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Student Bursary – Roz Mortimer: Exploring haunting through technology…

For a while now I’ve been engaged with a series of sites in rural Poland where there are unmarked mass graves from WWII. They are the graves of Roma families who were killed at the roadside, in forests and wheat fields. I’ve been using text, moving image and photography to explore ways of animating the narratives of these places, mainly focusing on the disruptive relationship between time and trauma for those that witnessed the events 70 years ago. I plan to take this research further by developing visual methods that will bring these historic narratives in direct collision with contemporary narratives of murder and persecution of the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe.

In one small village the locals talk about a Roma woman who refused to die. Each time she was shot she got back up out of the dirt to curse the soldiers. They say she was still breathing when they buried her and her body never decomposed. She is my narrator and I am interested in using her spectral body to link events from the past and present. She haunts the villagers and now she haunts me. The support of Transmissions and Entanglements will enable me to exploit new technologies in the form of an aerial drone camera to not only visualize her movement between place and time, but to also explore environments that would otherwise be hard to access.
Roz Mortimer, MA Visual Sociology

Aerial view grave poland

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