Portfolio > Shifting Inheritance

Shifting Inheritance
HD video
19min
2020

Video & Text Nora Adwan
Sound Design Eva Pfitzenmaier
2.5min out-take of 19min shown here

Three 19 minute videos with sound, music and original poetic texts to be shown on screens, synchronised and looped.

I am working with the idea of inherited trauma, that the trauma of the parents is continued in the children born in the West. I am working with finding connections between the experiences of the parents and the childhood nightmares of their children.

My work is influenced by geographical contexts, patterns of migration, displacement, and statelessness and takes an intuitive and emotional stance on these concepts. I work with sculpture, new media and technology.

Living as part of a refugee diaspora (Palestinian) has deeply impacted the content of my work as an artist, and this is embedded in my writing, art production and thoughts on identity. I am investigating the connection between the experiences of traumatised refugee parents and the dreams and fears of their children raised in the West.

The imagery is taken from video filmed in Norway and Jordan. Norway is my adopted country and Jordan is that of my parents we are all trying to adapt to new cultures. I want to create a hybrid of forms between documentary and video art which will be shown as a three screen video work: One with footage from Norway, one with footage from Jordan and one the emotional (abstract) space between them with maps and landscapes and text. Imagery includes; travelling, landscape, farms, harvest and traditional techniques, energy resources, cooking techniques and abstractions. I am trying to dissect what creates a sense of belonging and identity.

The text is developed from interviews with family members about their childhood traumas and nightmares. Text is included as subtitles, in three languages, English, Arabic and Norwegian.

The three screens and the sound (on stereo speakers) will be synced and looped. The screens will be positioned so that the viewer can see/experience all the imagery simultaneously at least in the peripheral vision. The speakers will be at the furthest edges of the screen set up, just out of the visual plane. The two screens with the videos from Jordan and Norway will be the same size, the third screen which will carry the majority of the written text will be smaller.

My work ongoing and of the last years has been under an umbrella title: Defragmentation.
Defragmentation raises questions about cultural alienation; in the context of diasporic perspectives, migration, rootlessness, the inheritance of trauma and memories, censorship and embodied knowledge.

For the sound and music, I have worked closely with versatile and experimental Bergen composer and musician Eva Pfitzenmaier to create the soundscape to the images. The sound is a separate entity which ties the separate videos together.