Velkommen Hjem Preproject
Terese Arildsdatter Riis and I spent several years developing an interactive installation for children with the theme of refugees, which eventually was named Velkommen Hjem. This page is about the process of making the work. The finished work premiered in 2018 and has it’s own presentation here.
The idea was to make a space with sensors that could present a young audience with contrasting moods like vacuum/breathe freely, safe/unsafe, home/homeless. Some of the questions that were important in our process were “what creates the feeling of belonging/not belonging?” and “how do children deal with deportation, and the feeling of extreme personal and cultural loneliness that deportation creates”
In 2017 I travelled to a refugee camp in Greece During daytime I did volunteer work in a children’s centre (from giving out clothes to music sessions) and in the evenings I did field recordings, asking people “What means home?”. I was several times invited into the temporal “homes” of refugee families. Receiving hospitality, food and gifts from people who had nothing, and hearing their stories and reflections first hand, left a big impression, and gave direction to the work. Later that year, we made a pilot, which was tested with a live audience, with the support from Tou scene, who let us use their space and equipment.
We wanted the space to react to movements, and the dramaturgy to work in an aural sense. We worked over time with programmer Dag Egil Njaa and the NOTAM centre, to find the best solutions for objects with sensors. Along the way it became clear that what we needed was technology that combined wireless sensors and wireless speakers in the same object. The goal was not the technology in itself but to give the audience tools to understand the situation of refugee children, so all decisions connected to storytelling techniques and sensors was guided by this goal.
The preproject was financially supported by Komponistenes Vederlagsfond, Statens Kunstnerstipend and Norsk Kulturråd Forprosjekt Scenekunst.