As children we grew up in a war zone and our life was punctuated by air raid sirens and bomb shelters. The ocean nearby was a source of constant comfort. We used to swim in it daily. We used the big salty water to geographically orient ourselves in the world. Then our family immigrated to Canada, with its massive lakes and ravine systems, and we had to find different ways of understanding the space around us.
Swimming together 20 years later my sister and I were quite a bit older, more cautious and scared. The surreal experience of swimming in an ocean together was tinged with nostalgia but also solidified the internal confusion and disconnect one feels between "here" and "there" when torn away from their home.
Two sisters see each other on an ocean beach for the first time since childhood. Sound recordings from the sisters’ home country accompany this landscape: an orchestra of air raid sirens, ocean waves and tropical birds, all indicate that we are within multiple realities. These recordings create impossible spaces that exist simultaneously and imitate the psychic effects of a diasporic existence.
- Xenia Benivolski