Saturday, 16 May 2009

2 [30 September 2008]

I started filming in Camp Joffre, initially in the area which was still in use as a detention centre for "illegal" immigrants (often asylum seekers). I didn't really understand at that stage the geography of the camp (it is vast). I was stopped by a police officer and asked what I was doing!

Later I found the part of the camp which was used during the Second World War. It is known as "îlot F"(the name of the barracks in that area). I made several hours of walks through the undergrowth and over the tiles, through the buildings and along the old barbed wire. The atmosphere was eerie. It is quite an exposed place, the power of the wind must have made life uncomfortable for those living there.

I started working on the footage. Some of the walks could be used in their entirety, uncut. The images were surprisingly beautiful. I felt that I needed to work on the sound: I liked the idea of juxtaposing these images with a more sinister sound track to reflect the atmosphere of the camp. I had recorded my footsteps during the walks and I played with the frequencies to create the effect I wanted.


Top: Jonathan Moss, 'Rivesaltes (Shoah) series', Video still, 2008

Bottom: 'Huts', 2008. Photo: Jonathan Moss. Hut numbers, painted in 1942, still exist

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