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Yours, KOW

At Liste 18 in Basel, KOW presents Chto Delat?’s latest film project “A Border Musical,” a contribution to Monday Begins on Saturday, the first edition of Bergen Assembly, a new triennial of contemporary art in Norway, curated by Ekaterina Degot and David Riff. The filmic mise-en-scène hybridizes two issues that tend to be unpopular with Norwegian audiences: the marriage market along the Norwegian-Russian border and the rigid Norwegian social care system, which routinely pulls children from so-called problem families in order to integrate them into “healthier environments.” After extensive research, Chto Delat? have realized a studio production with musical interludes in the style of Bertolt Brecht’s “Singspiel”; charming and nimble, it deconstructs the glossy image of a caring community.

Ola from Finnmark meets Tanja from Kola. They fall in love, Tanja abandons her past and moves with her son to her new husband. Through joys and challenges of their mixed marriage we get a glimpse into today’s Russia-Norwegian borderland across cultural and social norms and values. How is our behaviour and worldview influenced by culturally loden relations between individual, family and society? To what degree are we responsible for our actions and to what degree do we leave it to the state? Who defines areas of responsibility? The Norwegian state and Ola’s best friend help the couple to build up a family based on Norwegian values. „A Border Musical“ is not a description of reality; it is a reality served in a spicy manner: through polished language and sharp definitions, exaggerated images and multifaceted characters, bizarre movements and eccentric scenes. Why cheer a mutual understanding when we learn from our differences?

, Chto Delat
Other Artists: Chto Delat? Border Cinema