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Vangjush Vellahu

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Huang Xiaopeng

The Rooms

At the edge of Tskhinvali, 2017

 

Of course, a bad neighbor is better than a good relative that lives far away, says the woman in this video. She discusses the situation in South Ossetia. But her narrative, in which various time planes overlap, is marked by the conviction that, all in all, this neighbor is not that bad. She expresses hope that soon Georgians and Russian-backed South Ossetians will live together in peace, and that the situation will allow her to return to Tskhinvali, where she lived with her family until the last conflict broke out in 2008. The border— which obviously is difficult to cross—is also marked on a pictorial-narrative level. For almost the entire duration of the film, the camera remains in a fixed position, from which it, for example, pans and zooms in on conspicuous border guards. The scenes are also periodically interrupted: the screen goes black and provides information about the filming location and cites the distance to Tskhinvali. In "The Practice of Everyday Life", Michel de Certau considers the role that stories and oral history play in the creation of boundaries, suggesting that what the map cuts up, the story cuts across - and by cutting across, effectively forms connections.   [J.F.]

 

 

12 min 20 sec

Video HD, color, sound

 
Interview with: Galina Kelechsaeva

Camera, sound, subtitles, editing: Vangjush Vellahu

Assistance and support: Guram Kereselidze, Maka Sartania, Ioana Mitrea

Translation: Martha Todua, Mariam Tataridze

Language: Audio - Georgian, German, Russian | Subtitles - English (+ German, Croatian)

Locations: Tskhinvali, Lower and Upper Nikozi, Tbeti, Ergeneti, Shavshvebi