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Didem Pekün

Nova Kasaba, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 13th July 95
source: CIA Satellite

Disturbed Earth

Disturbed Earth is the term US Security Council analysts used to name what they saw on aerial photos that evinced mass graves at Srebrenica.The genocide could have been prevented; UN forces were informed, yet did not intervene, as they stood paralysed by the unending back and forth of bureaucratic protocol. So refugees seeking shelter in the UN base camp were handed over to be transported to a certain death.  

Based on the close study of historical documents, the project Disturbed Earth will reconstruct the conditions of the disaster via a montage of image and text material as well as a reconstruction of the aforementioned bureaucratic dance in a choreographed manner, displayed in a multi-screen installation. Institutional incompetence laid bare: the tragedy of bureaucracy haunts history. The project seeks to address the horiffic contradiction that the UN, set up to secure peace via the rule of law, failed to deliver justice as the slow workings of this very law precluded timely interventions. So the project asks: What infrastructure would it take to stop events from accelerating beyond the irreversible point of historical regret?

In her work Didem Pekün combines research and practice. In her essay films, she addresess how violence and displacement define and destroy life. Her documentaries and video installations have been shown internationally and received different awards. She is a founding member of Center for Spatial Justice (MAD). She holds a BA in Music from SOAS, an MA in Documentary from Goldsmiths, and a practice-based PhD in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths, University of London.