A Place in Europe •

A film sculpture for public sites. Watch the film and check for updates on the project site http://aplaceineurope.com/

Norrköping 21/9 – 28/10, Bredgatan 33-34, REMESO, Linsköpings universitet. Inauguration 19:00, 25/9 with Professor Stefan Jonsson.










Fotografier: Cecilia Parsberg

Photos above: 8­–15 november 2018, Odenplan, Stockholm.
(Find synopsis in English below)

Konstnärerna Erik Pauser och Cecilia Parsberg har tillsammans med arkitekterna Haval Murad och David Martinez Escobar skapat en konstnärlig gestaltning som speglar sprickor i det moderna samhället. Filmskulpturen startar sin resa under en vecka på Odenplan för att fortsätta på andra offentliga platser i storstäder.

Filmskulpturen Huset skildrar hemlöshet – en oönskad verklighet för alltför många. Skulpturen har form av ett hus som håller på att sjunka ner i marken. Undersidan består av en LED-skärm där kortfilmen En plats i Europa projiceras. Den handlar om en undanskymd plats i en storstad. En plats som har blivit ett hem för arbetssökande migranter, som fallit mellan stolarna i den europeiska fria rörligheten. Berättaren är Thomas som under tre år har haft sin sovplats under en lastbrygga. Nu ska han vräkas. Han representerar de som vill göra rätt för sig: arbeta, försörja sin familj, leva ett värdigt liv.

På ett drabbande sätt fångar konstverket viktiga frågor kring migration och grundläggande mänskliga rättigheter som påverkas av den globala politiken. Beror en människas utsatthet på individens eller samhällens misslyckanden? Verkets kraftfulla formspråk hämtar sin styrka i den sofistikerat enkla arkitektoniska formen och filmens gripande, dokumentära innehåll. En brutal verklighet är här ett sprängstoff för konsten som speglar samhällsaktuella ämnen och synliggör sprickor i sociala konstruktioner. Det är konsten som bränner till och som aldrig vänder blicken från de mest komplexa frågorna.

Filmen En plats i Europaav Cecilia Parsberg och Erik Pauser ingår i dokumentärserien RÖST, en satsning av Svenska Filminstitutet, SVT och Folkets Bio. Produktionen har fått stöd av Konstnärsnämnden och Kulturbryggan. Den har bland annat visats i Almedalen, på skolbio och filmfestivaler i Sverige och internationellt.

Cecilia Parsberg, född 1963, är konstnär och filosofie doktor i Fri konst. Hennes avhandling Hur blir du en framgångsrik tiggare i Sverige (2016), som består av texter, bilder och filmer, ställer frågor kring hur de tiggande människorna och givarna ingår i en social interaktion och hur de relaterar till varandra. Parsbergs skapande kretsar kring angelägna sociala, politiska och existentiella frågor och undersöker brännpunkter i samhällen. Hennes konst har visats på Moderna Museet och Nationalmuseum i Stockholm, Tate i London med flera.

Erik Pauser, född 1957, är filmskapare, producent och konstnär. Pausers dokumentärfilmer skildrar ofta samhällsfrågor. Han har gjort flera filmer om krig och dess konsekvenser. Hans sista dokumentär The Borneo Case har visats i mer än 50 länder. Hans filminstallationer har visats på museer och gallerier i Sverige och utomlands. Filmerna har vunnit en rad priser på internationella filmfestivaler.

Haval Murad, född 1983, är byggingenjör och arkitekt utbildad vid Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan. Han är grundare till arkitektkontoret Detail Group som arbetar med hållbar stadsutveckling ur ett tvärdisciplinärt perspektiv. Murad’s arbete spänner sig över ett brett fält och berör frågor i gränslandet mellan arkitektur, konstnärskap, politik och samhällsutveckling.

David Martinez Escobar, född 1983, är arkitekt utbildad i Mexiko och Sverige. Martinez har specialiserat sig i Design for Sustainable Developmentpå Chalmers Tekniska Högskola. Han är partner på arkitektkontoret Detail Group och har under sina 10 års som arkitekt fokuserat på hållbarhetsfrågor inom samhällsutvecklingen och rollen som arkitekt.

