Falstad Fjord book RRR group 30 october 2013
edited by Fabrizio Bellomo, Birgitte M. FjĂ¸rtoft, Piergiorgio Italiano with the collaboration of Anna Paola Buonanno, Irene Arescaldino
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Falstad — Fjord book REcall Docs
REcall is a research project founded by EC Culture 2007-13 Programme (n. 2012 - 0927 / 001 - 001 CU7 COOP7) focused on the possible roles Museography can play when dealing with Difficult Heritage such as the ones coming from conflicts and wars. REcall wishes to envision new ways to the handling of Painful Places & Stories going behind any traditional approach: there is the need to shift from the ‘simply’ commemoration attitude to a more active involvement and participation of people in/with Places & Stories, through design strategies of ‘reappropriation’ (www.recall-project.polimi.it).
The views expressed in this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
REcall Consortium POLIMI-Politecnico di Milano - Coordinator - (Italy) AAU-Aalborg University (Denmark) NTUN-Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway) UNEW-Newcastle University (United Kingdom) Falstad Museum, Falstad (Norway) Museo della Resistenza, Turin (Italy) Associated Partners Ergan Foundation Romsdal museet Routes Agency Snark © The Authors: Creative Commons: license CC BY SA 3.0
Falstad Fjord book
edited by Fabrizio Bellomo, Birgitte M. FjĂ¸rtoft, Piergiorgio Italiano with the collaboration of Anna Paola Buonanno, Irene Arescaldino
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Table of contents REcall project About Historical Background SS Strafgefangenenlager The secrets in the Falstad forest The mystery of the Falstad boat The Fjord The fjord as a community space The landscape High tide / low tide During the workshop Falstads tidevannspark Approach A park Micro-architectures Team
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About REcall seeks to formulate a new role of the architectural environment based on invigorated research on the cultural landscapes of WWI and WWII and strengthen the attention on the management, documentation and preservation of this heritage.The project regards heritage as a dynamic process, involving the declaration of our memory of past events and actions that have been refashioned for present day purposes such as identity, community, legalisation of power and authority. The project group see that any cultural landscape â€“ i.e. architecture- is characterized by its dynamism, temporality and changing priorities in social perception.We stress that the research we develop will generate the values to be protected tomorrow. On the strength of this account, our project proposes the development of sustainable and innovative architectural practices for reuse, valorisation and communication of the XXth Century European Conflict Heritage considered as Cultural Landscape.
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SS Strafgefangenenlager Falstad In the late summer 1941 a group of German officers came to the little village Ekne in the north of Trøndelag County, Norway. They were looking for a place to establish a mother and children’s home, and they had heard that the building belonging to the Falstad School could be a great place for this. At Falstad they concluded that the building and the area around was better suited for a prison camp. In the autumn of 1941 SS Strafgefangenenlager Falstad was established1. From 1941 and until the liberation day 8th May 1945, somewhere between 4.200 and 4.500 people were imprisoned, for a shorter or longer period of time, at Falstad. 215 of these were women. The prisoners were mainly political prisoners, but some was also hostages and prisoners of war. In the years 1942-1943 the camp was expanded, and two additional prisoner barracks were built (photo of Falstad). At the most 800 prisoners were imprisoned at the same time. Leszek Orlowski tells about his experiences from Falstad: The transport to Falstad, and the stay there, made us scared (…). We had heard that people were shot there (…). We lived from hour to hour, day to day at Falstad 2.
