Katarzia - Horí I Voda

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With an antiquated world for women's rights on the horizon, women must stick together.

Katarzia’s Hoří I voda video is designed by American, now Czech based, filmmaker Jay Walker and her team, to be a cinematic, symbolic representation of current women’s issues and mindset, faced both in Czechoslovak region, and elsewhere in the world. But in light of the fact that Slovakia is now having its first public feminist discourse, the team aimed this video at Slovakia.

This video has ended up presenting itself in a very pivotal time, as Poland protests a barbaric new, total-ban on abortion, and the US has entered into a global anti-abortion declaration with countries that are notoriously ruthless to women. The project found its moment.

The Team's intentions

We are not approaching this with any goal other than to add to, expand and support the new feminist conversation. The video is our perspective, as women, on the current environment around women’s reproductive rights in relationship to law and religion, as well as an illumination of the mental landscape of many women. We live in a world in which many of us feel powerless, displaced, watched, involuntarily pursued, and without agency as most choices, statements and judgements about our bodies are made by people with no experience inside them.

We, as women, have a lot of historical and generational pain to heal. But it starts with supporting each other, being kind and honest with other women and creating confidence and trust where we may lack it. I truly believe we are entering an age where all of humanity is shedding antiquated patterns which no longer serve our progress, and self; community awareness is needed now more than ever. It’s up to everyone to assume new levels of responsibility and compassion in order to repair the broken and hurt world we live in. I’m looking at you, and I’m looking at me. .

We put a lot of care into this project with @katarzia. But one of the main things we wanted to do was state a position on a topic personal to us. I believe that its equally as important that our statement be clear in our personal actions as it is in our art. Through the process of this project, I [Jay Walker] developed a system alongside @girlsinfilm_prague for girls who are interested in film to shadow me, my DP @annasmoronova and my producer @plechsson.

Jay Walker "When I arrived here as a young aspiring filmmaker, I found it nearly impossible to find someone genuinely willing to mentor me. But I quickly realized the hesitance was a cultural difference between where I am from and here. There simply wasn’t a culture of community support and education.

A few years er, I have realised that its an important personal step, to eventually become the mentor you yourself were looking for. The process was humbling, nuanced, and required much more energetic engagement than I had initially anticipated, but the result was absolutely worth it. Our three shadows saw a set lead by cooperative women, how smoothly that can run, and how the process works from beginning to end. But probably more importantly, they felt seen, heard, supported and safe in the process of learning and developing.

And now I am committed to giving away what little space I have made for myself to young women who may not find that space anywhere else in this country. I haven’t figured much out in this life, but one thing I have realised is: being selflessly kind and giving yourself away to others feels much better than trying to hold anything as yours alone. Who are we to claim ownership over anything in an existence as fleeting as this, anyway. Each one, teach one."