Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, installation view Rijksakademie OPEN, photo Gert Jan van Rooij, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, installation view Rijksakademie OPEN, photo Gert Jan van Rooij, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, installation view Rijksakademie OPEN, photo Gert Jan van Rooij, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, installation view Rijksakademie OPEN, photo Gert Jan van Rooij, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, installation view Rijksakademie OPEN, photo Gert Jan van Rooij, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, installation view Rijksakademie OPEN, photo Gert Jan van Rooij, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, reader 325 pages, designed by Daria Kiseleva, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, reader 325 pages, designed by Daria Kiseleva, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, reader 325 pages, designed by Daria Kiseleva, 2017 Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs, reader 325 pages, designed by Daria Kiseleva, 2017 'Concerning: request for erased and ‘blurry’ photographs', still from the testimony of Witness F, pointing to a photograph in the courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, 2015 - ongoing, installation, dimensions variable 'Concerning: request for erased and ‘blurry’ photographs', still from the testimony of Witness F, pointing to a photograph in the courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, 2015 - ongoing, installation, dimensions variable

Concerning: Request for erased and 'blurry' photographs
2015 - 2017

Installation, mixed media: three inkjet prints 150x210 cm, framed;
duratrans print in lightbox 176x119 cm; two screen videoinstallation
5:20 min; reader 325 pages; press conference 04:43 min

This installation deals with two rolls of photographic film that were captured during the fall of the United Nations Safe Area Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that culminated in the massacre of 8372 people in July 1995. The rolls of film contained evidence of execution sites around the UN compound and were shot by members of a Dutch UN battalion that was deployed there to safeguard the area and its inhabitants. 

The first roll of film was destroyed in a photo lab of the Royal Dutch Military; it was exposed to photographic fixer before developer chemicals, upon which the content of the film was erased. The destruction of these photographs stirred considerable suspicion in Dutch media, politics and amongst citizens, which led to a six-year long investigation and finally the toppling of the Dutch government in 2002.
The second roll of film came back after development containing only three ‘blurry photographs.’ Despite the controversy around the erased film, I found out these ‘blurry photographs’ were not circulating publicly and had never been shown before. I finally obtained the photographs through the Dutch Freedom of Information Law Act (WOB) from the Dutch Ministry of Defense, in the spring of 2015. They were first shown publicly during an exhibition I took part in at the former Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. Following that exhibition, the pictures suddenly appeared in the Dutch tabloid newspaper De Telegraaf, which erroneously contemplated on the origin of these ‘blurry photographs.’ It also became apparent that they were used as evidence during the interrogation of a former Dutchbat soldier who testified anonymously at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
The three photographs remain the only known photographs documenting execution sites in Srebrenica by members of Dutchbat to date.

In the installation, the historical and aesthetical figure of the erasure is evoked in its potential to represent the process of a double elimination: the elimination of the people in Srebrenica and the erasure of the traces of their elimination. A process in which the military leadership of the Netherlands and its government, became decidedly complicit.

 
Anna Dasovic () Anna Dasovic () 'And he knew that those who witnessed these things might be too stunned to speak', 2017, still 'And he knew that those who witnessed these things might be too stunned to speak', 2017, still 'And he knew that those who witnessed these things might be too stunned to speak', 2017, still 'And he knew that those who witnessed these things might be too stunned to speak', 2017, still
And he knew that those who witnessed these things
might be too stunned to speak
2017

Installation, mixed media: 16mm projection, 3’’, continuous loop;
2k projection 18’17’’, loop;
sound 18'17'', loop;
framed letter, baryta print, 26x38cm

The work deals with how the claim to an impossibility of 'witnessing' the Holocaust is still retained through political speech. With the recurrent rise of Nationalisms throughout the world we must ask ourselves why notions like ‘the unimaginable’ and ‘the unthinkable’ activated whenever a president speaks about warfare?

