The uncomfortable sound of the European refugee crisis.

Ina Lounguine, Staring Quietly At The Backwash

IDEA: The uncomfortable sound of the European refugee crisis.

WHAT: 'Staring Quietly At The Backwash' is a sensorial take on analyzing the European refugee crisis. Blending photography, video and sound, this project offers different degrees of perception, proposing a different read into the matter. Holiday pictures stand alongside large smiles, cut out of portraits of all the European leaders who have been in power since war started in Syria. A close up on the mouth, symbolizing what is said rather than what is done. Lounguine's work questions the relationship between perception and reality through the use of misleading images. Instead of associating images of calm sea, warm smiles, and handshakes, with the familiar and famously soothing sound of the backwash, the recording of refugees in pain and chaos on their journey points out the drastic distance between what is heard and what is seen. All media operate simultaneously, for a little too long, causing discomfort.

Staring Quietly At The Backwash is a metaphorical immersion into the sea: although seemingly calm, it turns out to be a resourceless habitat. Looking at the human action, the project reflects on the repercussions of decisions made by our governments, triggering a certain anxiety towards what seems to be an irrevocable situation. This image of hands shaking shows a spiritual aspect when floating in the sea, comparable perhaps to a god-like hand sealing our fate, it also stands for the hand we are incapable to offer our neighbors. This is an immersive piece, a forced encounter between imagination and reality. Viewers are led to give more depth to their reflexion, further dimension to their perception, in order to analyze the information they are given, instead of judging it hastily.

BY: Ina Lounguine is a young Ukrainian visual artist (1993) and is part of The Live Wild Collective and lives and works near Lyon, France.

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