Penny Rimbaud is a 73-year-old artist, poet, and activist who, in 1977—alongside Steve Ignorant—founded Crass: the most influential anarcho-punk group of the 20th century. For this punk, collective activism was just as important as the music. Additionally, as Rimbaud puts it, "we wanted to help people understand was a sense of autonomy and authenticity of the individual human soul." These days Rimbaud lives in a farmhouse in the middle of the English countryside, alongside fellow Crass member, artist Gee Vaucher. Together the two continue dedicate their lives to art and literature; still adhering to and promoting Crass' core values of anarchy, peace, vegetarianism, and anti-authoritarianism.
Andy Capper, the director and producer of VICELAND series Noisey, first met Rimbaud when he interviewed the artist for this article back in 2005, and they've remained friends ever since. Sometimes Capper—who describes the Crass founder as "like a guru" to him—joins Rimbaud at his middle-of-nowhere farmhouse and they talk about the world, life, love, death, and Zen. In the Noisey film above, Capper once again met Rimbaud in his home to find out more about his new project centered around the poems of World War I soldier and artist Wilfred Owen. But in the making of this doc they delved deeper, touching on the formative moments in his childhood that set him on his path as an artist, covering the inception and impact of Crass, as well as exploring why Zen meditation has become such an important influence in his life.
PASSING BELLS - The War Poems of Wilfred Owen, recited by Penny Rimbaud, accompanied by Kate Shortt on cello, and Liam Noble on piano, is scheduled for release in this coming fall via One Little Indian.
Andy Capper is the producer and director of VICELAND's show Noisey. Follow him on Twitter.