History, The night, video still
At various occasions since 1999, I have interviewed my grandmother. “History” takes its starting point in one of these interviews. My grandmother was born in Hungary in 1913. During the Second World War, she spent the years 1940–1944 in Finland together with my grandfather and their two children who were born in Helsinki.
History, Margit Miklos, video still
In the video, which is the starting point of “History”, she relates a few days in September 1944, when she flees from Finland, where she came from Hungary together with her husband and children. The story seems largely commonplace, and the flight is not described as dramatically as one would imagine. To a large extent the interview consists of a description of their journey, by car from Helsinki to Turku, further north to Rauma, then by fishing boat across the Baltic to Öregrund. The story is interrupted by more detailed descriptions, or memories, of events and experiences of the journey that the interview covers.
History, The photographs, video still
In addition to the interview and the video with the presentation of the photographs, “History” consists of a third video, which links the two first narratives to one another. The third video was shot on the sea between Finland and Sweden. It is night and most of the time we only see whirling snowflakes. Sometimes snow crystals land on the camera lens and begin to melt slowly. At times, the picture becomes sharper, and the lights and details of the buildings that we pass become discernible. The picture changes from the abstract to the descriptive, from the indistinct to the distinct, from the sharp to the blurred. The documentary character dissolves. What is told is only part of the story, and what we see only fragments of what was. But with the help of these fragments we might be able to interpret our own age, comment and reflect. In what kind of society do we want to live? Who do we have room for here? Do we really have a greater right to live here than anyone else?