Nilssen and Reitan 2008, s. 27 Nilssen and Reitan 2008, s. 13
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The secrets in the Falstad forest As prisoner at Falstad, one of the most difficult experiences was always to live in uncertainty, not knowing what was going too happened to you, your family, or your loved ones the next minute, the next hour, or the next day. It was a big psychological challenge for the prisoners. It was rumored that when you were prisoned at Falstad you were executed. In the period 1942-1943 it was a high probability for this to happen. The year 1942 has been named the year of terror at Falstad, where many men were executed in the Falstad Forrest, about 1 km south of the main camp. How many were killed is still unknown, but research suggests that as many as 200-300 men may have been executed there1. The reason why we do not know the exact number of victims is that when the Nazis understood that the war was lost, they tried to cover up their crimes and hide the traces. The 4th May 1945, just before the liberation, a battalion of German soldiers came from Trondheim to Ekne. The soldiers came with several lorries, and arrived in the evening. They started to dig up the graves at the Falstad Forest, to remove them and to hide the traces of the terrible crimes. From oral and written sources we get an idea of what happened that night. Thorleif Stavrum, who was a farmer and lived near the camp, tells: Friday 4 May, at 6 PM, two German lorries with soldiers arrived at Camp Falstad. At 10 PM the same day two German lorries with Germans, and three Germans on a motorcycled with a sidecar arrived. All drove to Camp Falstad. At 11 PM, the same evening one car and the motorcycle drove to the burial ground in the Dalen swamps (the
Hjorth et. al., 2012, s. 6
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Falstad forest). At 1.30 AM on 5 May a German lorry came from the burial ground, driving to the quay at Ekne, before returning to the burial ground. At 3 AM the second car drove to the quay. The cars stayed at the quay for about ½ - ¾ of an hour (….). Another boat, assumed to belong to Camp Falstad, had been by the quay for several months, being repaired. Shortly before, it was loaded with stones. In the night of 6 May it was towed by the first boat and sunken somewhere between the island Ytterøya and Ekne 2. Gunvor Mostad, who was a prisoner at the Falstad camp from 17.04.45 to 08.05.45, remembers also those eerie days, she tells: (...) we sat up all night and were so tense. We heard lots of lorries that went back and forth. It was that day they started to dig up the corpses on Falstad. They drove back and forth all night and sunk them in the fjord. I remember it as it was yesterday, we had the window open, and the prisoner Torleif Selegg tiptoed across the courtyard. We asked him; what is going on? They are driving corpses from the marshes. It really struck us, and nobody was able to sleep that night (…) (Mostad, 1997, s. 12). Until now no one has been able to give an accurate number of how many were sunk in the fjord, but the German officer Herman Ahlborn, who led the exhumations, stated that 23- 25 bodies were found the morning of 5th May. Ljuban Vuković, one of the prisoners digging graves for the Nazis during the war, claimed that as many as 50-60 people had been exhumed3. During the summer of 1945 the Norwegian authorities found many empty graves, including the graves of the ten zone victims, which indicate that many corpses could have been removed. Based on the stories of soldiers and prisoners, it is believed that the corpses were places in a boat and sunk in the fjord.
Stavrum, 1945 Hjorth et. al., 2012, s. 8
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The mystery of the boat There has been many attempts to find the Falstad boat which should have been sunk in the fjord between Ekne and Ytterøya the 6th May 1945. The first attempt was the 17th July 1945, by the boat “King Haakon 7”, but the boat was not found1. It has also been several attempts to find the boat in recent times, the first one was in November 2007, and the last one was in December 2012. Kåre Hernes, whom was 21 years old and lived at Ekne in 1945, stepped forward in 2006 and claimed that he witnessed that the boat was a 70foot wooden boat in terrible condition, and that he saw when and where the boat was sunk. Thus, he became an important source in the search of the boat. Hernes claimed that he could point out were the boat was sunk, and said that it was in the suggested area’s deepest point. But even with his descriptions and with the modern technology such as advanced sonar and remotely operated vehicles, the boat remains hidden in the fjord2. The hope is to provide answers to the families that lost their loved ones in the cruel days in the 1942 and 1943, and to further understand and document what happened. However, we cannot answer these questions yet, and thus we cannot stop looking for the Falstad boat. The boat is also a symbol of all the people with an uncertain faith, which lost their life in the war. One of the Nazi goals was to delete people’s identity. In order to counteract their doings, we need to give the people that lost their life their identity back.
