As part of their global moment celebrating women in sport ahead of the Women's World Cup this summer, Nike have commissioned a film from award-winning young director Eloise King. The new spot depicts featured artist Belen Leroux in a dream-like sequence set to a commissioned poem written and performed by Abondance Matanda, with an original music composition by Asriel Hayes.
The spot for the FK FEnom Bra is part of a global moment launched by Nike in Paris this week to celebrate women in sport ahead of the Women’s World Cup in Summer 2019. Nike are solidifying their commitment to female athletes and honoring their achievements. The PRETTYBIRD production was exec-produced by Juliette Larthe, with head of production Hannah May and producer Hannah Bellil and director of photography Amelia Hazlerigg.
The film evokes a mediated dream beginning with Belen waking up and working out with a diverse group of women. The workout morphs into a surreal dance exploring the infinite luxury of movement, set to a hallucinatory delivery of "We've Always Done It'. Eloise King commented: “From periods to mental health, girl’s health is something that affects half the planet and is still largely seen as a taboo subject. This film is set in the near future, where cultural and societal barriers have been re-configured and women are free to reimagine themselves. Harnessing the ultimate potential to transcend limitations; be it the social inequality, the stigma of wild women, instead embracing their strengths, to push the narrative beyond dreams fulfilled—into a new dimension of dreams yet to be.
Presented in an electric vibrancy and grit through a series of honest and intimate close-up portraits woven together to show women in motion, claiming the inherent right power within us, to own what many women are denied, "our birthright to love and listen to our bodies". Leaning into the nuance of how every female identifies with their body is unique, but can collectively represent something much more profound. The messages is whatever dimensions women want to embrace we can do that if women take care of ourselves.”
Eloise King’s powerful film was inspired by the work of performance artist Sagg Napoli, and Maya Deren's passionate study of Voudou in Haiti, in which her gaze asserts: "Women as the divinity of the dream a goddess of love the muse of beauty... in a sense is the very principle by which man conceives and creates divinity...her arrival pervades the very air, all anxieties and urgencies vanish. The tempo of movements become more leisurely and tensions dissolve."
As such, for Belen the freedom afforded in being surrounded by strong, confident and 'wild' women catapults her into an expansive, unashamed solo performance later on the rooftop, where she is able to let go. There is no distinction; being alone we are strong and together as a group/community we can all embody the differing but similarly powerful potential to be ourselves.
Eloise added: “I wanted to make the piece to acknowledge that in challenging times our collective power as women is accessing freedom from within ourselves. It’s a future we can all own.”
“The team behind this project were totally intersectional; black, people of colour, white and queer and non-binary, men and women, which reflects both my practice ethos and collaborative approach that balance can create better."