Where do we not belong

Elena, Leonidas Kollatou, Toumpanos

2018 - Ongoing

Nord Stream 2 is a pipeline that is currently under construction and is set to deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The pipeline is been built by Russia’s energy firm Gazprom and backed by five European energy companies.

The domestic gas production in EU is in decline and according to the construction company; Nord Stream 2 pipeline will enhance European Union’s security of supply, support climate goals and strengthen the internal energy market. It will provide gas from the world’s largest reserves in Russia to the EU internal market.

Nord stream 2 pipeline is a controversial project that results in a geopolitical disarray, since the business between Germany and Russia has the potential to profoundly impact the Central European geopolitical scene, challenging the security of many European countries and deepening economic inequality among them. Eastern European, Nordic and Baltic countries consider that the pipeline will make EU reliant on Russian gas and thus giving away to much control to Russia while destabilizing Ukraine by depriving the country of gas transit fees; at the same time Northern Europe and Germany believe that the economic benefits outweigh this issue.

The project has been widely criticized by the US who want to supply US liquefied natural gas to European markets. President D. Trump believes that the project is very bad for Germany and the German people and warns that the companies, which are building the pipeline, may face sanctions from the United States.

From the medieval ages Baltic Sea hosted a trade empire with a great variety of goods like iron, silver, timber, amber and hemp among others shipped across the Sea and exchanged between bordering countries. Shipping, fishing, energy cables, pipelines, tourism and recreation are among the ways that the Baltic Sea is been used today and makes it one of the most intensively used seas on the planet.

The Baltic Sea provides a critical connection between the EU and the Russian Federation. Nine countries surround the Baltic Sea- Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. The region is home to more than 85 million people (of whom 15 million live on the coast) and diverse political, social and economic realities.

The Baltic Sea has always been a battleground, a cultural melting point and political mediators between East and West, two rather different worlds that have formed the image of the Baltic people.

With Nord Stream 2 as a motive we departed on a visual tale along the Baltic coastline. We attempted to reveal the secrets, trace the bonds and track down the conflicting matters that the Sea conceals.

What we found is simultaneously concrete and vague, non descriptive situations represent the quotidian space of the people that dwelling these countries and by layering images that depict different realities we attempt to represent this notion.

The Baltic Sea and Nord stream 2 get variation of meanings depending on the standing point of the viewer. This ambiguity is imparted by ripped images.

The intention to photograph different places that only fragmentary succeed in representing the real, determines the need to move a step further and seek more elaborate ways of story telling.

An intriguing dialogue is taking place before the eyes of the viewers.

All the facts are next to each other, there are no prefabricated meanings; each viewer has to draw its own conclusions.

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