Me, showing symptoms of a tropical disease



In this film by Pilar Mata Dupont, I exhibit the symptoms of malaria. It starts gradually but then builds to fever and disorientation.

When I finished recording it I felt distinctly queasy and had to have a cup of tea and a sit down.

‘The Ague’ is an extraordinary, dreamy film that takes the viewer on a journey through the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, through characters – all me – as they venture through a tropical jungle.


Here’s the blurb:

The Ague focuses on Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens, London. In the nineteenth century these botanical gardens represented the nerve centre of the British Empire, where plants taken from all the empire were primarily studied for their commercial applications. Today, Kew houses the world’s largest seed bank, conserving the most endangered wild plants for future use. Pilar Mata Dupont transports us into this botanical world through a case study of the Cinchona tree and an adaption of Virginia Woolf’s short story ‘Kew Gardens’, in which Londoners wander through the gardens in a dreamy state of semi-consciousness. In her adaption of the story, the scientific claims of the gardens acquire increasingly irrational traits, whereby truths and misinformation, colonial histories, and our ecological future coalesce. Anke Bangma – Artistic Director, TENT Rotterdam

Last year the film was displayed at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio, USA. It’s been on quite a tour of galleries and museums around the world.


Want to hear more weird stuff? Click here.

Want to hear some tear-jerkers? Click here.


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Emma Clarke

Emma is an award-winning voiceover, broadcaster and writer. Want to find out more about Emma?
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