projection, 20 mins
An essay film investigating notions of home and (dis)placement in the divided island of Cyprus. Political and social histories, the legacies of colonialism, occupation, and the Cold War, resonate culturally and also biographically for the artists as both had childhood links with Cyprus through fathers stationed there with the Royal Air Force. NiMAC, in the Turkish Quarter of Old Nicosia, is close to the Green Line, the demilitarised Buffer Zone still patrolled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force that separates the Turkish-occupied northern section of the island from the Greek Cypriot south. Living and filming near the Buffer Zone became a quiet reflection on the uneasy stasis of the unresolved conflict which tore the island in two over forty years ago. In making sense of their collective past, the film-makers draw on their formative experiences of both being ‘RAF children’, uprooted from one country to another – patriarchal baggage moved by external forces.
Cinema 4K 24fps digital video, stereo sound (Projection formats: C2K DCP, C2K, 4K UHD & HD digital files and HD Blu-ray disc). 20mins. Looped or screened at half-hour intervals. Dark projection space with seats.
The Privileged Outsider
Is it possible, or even desirable, to return to a point of origin in our past? In (re)visiting the sites of memory, we (re)experience the dislocation of exile, feeling uprooted from home, family, ourselves – baggage that has gone astray in transit, lost luggage that cannot be reclaimed. The residency has provided us with an opportunity to think about ideas of marginalisation, exclusion and expropriation; to reflect on (re)turning – turning back time, rewinding the clock, traveling back to the mythic scene of idyllic oneness, a rounded wholeness of self. And also informs our ethical approach. We embark on our journey, knowing that we will never reach our destination. The Algerian-French writer Hélène Cixous writes about departing ‘so as not to arrive’, positioning scenes of expulsion as ‘the very form ... of our relationship to the world.’1 She uses the term arrivante de toujours for:
a position of non appropriation of and nonbelonging in a place. That figure retains the ethical dimension of uprootedness, claims only to visit or pass through the land or home of others, and puts into question the stance of the privileged outsider.2
1 Brigitte Weltman-Aron (2015) ‘Introduction’ in Algerian Imprints: Ethical Space in the Work of Assia Djebar and Hélène Cixous. New York and Chichester: Columbia University Press, p xiv
2 loc cit