1 Nilssen and Reitan, 2008, s. 100-101 2 www.adressa.no/nyheter/nordtrondelag/article969963.ece
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The Fjord as a community space The fjord and the bay of Falstad has a very important function for the community. Itâ€™s a place for meeting, sporting events, fishing and navigation. In the past it was certainly an important center for the economy of the area. Approaching to an intervention that brings to mind the tragic events of Falstad, we definitely want to reaffirm the bay as a place for the community, extending also to the tourists, the curious, the explorers. We think that the bay is a rare place, and we want to preserve it, as it is.
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The landscape The Falstad landscape is a major component of the history and an important source to understand the past. The landscape has many types of historical layers containing valuable information. Today, the area around Falstad is a peaceful agriculture and forestry village. During the war the Nazis used the area and the landscape to cover up their actions, both with murdering prisoners in the shelter of the forest and hiding them in the depths of the fjord. Since the landscape played an important role, we want our project to focus be likewise, where the landscape is an important part in the dissemination of the history of the Falstad boat. We want to utilize its properties to bring different elements together. At the same time as we want the public to enjoy the beautiful scenery at Ekne and in the Falstad bay, we want to tell its war time story in a way that the public can learn it, and honor the people who suffered. From the Falstad forest the river Byeelva flows. It passes the Falstad Center, and runs into the Falstad bay. It`s a beautiful river, and connects the whole area and unites the forest, prison camp and fjord together, just like the tragic events during WW2. We want to use the river mount for our intervention. The bay area is also a bird conservation area1, and is especially important during the migration south. Studies have shown that 114 different bird species have visited the area. This is also something we will consider to incorporate in our intervention.
1 http://gamle.levanger.kommune.no/tjenestetorg/landogskog/ biologisk_mangfold/faktaark/09_falstadbukta.pdf
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11 50 76 10
87 9.9 50
14 16 3
6 8 3 8
Ekne kirke 61
Ekne stadion Solvang 61
Bruheim 61 61
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water and tides
birds preserved area
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High tides / low tides At Falstad, this causes a daily variation of the tides to be in the range of 1.5 to 3 meters, between its daily high and low. The rise or fall process is slow, taking on average a little less than 12 hours and 30 minutes to complete a high-low-high cycle. The complete process for the bay of Falstad can be seen in the chart below for the period of 1 October to 31 October 2013. There, both the daily and monthly variation can be seen. For the shoreline, this change of water depth change translates to a significant amount of land being either in or out of the sea. Especially, if the land is relatively flat in the transition between sea and land. This can easily be seen in the below picture of the Falstad bay, where the outflow of the Falstad river into the fjord can be spotted in the innermost part of the bay. In our project the tides act as a symbol of the inaccessibility to some of the evidence of the Naziâ€™ war crimes during WW2. Even with modern technology, time and nature has covered up horrible incidents, just as the water covers and hides the Falstad boat and its horrible cargo.
Tide graph - Ekne, October 2013
260 240 220 200 180 160 140 120 100
280 260 240 220
200 180 160 140 120 100
260 240 220 200 180 160 140 120 100
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living the tides
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During the workshop During the workshop we tried to live the bay, to experience around this great landscape. What struck us was the immutable force of nature. From this concept we realized that we were not able to build an architecture, or just even thinking of turning this place in something else. Especially because this place is a concentration of sudden transformations.
