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Native land: Stop eject

“I’m nostalgic for the world’s magnitude, of its immensity.” Paul Virilio “The nature of being sedentary and nomadic has changed." Depardon What defines home? a sense of home? is it a location or "something" (material or not) we take with us?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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Reading Lilian's inspiration about Ghost Farms in China, I remembered this exhibition by the filmmaker and photographer, Depardon and urbanist and philosopher, Virilio on Native Land where they asked what native land, "home" means in today's world, where human migrations and urbanization are taking place at an unprecedent rate, and when consequently sedentary and nomadic modes of life are redefined.

Native Land Stop Eject

(an exhibition by Depardon and Paul Virilio; first exhibited in Paris at Fondation Cartie, Nov. 21, 2008  to March 15, 2009)

Raymond Depardon and I both came around to this same question: what is left of this world, of our native land, of the history of what so far is the only habitable planet?” Paul Virilio. While the world has reached a critical moment in its history, where the environment conditions what humans do and what they will become, the exhibition Native Land, Stop Eject proposes a reflection on the notions of being rooted and uprooted, as well as related questions of identity. Whereas Raymond Depardon gives a voice to those who wish to live on their land but are threatened with exile, Paul Virilio examines and challenges the very idea of sedentariness in the face of the unprecedented migrations taking place in the contemporary world. Paul Virilio´s concepts are given form in a design by the artists and architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro, as well as Mark Hansen, Laura Kurgan, and Ben Rubin. The exhibition is, therefore, a confrontation. It is at once a contradictory and complementary dialogue between filmmaker and photographer, Raymond Depardon, and urbanist and philosopher, Paul Virilio. Depardon´s work has often explored native lands, and, particularly, the world of farmers, giving value to speaking and listening. His capacity to combine both the political and the poetic is clear to anyone familiar with his work. Through his writing, Paul Virilio has spent much of his time working on notions of speed, exodus, the disappearance of geographic space, and the pollution of distances.

Two quotes that illustrate the dialogue:

“Let us listen to these people, be they Chipaya, Yanomami, or Afar. Let us listen to these people and give them a chance to speak, so we can hear them express themselves in their language, with their own way of speaking, their own facial expressions.”Raymond Depardon

“The nature of being sedentary and nomadic has changed. [...] Sedentary people are at home wherever they go. With their cell phones or laptops, [they are] as comfortable in an elevator or on a plane as in a high-speed train. This is the sedentary person. The nomad, on the other hand, is someone who is never at home, anywhere. ”Paul Virilio 

Trailer of the exhibition:

This exhibition seems to resonate with some of the questions raised by Lilian's and others' inspirations on the importance of traditions and identity:

What is home? what defines a sense of home, of shared identity?

How are these concepts related to what makes some cities vibrant?  How do they explain what makes people want to live, work, experiment, play and interact with one another there? 

PS: I built upon Lilian's inspiration on ghost cities and ended up in mission 2 while this might be more of a mission 5 inspiration. Unfortunately I realized this too late and can't find a way to change mission without just redoing the whole post. :-(


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Photo of Jenny Jin

Excellent questions! Aside from the vibrancy of a community, or perhaps the first question we need to ask, is "Is this my community?" and "What makes it so?"

I'm so very intrigued to continue explore where this could go.

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