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Westerbork Listens

BRANTHWAITE, Michael (2018) Westerbork Listens. [Artefact]

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“Westerbork Listens” responds to the complex afterlife of Westerbork,as it became temporary accommodation for Moluccan Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) soldiers and their families before being transformed by the presence of radio telescopes after 1970 (IC-ACCESS 2016). Hence, as Dolghin et al (2017: 34-35) have shown: ‘despite the solemn intention of its symbolic topography, memories attached to the site continue to evince divergent affective responses. The artwork responds to these themes using, first video footage of Westerbork mixed with several primary sources to create a video collage of remnants, and secondly a screengrab of this process to make a photographic lightbox that reconstructions and material culture from when the camp was in use and after. The image may at first appear sinister but the radar devices are an interactive educational feature of the radio telescope facility, their potency is driven by the context of there surroundings and the ways in which historical narratives can be reused for contemporary means.

The dissected image signifies the multiple functions and truths related to the site, as well as the nefarious ways some narratives have been created. The imagery also refers to the site’s fractured and incomplete nature, which comprises a few original traces and reconstructed elements indicative of the camp’s presence alongside modern interventions such as the radio telescopes. (Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork 2014; van der Laarse, 2018).

Item Type: Artefact
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Location: Salford, UK
Depositing User: Michael SAFARIC BRANTHWAITE
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2021 09:11
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 14:01

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