Camera Obscura Installation (2018 Shushi Fortress, AM) with Radmila Stanković(RS)
In the 19th century, well-defined borders, as they existed in Europe, were unknown and unnecessary in large parts of the world. Some states are removed from maps. They have a territory and people live there.They have their destiny and their dreams. We believe we know what a state is. But even today, it is often unclear whether a state is a state. (An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist by Nick Middleton).
NEWS FROM NOWHERE is interdisciplinary research project and multimedia artistic exploration of isolation and identity in a "nowhere" place as an utopia in juxtaposition with "non-places" or "non-states" using the example of Nagorno-Karabakh (Republic of Artsakh) in the South Caucasus. The project describes places where everything works differently and where things, concepts and phenomena that are obvious to us are questioned. Our intervention provokes a reflection and questions on topics of identity, non-identity and diversity, home and non-home, and allows the mediation of new perspectives. The important point is to find an answer to the questions: What are the nowhere places? What does it mean to live outside of political map? Is there an identity without a state?
The project poses universal questions about identities in relation to places and spaces. Tracing and transmuting those identities is the cornerstone on the project. The project, within artistic intervention, provides information about “non-states”, “non- citizens”, a “nowhere place” , unrecognized land which do not exist in international political maps and are almost invisible to international media. “Nowhere places” are state-like entities that have achieved de facto independence but have “failed” to gain widespread international recognition. States antagonize people and put them in “non- state” positions, questioning their social identity. The lack of their own state does not allow people to identify their nationality with state affiliation.
The title of the project comes from William Morris's novel of the same name written in 1890, which analyses identities within utopian socialism in a science fiction surrounding. These identities, transformed by revolution, experience an idealized vision of life in small, autonomous communities. Like Morris's book, the project "News from Nowhere" argues in favor of radical change in social relations, considering the seclusion of the human race as a global problem which distances us from substantial values and makes one identity rate the other.
2018, site-specific, Nagorno Karabakh | photos © k.ada