Shell Shock

Commissioned Sound Installation

As part of the Shell Shock pro­gramme at Eye Film­mu­se­um, Ams­ter­dam, I cre­at­ed a com­mis­sioned inter­ac­tive sound instal­la­tion. Vis­i­tors can lis­ten to sto­ries of refugees by pick­ing up old rotary tele­phones. These sto­ries were record­ed and pro­vid­ed by the BMP Foun­da­tion as part of the Euro­pean refugees oral his­to­ry project Spe­cial­ly Unknown.



Coin­cid­ing with the exhi­bi­tion A Tale of Hid­den His­to­ries, Shell Shock pro­vides a forum to the cin­e­mat­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of vio­lent con­flicts and trau­mat­ic mem­o­ries. It not only includes films but also social­ly engaged spe­cials fea­tur­ing talks, Q&As and per­for­mances. The pro­gramme focus­es on such themes as mem­o­ries and nar­ra­tiv­i­ty (Han­nah Arendt), psy­chi­a­try (Post Trau­mat­ic Stress Syn­drome) and the tales of Syr­i­an refugees (sto­ry­telling).



For this instal­la­tion sev­er­al rotary tele­phones had to be mechan­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied and pow­ered by Rasp­ber­ry Pi’s. Every time a phone gets picked up, a ran­dom sound­file is trig­gered through a python script, so a dif­fer­ent sto­ry can be heard through the handset.




Inter­ac­tive Sound installation

In cooperation with

BMP foun­da­tion

Anna Abra­hams

Ronald Simons

Job van Nue­nen (Stu­dio Beneden)


EYE Film­mu­se­um, Amsterdam

‘Shell Shock’ pro­gramme (films, events, talks, exhi­bi­tion), curat­ed by Anna Abra­hams & Ronald Simons