Eaten By The Heart: The Documentaries (2012/2013)

Eaten By The Heart is a video installation and documentary project conceived, produced and directed by Zina Saro-Wiwa. Commissioned by The Menil Collection, Houston and supported by the Houston Museum of African American Culture for the Menil’s exhibition The Progress of Love (www.theprogressoflove.com), the piece explores intimacy, heartbreak and love performances among Africans and Diasporans. Eaten By The Heart forms part of Zina’s video performance and installation practice which focuses on the mapping of emotional landscapes, its resulting performative behaviors and cross-cultural implications. Zina states:“So many of us cite with confidence that Love Is Universal. But the performance of love is, it seems, cultural. I wonder how the way we choreograph and culturally organize the performance of love impacts what we feel inside and who we become.”The documentary aspect of the Eaten By The Heart project is expressed in three short documentary films that can also be found online on The Progress of Love project website: www.theprogressoflove.com.

Eaten By The Heart Part I:
Interview Excerpts or How Do Africans Kiss?

Eaten By The Heart Part II: Damien

Eaten By The Heart Part III: Breathing Orchestra

The video performance aspect of the Eaten By The Heart is represented by a 62-minute film featuring 12 different African and diasporic couples kissing for between 4 and 7 minutes each.

This project is indebted to Kristina Van Dyke at The Pulitzer Foundation, Susan Sutton at The Menil Collection, John Guess and the Houston Museum of African American Culture, Simon Russell, Isabel Wilcox, Ryan Dennis and Wilmetta Toliver-Diallo. Extra special thanks must also be given to all the amazing interviewees that were so beautifully open to this experience and who I have been honoured to work with.