Passengers (2007)

Passengers, Video Stills, 2007

2007 – 13 mins 37 secs – stereo sound – DigiBeta/DVD
(Shot in miniDV in Thessaloniki, Greece in May 2007)

Passengers was filmed in Nicopolis, a newly built shantytown area in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece and focuses on an immigrant community of Greek-Pontiac descent (originally from the coast of the Black Sea in Turkey) that came to the city from Kazakhstan in the beginning of the nineties.

The film begins with a static view of the area from above and follows a woman walking in the distance. It then concentrates on the stories narrated by the com- munity about their experiences of exile within the So- viet Union, about coming to Greece and the difficulties they faced trying to set up a new life. Their stories are told as a voice-over juxtaposed over tracking shots of deserted derelict trains and of their neighbourhood streets.

Continuously circulating their houses and yards, while devoid of their presence (as you can only hear them), the film questions documentary conventions (to identify the truth in the face of the narrator), but crucially its trapped movement (fixed in an endeless circle) reflects the shuttering of their nostalgic homecoming. The film uses documentary modes but it does not try to identify, classify, indexify or justify the existence and the spaces created by the community. The image is what grounds us to a specific reality while the fragmented voice-over populates the spaces and tries to deny its role as an explanation of images.

The film was produced in the International Workshop for Young Artists (May 2007) a Parallel Program of the 1st Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art: “Hetrotopias”.