KontaktLiljevalchs: Mårten Castenfors, chef Liljevalchs. marten.castenfors@stockholm.se, 08–505 31 332

Projektet är gjort med stöd från: Kulturbryggan, Konstnärsnämnden, Liljevalchs/Stockholm Konst, Detail Group

English:
The project name ”A Place in Europe” is an umbrella for: a film sculpture titled ”The House” (première during the fall 2018) and a short film (première June 2018 in RÖST). The presentations in Stockholm are orchestrated by Liljevalchs Konsthall and Stockholm Konst, including  seminars/arranged talks. Our aim is also to engage other EU countries.

Synopsis of the Film: In an undisclosed place in central Stockholm a sort of state of exception seems to be in effect. During night time job seekers from different parts of the world live here. 
Daytime they share the place with workers, building the new Stockholm. Watch the film.

Idea and implementation
In an innovative and surprising way, we want to participate in the discussion on migration and human rights. We want to include and visualize a place and a life situation that many migrants have – and, as we mean, is becoming more common in Europe, but is often hidden from the public.

A mobile film sculpture with the shape of a house dives into the ground. The House will be presented on thirty public places in Sweden and Europe. The House is transported by truck and installed in a public space in the city for 1-7 days. In connection with this, different types of public conversations, workshops and theme days are organized. The bottom of the House consists of a 2.5m wide LED screen where a short film is displayed. (The screen works well in daylight. Built in the House there is an audio system). The film is also shown as part of the short film program RÖST (Voice) — Swedish Filminstitute and Swedish Television has invited established directors and new filmmakers to make short films to inspire political commitment, intitate discussions about democracy and make us vote. This year, Sweden is celebrating 100 years of democracy. The film is also on YT channels of Swedish Television and shown in schools and cinemas by Folkets Bio.

Work process
We have been filming in an area in central Stockholm; bordered by a highway on one side, a subway line on the other and a forest on the third, almost invisible to those passing bywhere a kind of state of emergency seems to prevail. Here, a group of people of different nationalities lives and works temporarily, they have ”fallen between the chairs” in the EU system. It is one of the many places in Europe that is becoming more common, but it is still a place we rarely see. Tomas, a well-dressed man, has slept here under a concrete loading dock together with the rats. Now he’s going to be evicted.

Tomas is upset and defends his rights as a human being.After eighteen years of work at a factory in Italy he became unemployed. Without a social safety net, he is now living on the street and owns nothing. Thomas’s speech is drastic. In a straightforward way he explains his situation. He wants to live an honest life and support his family, but it seems impossible. He urges society to bring him in court so that he can defend himself and get justice. Thomas is at the same time giving voice for others in the same situation. 

 

The House dives into the ground, people fall with the house, the boats on the Mediterranean are unable to carry people, the Swedish regulations or the EU’s regulatory system can’t uphold immigrants who come here via the Free movement of Persons.[1]

Artist’s intention and rationale
We believe that art can make visible and open up for constructive conversations. Therefore, the project, apart from the House and the short film, also includes stories from the audience, seminars and other forms of open conversation with participants from different fields of knowledge and backgrounds, linking home, homelessness, migration and human rights. Everyone has stories, thoughts and experiences about home and homelessness and can contribute, in some way, to collective thinking about this complex social problem.

Presenting the House in public places, we will also reach those who usually don´t see art and documentary films and don’t participate in the discussion about the EU or people’s movement across international borders. Planned events with invited guests aim to initiate meetings between groups that rarely speak. An important target group is young people and The House could for example be displayed on a schoolyard. In conjunction with this theme days at the school can be arranged.

We are convinced that the experience the audience gets through the project can become a seed for future engagement at different levels.

The House at Odenplan, Stockholm. Film screening on a LED screen. The House is covered with brass sheet. The film-sculpture is a collaboration between: Cecilia Parsberg, Erik Pauser and the architects David Martinez Escobar and Haval Murad from Detail Group. (Photos by Cecilia Parsberg.)

Contact:
Cecilia Parsberg 

Erik Pauser

Detail Group

The project has research status and has been peer reviewed by four professors at four different universities through the International Research Project Project Anywhere (about).
A Place in Europe received the highest score for innovative methodology at Kulturbryggan 2016 and a start grant. The project also received a project grant 2017-18 from The Swedish Arts Grants Comittee.

 

[1]Freedom of movement and residence for persons in the EU is the cornerstone of Union citizenship, established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992.  http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_4.1.3.html

 

Lives that have been separated – by an imagined structure – can also be connected – by a lived structure – but not without hope of something else.

