Two channel video projection, video on TV monitor
The acceleration of growth in some countries against the backdrop of shrinking economies in others is at the epicenter of significant movements of people migrating from one place to another. Whilst embracing the new and the unknown, customs and traditional ways of life can often be lost along the way. In 2007, my family relocated to the UK from Bulgaria, leaving behind a sense of belonging in pursuit of the greener grass on the other side.
‘You Are Beautiful, My Forest’ consists of three short narratives, each vignette acting as prisms from which to consider the every day tensions and drama of holding on or breaking away from traditions. Recorded in minute detail, each gesture, mannerism and item of traditional dress re-enforces the notion of longing for a distant culture whilst seeking to form new identities in today’s globalised context, where demarcations are constantly put to the test.
Combining staged and archive video footages, ‘You Are Beautiful, My Forest’ reveals the interaction between the public and the private, and the personal and the political. Inspired by the nostalgic qualities commonly found in Bulgarian folk music, my work portrays my older sister performing twice, once in 2005, as part of a children’s ensemble, and years later, as a young lady, singing alone. My work is further implicated by the image of a pair of clutching hands, slipping and sliding down from the hanging roots of a tree.
‘You Are Beautiful, My Forest’ takes as the point of departure a complex discourse on the links between individual hopes and collective desires within the context of the times we find ourselves living in. Juxtaposing audio-visual technology of a by-gone era, my work speculates on the psychological experiences of those who feel culturally displaced.