Where Is Where?
2008 | 53 min 43 sec | 6-channel projected installation | 16:9 | 8-channel sound | Original language Finnish with English subtitles
”... How far can you enter into someone
to understand them?
To experience their country, their postures, the stigmata,
to be startled by that.
Which words will take you there,
which words will show you
The mountain, the plain, the sand, the water in me, which is the same.”
The theme of WHERE IS WHERE? is colonialism and the presence of two different cultures. It raises the question of how to portray a historical event, and how it can be seen and understood within the framework of the present, and who has the right to interpret the event in the first place?
The starting point of the piece is a real event that took place in Algeria at the end of the 1950s. At that time, Algeria was still under French rule and was involved in a long struggle for independence from the mother country. The situation was extremely violent, both because of recurrent assassination attempts and bomb attacks by the resistance movement and because of the French government’s harsh countermeasures. As a consequence of and reaction to the brutalities committed by the French, two Algerian boys killed their friend, a French boy of the same age.
Although the starting points are based in reality, at the heart of the story is the relationship of the event with the contemporary situation. The narrative begins from the present, which is gradually interwoven with the boys’ deed and the events in Algeria. On the one hand, the murder committed by the boys is seen in the light of the current world situation, on the other, the approach attempts to put contemporary cultural conflicts into a historical perspective.