loud they cannot hear each other. Just like the women, they needed to leave their home and swarm over the city.
Viewers experience the meditative surrounding of a beehive, full of tunnels emitting sound and light, to the point where the experience becomes terrifying, with the reverberations of the protests penetrating from outside. Eventually, viewers who leave the hive find themselves flying in-between protesting women, exploring the crowd and trying to understand the collective and individual stories of the women.
In 2020 Black Protests are on rise. Is it revolution? What is our possible common future?


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