Snow Q

by Maria Jastrzębska and Wendy Pye



This filmpoem triptych is a collaboration between poet Maria Jastrzębska and visual artist Wendy Pye. They arose from a Polish-led cross-arts project, Snow Q, which has included an installation and live literature performances. Snow Q’s aim was to re-imagine Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen story exploring contemporary themes of migration, exile, sexuality, gender, social isolation and loneliness. Snow Q’s artists collaborated together and worked with a range of community organisations and partners. Maria Jastrzębska’s poems were written in the voices of Crow, a multilingual, timeless trickster, migrant and crone, and Gerda and Kai two young, non-binary identifying young people. The poems include ‘Ponglish’  – a hybrid language of Polish and English. Wendy Pye directed and edited the films, using a combination of her own video material with archive footage, composer Peter Copley wrote the music and UK based Polish fine artist Dagmara Rudkin contributed visual art for Lullaby and Crow.

Crow responds to Gerda (and to anyone else who will listen!) who has asked for help in the quest to find Kai, lost in the snow and ice. The poem is read by actor Rita Suszek and was highly commended in the Forward Prize 2019.

In Have You Seen Kai? Gerda searches a landscape of snow and ice trying to reach Kai. The poem is read by Rita Suszek and Maria Ziółkowska.

Lullaby is a troubled night-time song for troubled times, read by Rita Suszek.

For more information about the project and how the filmpoems evolved, please see

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