Distracted Bullets

  • About
    Distracted Bullets, 2005
    Symptomatic video, Dolby surround Sound, 5.1

    Distracted bullets is a literal translation of the Arabic term “Rassassa taycheh¬Ě”, i.e. stray bullet. The installation consists of 5 panoramic views of Beirut on the occasion of events celebrated by fireworks and shooting.

    5 events shot from the same place, Beit Mery, Metn area:
    September 13, 2003 : The Feast of the Cross
    September 3, 2004 : Emile Lahoud has been re-elected President of the Republic
    December 31, 2004 : New Year’s eve
    June 28, 2005 : Nabih Berri is re-elected as Speaker of the Parliament
    July 26, 2005 : Samir Geagea, head of the Lebanese Forces, is released from prison after 11 years in jail

    Before our eyes, Beirut is aflame with the fires of victory.
    The sounds of the fireworks and firearms, their quality, their orientation, make it possible to establish a topography of the town and its divisions: the parts of the town which joyfully celebrate and those which remain silent in the face of that same event. The sound of the installation determines also the position of the spectator, that of the person filming, and the nature and context of the political event.

    The noise of fireworks mingles with the sound of firearms. In 1994, militiamen turned in their heavy and light armament, and were authorized to keep one firearm in exchange for another which they gave up. On some occasions – weddings, graduations, elections, re-elections, religious feasts – the firearms come out, are used, then put away until the next occasion.

    How many firearm are used ?
    How many people, happy survivors of the war, became the victims of stray bullets during the various festivities? Hadjithomas and Joreige try to determine their number, but it is impossible. These victims are unlisted, there is no official trace of them. Although stray bullets kill numerous people every year, this news is rarely published in the dailies. These deaths do not make event. History doesn’t hold onto them. How does one keep track of these stories that are held secret?