The presented footage consists of 16mm fragments of 'Special Film Project 186', assigned by US Army Air forces to a crew of cameramen and movie directors – mostly from Hollywood – with the task of producing “the most complete and comprehensive propaganda color film of the war ever made.” The project was never completed. Primarily documenting the Allied aerial bombing campaign on Germany, a few reels of film depict the consequences of Nazi terror in Buchenwald concentration camp promptly after its liberation in April 1945. Their declassification in the 1960’s, mark a significant moment in which Holocaust discourses began to emerge throughout the West.

Rather than showing the horrific scenes as they were recorded in Buchenwald, the installation takes us to shots of the bombing campaign that the United States conducted throughout Germany at the end of the war. As the image of a plane circling through the sky becomes clear, we enter Buchenwald as we see German citizens of the nearby town of Weimar that are being forced by the US military to walk through the camp. They are guided by Allied soldiers through the courtyard of the crematorium of Buchenwald - where dozens of bodies are stacked up on the floor and in carriages, and many more are scattered on the floor throughout the camp - while in other parts of the camp re-enactments and demonstrations are taking place in which people who were formerly imprisoned in Buchenwald act out scenes in an attempt to make evident the violence that took place in Buchenwald on a daily base. Significantly, Barack Obama repeatedly made reference to these events in speeches before and during his presidency in correlation to a specific part of his personal family history. In these speeches he blurs the distinctions between the responsibility of the State and its citizens, the present and the past and one atrocious event and the other.

The work addresses the manner in which the representation of the Holocaust is constantly inscribed onto our retina- while revealing its deep connections with Hollywood from 1945 onwards- and questions its use as political currency to legitimise current political (in) action and warfare.
Anna Dasovic () Anna Dasovic () Anna Dasovic () Anna Dasovic ()
CABR 86939 (PRA Amsterdam, 24509),
CABR 62654 (BG Amsterdam, 803/47),
NBI 95005,
CABR 75745 (BRC, 764/47),

2013 
Iteration number one and two.
Pencil on paper, photocopies, 112 A4 sheets
 
These 112 pages are a transcription of my grandfather's CABR* files. The four files have been made publicly accessible in The Hague since 2 August 2012, 100 years after his birth.
When I heard that many people visit the CABR to try and embezzle documents in an attempt to clear their family name, I decided to reveal the files to the public myself.
My initial attempt to borrow the original files from the National Archives – in cooperation with the Van Abbemuseum – was unsuccessful. Due to changes in the policy of the National Archive as of 1 September 2012, it’s no longer possible to make reproductions of any documents either. However, you are permitted to take notes using pencil and paper.
In May and June of 2013 I sat in the National Archives and transcribed all the 112 pages.
A facsimile of the transcription resides in the Van Abbemuseum where it’s viewable, reproducible and can be loaned by public institutions.
The method of drawing, a forced bodily reproduction that attempts to overcome the ban on mechanical reproduction, affirms that the files of the CABR are both revealed and concealed, it ultimately hinders social, cultural and historical research of a history deeply rooted in Dutch society.
 
*CABR / Summary of the contents of the Central Archives for Special Criminal Jurisdiction:
The ‘Central Archives for Special Criminal Jurisdiction’ (CABR) are a collection of archives from various archival sources who were active in the field of special criminal jurisdiction in the Netherlands during the years 1944 – 1952 i.e. the investigation of so-called ‘Foute Nederlanders’ (Dutch Wrongdoers), who were suspected of conspiring with the enemy. After World War II, over 300.000 Dutch citizens were tried under the provisions of special criminal jurisdiction. They were accused of collaborating with the occupying German forces, treason or membership of the National Socialist Movement (NSB). The Central Archives for Special Criminal Jurisdiction (CABR) have a file on all these people. These large archives, four kilometres in length, are stored at the Nationaal Archief (National Archives).
The central archives include the archives of the Political Investigation Services (POD), the Political Investigation Departments (PRA), the Municipal Police, the National Police, the Public Prosecutor, the Special Courts, Tribunals and the archival material on the detention and internment of political offenders. (…)
(source: archival description CABR, National Archives, The Hague, the Netherlands)