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