Below – images from a borderland (2009) is a sound work commissioned by Pikene på Broen / Barents Spektakel festival for the exhibition Sound around the Watch-Towers, where different sound works were exhibited in copies of border towers at the city square of Kirkenes (NO).
Watch towers are clean, they are surface. Life underneath the towers, under the radar, behind the polished rhetorics – what happens on the ground – is different. That is the case either the border is in Kirkenes or somewhere else. While I was working on this piece related to the Norwegian-Russian border, in January of 2009, there was a different border that was all over the news. Israeli troops was about to enter Gaza.
The purpose of the border in Kirkenes/Finnmark, the Schengen border, is to keep the threat, “the other”, ouside of Europe. The purpose of the border in Gaza/Palestine is to keep the threat, “the other”, inside a closed area.
BELOW contains sound material from both the Arctic and Gaza. Most Gaza sounds are borrowed from Al Jazeera. The morse code transmitting in the piece is a translation of parts of a text message sent from the Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert one of the first days of 2009, while he was working in the emergency room of the Shifa hospital in Gaza during the Israeli invasion:
«… Hades! We are wading in blood and amputated limbs. Lots of children. Pregnant woman. Tell everybody, pass it on, shout it. Everything. Do something. Do more! We are making history now, all of us.»
Listen to excerpt