What’s the Damage

DIRECTOR(S): Heather Phillipson   COUNTRY: United Kingdom   YEAR: 2018   LANGUAGE(S): English   SUBTITLES: German   RUNNING TIME: 7 min

SECTION: International Forum 2019


Saturday, 05.10., 9.30 pm, kommkino
Monday, 07.10., 9.15 pm, kinoeins


WHAT’S THE DAMAGE is a proposition and provocation, answering back to ongoing crises under white patriarchy, relaying and augmenting feelings and gestures of chronic unease, protest and dissent. Phillipson’s summons and riposte storms in via menstrual blood, rising up against leadership circle-jerks, weeping vortexes, seared orang utans, animal-fat banknotes, and advancing supermoons, pizzas and drones.

Director’s statement
This video was made shortly after the USA Presidential Elections in which Donald Trump came to power, which followed on from the UK Brexit vote to leave Europe. I felt alive in a state of emergency and my work likewise. I couldn’t – didn’t want to – ignore it. But how is it possible to go on – to continue to make – in this context? What alternatives – critical position/s, hope – could I propose? What if strength were formed not from (predominantly white) patriarchal dominion but from collective waste, bodily uprising, protest by the most fundamental means (voices and excretions)?
Everything in this video – soundtrack, images, words, recordings – is made solo – in my studio, on my computer, without a budget. It is a form of collage, composed of cultural detritus. I made it expediently, and with a sense of urgency.


Heather Phillipson is an award-winning poet who also works on video, sculpture, music and drawing. Her work has been exhibited across the world and she has published three volumes of poetry. She was named a Next Generation Poet in 2015, received Poetry magazine’s Friends of Literature prize and the Film London Jarman Award. She also writes a regular column for ArtReview magazine.


What’s the Damage (2017), Violence (2017)

PRODUCER: Heather Phillipson   EDITOR: Heather Phillipson