Presented as part of the film series Promised Land
On 14.09.2012 at 2.56pm, the cruise liner “Adventure of the Seas” reports the sighting of a drifting dinghy with 13 passengers on board to the Spanish Maritime Rescue Centre. This results in the helicopter “Helimer 211” and the rescue cruiser, “Slavamar Mimosa” being sent to the coordinates 37°28.6'N and 0°3.8'E, the location of the shipwrecked dinghy, 38 nautical miles from the port of Cartagena in Spain and 100 nautical miles from the Algerian port of Oran. The radio communication between the tourist ship, the rescue centre, the rescue ship and the helicopter determines the duration of the film, the time it takes until the rescue team reports visual contact with the dinghy, thereby releasing the cruise liner from its duty to stand by. For 90 minutes the rescue of the people in the dinghy is pending, the journey of the tourists aboard the cruise liner is suspended. Visually this period of waiting and suspension is conveyed by the grainy image of the dinghy adrift in a blue sea jerkily moving across the screen, an image derived from mobile footage shot by one of the passengers of the cruise liner and extended from a short clip to match the duration of the radio traffic. On the audio track the highly formalised radio traffic is interspersed with the voices of tourists and officers from the cruise liner, the crew of a container ship that travels a similar route, of ‘harragas’ (North African migrants trying to enter Europe illegally) and their families. What emerges is a complex soundscape that together with the persistent image of the dinghy opens up a space for reflection about the relations between Europe and the migrants that want to reach it and about how we as viewers position ourselves within this constellation.
Germany 2016, colour, 93 minutes, with English subtitles.
Directed by Philip Scheffner.
Introduced by Nicole Wolf, Lecturer in Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London.
This screening is part of Promised Land a one-day symposium on Saturday 3 December, organised by Culture+Conflict, Goethe-Institut and Central Saint Martins, that provides a platform to address the promise of Europe as a place of human rights, security and prosperity; and the Europe of borders, refugee camps, populism, and heightened nationalism. Tickets for the symposium are available here.
The Promised Land film series, including the screening of HAVARIE, is organised by the Goethe-Institut London