“The landscape bears witness to the traumas and displacements of the people that move through it”

delGado travelled to Greece, Macedonia, and Calais to record the journeys taken by refugees, not filming these ‘invisible’ people, but the places they have passed through. Traces of their presence remain on the landscape.

The narrative of the film builds between stillness and movement; the imagery appears to be photographs, but looking closely, we notice that this is not a montage of images, but rather a series of shots in which the environment is almost completely still. The film reveals nature in it’s raw beauty; as a shifting array of textures, colours, and sounds. The scenes are eerily charged with the presence of moving bodies, which remain invisible to us.

The film centres on a personal diary from a narrator, a European subject, who is describing how his human identity is gradually being transformed into something else, as a response to the suffering he is viewing. The narrator describes how after seeing himself in the mirror, he has noticed a change in his body; his skin is turning coarse, it is itching. His anxiety grows as we continue to see images of landscapes and the cities that seem to be those found on the journeys taken by fleeing travellers.

Altered Landscapes takes the form of an installation featuring: an 11min film, 4 still images, audio stories and a circular projection. This website provides information about the various aspects of and influences behind the project.

 

 

 

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“The landscape bears witness to the traumas and displacements of the people that move through it”

delGado travelled to Greece, Macedonia, and Calais to record the journeys taken by refugees, not filming these ‘invisible’ people, but the places they have passed through. Traces of their presence remain on the landscape.

The narrative of the film builds between stillness and movement; the imagery appears to be photographs, but looking closely, we notice that this is not a montage of images, but rather a series of shots in which the environment is almost completely still. The film reveals nature in it’s raw beauty; as a shifting array of textures, colours, and sounds. The scenes are eerily charged with the presence of moving bodies, which remain invisible to us.

The film centres on a personal diary from a narrator, a European subject, who is describing how his human identity is gradually being transformed into something else, as a response to the suffering he is viewing. The narrator describes how after seeing himself in the mirror, he has noticed a change in his body; his skin is turning coarse, it is itching. His anxiety grows as we continue to see images of landscapes and the cities that seem to be those found on the journeys taken by fleeing travellers.

Altered Landscapes takes the form of an installation featuring: an 11min film, 4 still images, audio stories and a circular projection. This website provides information about the various aspects of and influences behind the project.

 

 

 

.

Film Script

it is night; in the dark we are afraid. yet, as the day comes up i feel terrified
to see the reality that surrounds me,

it seems that what i have always believed in, has started to disintegrate.
as i walk, the city appears as normal, as though nothing has changed.
but somehow beyond the surface it feels different; the colours, the lights.
and still, we are left with impassible silence.

i’m looking for you, my gaze can’t reach anything beyond this darkness…
fleeting lights, crossing endless streams of cars and bodies.
…everything is floating.

i need a response… a sign.
…this world is mute…
i am in a world of silence.

but i must find you… neither of us made the decision to come here; you were
forced to flee your homeland, and i could not stay in mine anymore
for fear of becoming paralysed.

those vast vessels which once carried our dreams… all are empty now.
the war has changed everything, it has come with a price.
i only wish, at this very moment, i could love you again, to find you where you
may be. if only it were that easy…

that morning we walked through the orchards
at the barada valley is still as vivid as if it were yesterday… all destroyed, rubble now,
the long moments that followed were a growing agony of fear and yet, you wanted
to stay. this is my place, habibi, this is where i belong.
…this war will be long.

i left with no goodbye, inflicting myself with an injury that has grown since.
i’m changing, i am becoming… without you, without knowing your fate,
​this sickness has taken over me.

Film Script

it is night; in the dark we are afraid. yet, as the day comes up i feel terrified
to see the reality that surrounds me,

it seems that what i have always believed in, has started to disintegrate.
as i walk, the city appears as normal, as though nothing has changed.
but somehow beyond the surface it feels different; the colours, the lights.
and still, we are left with impassible silence.

i’m looking for you, my gaze can’t reach anything beyond this darkness…
fleeting lights, crossing endless streams of cars and bodies.
…everything is floating.

i need a response… a sign.
…this world is mute…
i am in a world of silence.

but i must find you… neither of us made the decision to come here; you were
forced to flee your homeland, and i could not stay in mine anymore
for fear of becoming paralysed.

those vast vessels which once carried our dreams… all are empty now.
the war has changed everything, it has come with a price.
i only wish, at this very moment, i could love you again, to find you where you
may be. if only it were that easy…

that morning we walked through the orchards
at the barada valley is still as vivid as if it were yesterday… all destroyed, rubble now,
the long moments that followed were a growing agony of fear and yet, you wanted
to stay. this is my place, habibi, this is where i belong.
…this war will be long.

i left with no goodbye, inflicting myself with an injury that has grown since.
i’m changing, i am becoming… without you, without knowing your fate,
​this sickness has taken over me.

Installation

Director's notes