A Heart From Jenin

To see my film, go to: https://vimeo.com/93415169

A Heart From Jenin, 2006

This is the story of Ahmed’s heart. Ahmed was a Palestinian boy who lived in Jenin in the West Bank. In November, 2005, the 12-year old Ahmed was shot by an Israeli sniper. He was in a coma when he was taken to the hospital in Haifa, Israel, where he died later. Ahmed’s parents decided to donate their son’s heart to Israel. Ahmed’s mother says that the donation was made in the spirit of ‘Salam’ (peace) with Israel “We are sending a message to the whole world that we love peace. We donated six of Ahmed’s organs to the hospital. It’s in the possession of the hospital to donate, regardless of whether the receiver is Jewish, Muslim, Druze or Christian.” A 12-year old girl Samah, received Ahmed’s heart. The film is also about her living in Peq’in, Israel. She sometimes takes charge of the camera and film. She calls Ahmeds father and mother in Jenin. Samah’s father says that Ahmed’s family can regard his daughter as their own and they sometimes meet. The gift of the heart drills a hole in the wall – when it’s recieved.

(click to watch the film)

The border between the two countries of the families is an eight meter high wall. The conflict is difficult and the occupation impacts life in Palestine. Jenin camp was founded in 1948 when many palestinians – like Ahmeds grandparents – fled from Haifa, now the Israeli side of the wall.
I had returned to Jenin Refugee Camp in November 2005, to see how it had been rebuilt from the demolition in 2002 (see Jenin).  I met the parents of Ahmed who had just been shot dead. To me, these two families act in a way that illuminates how conflicts can be solved, by making contact.

Exhibitions

THE INSTALLATION HAS BEEN SHOWN AT:
2006 – BildMuseet Umea www.crusading.se
2006 – Fotografins Hus, Stockholm
2007 – LänsMuseet Västernorrland and Jacob’s church Stockholm
2007 – 2008 – Malmoe Museer, Malmoe
2008 – World Culture Museum, Gothenburg www.varldskulturmuseet.se

Screenings and Seminars

SCREENING + SEMINAR: Lens Politica – Film and Media Art Festival 19.-23.11.2008
Helsinki www.lenspolitica.net MKC, Fittja Stockholm, okt 2008
School of Global Studies, Göteborg, sept 2008 Kulturverkstan, Göteborg, sept 2008
Center for peace Research/Border Poetics group at Institute for Culture og Litterature, Tromsoe Norway, Aug 2008.
FN-Sambandet, Verdenteatret, Tromsoe, Norway. www.fn.no/distriktskontor/nord/internasjonalt_seminar Key Note Speaker at the conference: Sensitive Peace Research, Tampere Peace Research Institute, Univerity of Tampere 16-18 April

Photos from the exhibitions (click on images to enlarge)

 

World Culture Museum, Göteborg

The wallpaper is made of 300 photos of the demolition of the Jenin camp, 2002 (see Jenin) Jenin is – as a shadow – written left to right on one wall  and in Arabic; right to left, on the other wall.

Fotografins hus Malmö

The installation consist of: -a shorter version of the film: 30mins -a wall paper: 2 X 6 meter showing 300 photos from Jenin camp, the destruction in April 2002 -a map showing borders, built wall and planned wall -a print of the heart and a drawing of the history: 50 X 70cm

See: http://this.is/Jenin

 

About A heart from Jenin, text by Jan-Erik Lundström, head of Bildmuseet, Umeå.

(2006)

Cecilia Parsberg’s artistic practice have often brought her towards the hazardous and complex but important and necessary political undertaking in speaking about the other, the marginalized or underprivileged of society (engaging both sexual, social and political displacement and suppression in her work), or the underdogs in a political conflict such as the Palestinians; generating challenging works of art, blending documentation and activism, where often the artist herself is present as witness, investigator, mediator, supporter. Over the last few years, Parsberg has maintained a particular focus on Palestine, the living conditions of Palestinians and life on the occupied West Bank and the Gaza strip, resulting in several projects such as the videos I can see the House or To Rachel, with the story of the killing of the young American activist Rachel, run over by an Israeli tank or the action East or West, Home is Best. One of Parsberg’s visits, in April 2002, coincided with the brutal Israeli army invasion of the village and refugee camp Jenin on the West Bank, during which Jenin was more or less almost completely demolished and many Palestinians killed, the numbers uncertain since Israel blocked any inpendent investigation. Parsberg was able to enter Jenin in the early aftermath of the invasion, managing one of the few documentations of its kind of the extent of the destruction of Jenin. This material became the website www.this.is/jenin, a rich archive of images and written testimonies on the fate of Jenin. The photographs on display in the present exhibition are sourced from this body of photographs, supplanting the website notion of an open source archive with offering the opportunity to re-focus and engage more specifically with individual images and their stories. It does not however change the overall sense of perverse, meaningless, and unbounded mayhem. In the exhibition space, the Jenin photographs are juxtaposed with the video A Heart from Jenin, the artist’s return to a largely rebuilt Jenin in November 2005, three years after the Israeli attack on Jenin. Rebuilt yes, but hardships in Jenin continue.

