The Scarlet Tongue Project is a documentary film, artist collective, and social
movement. We explore the taboo of anger through artistic collaboration,
workshops, and cultural exchange rooted in an acknowledgement of
Director/Producer: Samantha Bryan
Cinematography/Editing: Samantha Bryan, Beren Jones, Infinity Jam Sessions
Cast: Saraswathi Jones, Aepril Schaile, Anna Vo, Makiko Suda, Creature Karin Webb,
Cassandre Charles, Katia Tirado, Fem Bones
Featured in pilot episode: Castrator, Laina Dawes, Karla McLaren, Militia Vox, Lilith
Beest, The Folks Below
Scarlet Tongue Logo Design: Fem Bones
Though it is a fundamental human experience and expression, anger remains one of the
most restricted emotions for those who are socialized as womxn. This project lies at a very
particular crossroad: the one of anger.
In a global society that either scandalizes or requires repression and denial of womxn’s
anger, artists become the unspoken gatekeepers and ushers creating portals to worlds
and feelings that have been forbidden.
Live Performance and Workshops: Honoring the relationship between artist and
audience, and artists with one another, we bring workshops, live performance, film, and
visual art to communities around the world. Our vision is one of cultural exchange where
age, gender, ethnicity, philosophy and inspiration join together to explore and harness the
revolution which is freedom of expression. The Scarlet Tongue Project utilizes the
languages of sound (spoken word, music), body (dance, performance art), and light (film,
multimedia performance) to tell our stories.
Our Process: In 2015 we sat down with several field specialists and authors to deepen
our understanding about the short and longterm impact suppressed anger can take—
particularly for womxn. Experiences of suppressed anger vary based on age, race,
ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, etc., such as:
Inability to separate trauma response
from present moment; retraumatization
Oversensitivity to perceived failure or
Chronic joint and muscle pain
Compromised immune system
Addictive behavior/substance abuse
Inability to say no/lack of boundaries
Spontaneous violent outburst
It’s impossible to deny that people are angry today. Our collective’s mission is
to restore love and purpose to this valuable emotion.
Around that time our Director, Samantha Bryan, began seeking artists from diverse
backgrounds to share their stories. She wanted to better understand each artist’s on and
off stage process of turning the experience of anger into art and social conversation. An
artist herself, Samantha wanted to explore the relationship between each artist’s personal
life and their artistic outlets, thinking about how an artist’s work influences community.
Independent Feature Film: Samantha traveled to interview and film artists who are cis,
queer, trans, old, young, Christian, Pagan, rich, poor, native, and immigrant, in addition to
internal plural identities. Each artist brought with them important global perspectives. So
far the artists involved have ties to Haiti, The United States, Ireland, Japan, Australia,
India, and Mexico.
Our Collective: In the fall of 2018, cast members from the film came together to see if we
could “walk our talk” in the form of a collective. Those of us available, traveled to Mexico
for a two-week arts residency which included two public performances. There we
expanded our community even further through collaboration with local artists, venues,
community organizers, producers, audiences, and our actions. This has offered new
friendships, networking, and a rich cultural exchange.
During the residency many of our artists met for the first time, and we lived, worked,
collaborated, created, and performed together. We filmed discussions about what makes
us angry, we explored deep personal and cultural wounds with an emphasis on
accountability and personal responsibility, and we supported one another during
challenging and passionate moments. We also dedicated time to envisioning how to
present our material to the public in ways that will inspire others to do this work for
themselves within their own communities.
A priority for us is digging into how “being angry” and “being a woman” can
take infinite forms, and harnessing agency via how we choose to express
The result of this experiment was incredibly potent. Deep bonds were formed, new
collaborative works were created, and personal breakthroughs about anger and trauma
Though production for the feature documentary film is near complete, our team decided
we want our work to extend beyond the film, using this media creation as an educational
tool within a larger movement.
In Closing: When this project began, the sole focus was to examine the flash point of
anger itself. As our work has grown and evolved, we recognize there’s a pressing need to
understand what to do with anger once we’ve acknowledged and honored its existence.
We want to know who we wholly are when we access our anger, and what we can build
once we’ve allowed anger to help us establish desperately needed boundaries. For
ourselves and for our communities we want to embody both roles of: empowered leaders
and empowered supporters.
Anger is a relational emotion, and relationships are a strong focus within all parts of The
Scarlet Tongue Project. We highlight many kinds of diversity in our work because we live
in a diverse world, where conditioning or outdated beliefs create friction within social
groups, and this often triggers anger on all sides. How anger feels and manifests for one
person is not the same as it does for the next, and we believe in the importance of
breaking down generalizations, embracing exploration, and learning how to supportively
coexist without elimination of the important experience and messaging anger holds.
The subject of anger today is incredibly relevant. It’s become a trend in media
representation to bad mouth or reject outward expressions of anger. What sets The
Scarlet Tongue Project apart from this effect is our ability to meet anger and to say, “Yes, and..."
"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences." Audre Lorde
It is the intention of The Scarlet Tongue Project to continue growing and building our work by traveling both within the United States and internationally to host art residencies, workshops, and immersive multimedia theater experiences. Our mission is to specifically explore intersectional feminism, womxn’s relationships with anger, and how to integrate this energy with creativity to fuel action and healing.
Our general project approach, whether in class or attending an event, is emphasizing the importance of showing up, participating, and playing an active role in your experience. This kind of permission encourages one to take an exploratory approach to life—both in their internal and external landscapes. When we choose to be active in our lives, we are choosing consciousness over the conditioning to consume and be consumed. We prefer this format for our public presentation because we are a diverse group of artists with varying skills and strengths, and feel that an audience has the potential to feel greater impact when they are actively engaging in their environment, taking the initiative to have an experience, and consensually taking risks to connect in new ways.
Through the collective’s actions and the transparency of our creative processes, we demonstrate healthy ways to have hard conversations, listen, be vulnerable, hold ourselves accountable, and offer resources. We want to demonstrate that disagreement can be powerful and strengthening, and how to find tools to discern between discomfort and toxicity. In an increasingly global society, we want to show that respectful cultural exchange is possible, and that with this mindfulness we can help to prevent further appropriation. We wish for womxn around the world to see their faces and hear their stories in our work, ultimately inspiring a ripple effect of positive change.
When we give voice to our anger and release it, our minds and bodies are freed up to be present in our relationships and dream bigger about our lives. As facilitators of this work, the artists of the Scarlet Tongue strive to build an army of revolutionaries and innovators through this exploration of freedom in a full range of expression.