A Heart from Jenin’s key narrative is the extra ordinary story of Ahmed, a 13-year old Palestinian boy who is shot to death by Israeli soldiers, and becomes clear that the boy will not survive, decides to allow the child’s organs to be donated. The 26 minutes long video traces the actual event of the boy’s casualty through conversations/interviews with the near family, with people from the neighbourhood but also with writers, university professors – one from Israel – and intellectuals, enabling a broader picture of life on the West bank. But it is the gesture of the parents, the donation, which defines the film. For as it turns out, the boy, when pronounced dead, becomes the donor of five organs. His heart is given to a 12-year old Israeli girl from Haifa, who has for years been waiting for a heart transplant and whose life now is saved. The tragic and horrible killing of Ahmed brings out, through the parents’ act of allowing donation, a gesture of reconciliation, of appeasement. Especially that the heart is not a metaphor; the heart of Ahmed lives on in the body of the Israeli girl – as beautifully illustrated in the drawing by Cecilia Parsberg on the journeys and meanings of a heart, presented in the exhibition. Their parents are quoted as saying: “we want them [Ahmed’s parents] to consider our daughter as their daughter”. From those bestowed the most pain come the most human of gestures.

 

Map

Jenin is situated in the North of the West Bank. The refugee camp, which is today a part of the city, is inhabited by 13,000 people of whom over 42% under the age of 15. The Camp was built by refugees from Haifa after the 1948 war, and is one of the most frequently targeted areas throughout the history of the Israeli occupation. A large number of suicide bombers came from there. In April 2002 the Jenin Refugee Camp was totally destroyed by the Israeli occupation forces. There is very limited documentary material about this event as Jenin was under siege, and we were only a few photographers who managed to find a way into the city. The United Nations was not let in by the Israelis until a week later. I, and my writer friend Ana Valdés, have uploaded all my photos and her texts onto the site http://this.is/Jenin Two months later Israel started the construction of the wall which stretches from North of Jenin and continues to the south encircling the West Bank. (see: http://this.is/TheWall)

 

Jacobs church, Stockholm

Someone else’s fear

Someone else’s fear

This project was made 2005, before the evacuation of the settlements in GazaStrip
The Israeli child who made this drawing lives in the settlement Katif (Qatif) on Palestinian occupied territories, Gaza Strip.
The child’s drawing was made in a school project where the Israeli children should draw the wall surrounding the settlement (see the drawing above).
This child has ”drilled” a hole in the wall with her/his gaze and we see on this drawing what the child imagines is outside the wall.

You can find map and the evacuation plan of Gaza on:
http://www.mideastweb.org/mgaza.htm
http://www.mideastweb.org/israel_disengagement_map_2005.htm

I can see the house / To Rachel

I can see the house (2 mins by Cecilia Parsberg) and To Rachel (20mins) a collaboration with Erik Pauser.
View both films here: https://vimeo.com/93608273

 

During March 2003 we filmed and photographed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In Rafah, Gaza strip, we met the ISM activist and US citizen Rachel Corrie. We stayed in the same house for a few nights. The house was close to the Egypt border and in the zone where Israel destroy houses to make a no-mans-land. They had bulldozered 600 houses. The families get ten minutes to pack their belongings when the bulldozer comes, they have nowhere to go, it is a desperate situation. Rachel was killed by the Israeli Defence Force while carrying out a non-violent protest against the house demolitions. USA has not yet carried out an official investigation of her death.

When we came home from Palestine we felt it was necessary to clarify some facts and mediate what we had witnessed. The two films I can see the house and To Rachel are about her and the situation in Rafah. The films are the first in a series of works: films, web sites, published texts, series of photos and installations. We are interested in the question how we connect ourselves here with what is happening there.