We lived the high and low tide, walked in the mud, observed animals and waited for the change of light. We finally understood that the strength of the bay is precisely to mutate and at the same time remain motionless.
fabrizio bellomo, norway 2013
fabrizio bellomo, norway 2013
fabrizio bellomo, norway 2013
piergiorgio italiano, visualization : the fjord, the boat
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The approach Our research was initially focused on a very simple concept , or as the landscape over time can swallow any trace of a story, something happened / lived in its territory , and this for the place on which we have decided to work ( the fjord ) does not keep any track of the history that we should remember or recall through our intervention architectural / artistic . Through a research work we have analyzed a series of works by contemporary artists who have dealt with temtiche close to our discussion today , from video of Francis AlĂżs in which an object ( a box of ice) is moved from one point to another of Mexico City and during transport is gradually fading until it disappears, leaving its mark as a temporary sign of his passage (which will quickly disappear ) a strip of damp and the work of Paola De Petri in which, through the photographic representation the author analyzes the reabsorption of some traces of trenches ( between Austria and Italy dating back to world War II) as part of the landscape that their host , as well as a picture of Louis Ghirri in which an old bell tower emerges from a lake ... Through these and other works analyzed we wanted to focus our attention on the concept of slow reabsorption from the landscape of the traces of the past that went through. The landscape , nature, absorbs but does not do it overnight, and in the process leading to the resorption gradually creates various other perspectives of landscape - say that behaves like one of those materials mnemonic , so dear to contemporary design , in which each variation of resorption is visible for some fraction of a second , well! the reabsorption by the nature of the tracks that have crossed works the same way , but here are quite dilated the timing of the various variations .
Paola De Pietri, To Face, Monte Fior, 2009-2011
luigi ghirri, Argine Agosta Comacchio, 1989
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It should also be remembered that the bay near the Falstadcentre is now the subject of environmental protection by the Norwegian Government, in particular with regard to the many species of animals (especially birds ) in the same . As mentioned earlier , today the Fjord retain no trace of the painful events of World War II ; For this reason, there seems adequate to design a memorial, a memorial or a museum of pain: what we want to do is preserve this area, trying to convey to its possible visitors the concept of memory , through the metaphor of dellâ€™andirivieni tides, we ourselves have experienced the magic of the high tide during an inspection of the Fjord .
The sea takes ownership of the tracks on the muddy bottom , whenever the tide rises , as well as the nature and hides erases the traces of the events and stories of men.
Our project involves the creation of a system - park of the tide, in which micro- architectural interventions designed ad hoc are donated to the community for various activities ( fishing, bird -watching, walking , exploration, navigation ..) , of course practiced per se in this context (as searches previously made ) .
Our architectural interventions will be in continuous organic relationship with the tide, they will hide , will emerge , will cause short man / visitor to relate with the climatic and environmental changes of the place . The main material that we will use for the realization of our intervention will be waste material , recovered from old boats destroyed
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and abandoned but with a wood still intact enough that it can be used to cover the structures of our interventions whose skeleton will be made with the virgin wood , given the wide availability of this material on Norwegian territory . In addition, our intervention in some ways remind the appendices very often adjacent to many homes, Norwegian , appendices sort of extension of the house outside in the territory. (Figure 33 ?)
Using as a kind of three-dimensional pattern for our project , the remnants of the old boats destroyed and abandoned , on a symbolic level it is as if we were doing re-emerge / disappear the tragic story of “ intentionally made the boat sink with the prisoners on board,” through the interaction of this symbol with the tide.
Acting on a variety of plans , symbolic, metaphorical constructive and pragmatic , we will create a park as a kind of architecture perceptual memory .
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A park The bay is the subject of environmental protection by the Norwegian Government, with regard to the many species of animals present. There is no trace of the painful events of World War II. It is as if nature had normalized all, he had regained possession of its space and serenity. For this reason, there seems adequate to design a memorial, or a painful museum: what we want to do is to preserve this land, by reflecting its visitors on the concept of memory we relived through the tides. The sea takes ownership of the tracks on the muddy bottom, whenever the tide rises, as well as the nature hides and erases the traces of events and stories of mankind. Our project involves the creation of a system - park, in which some micro - architectural interventions are designed and donated to the community for as many activities (fishing, bird watching, walking , exploration, navigation...) but they are in continuity with the tide. They hide themselves, they reappears, they cause to relate with climate and environmental changes. The material used for our construction has a strong link with the territory: they belong to old abandoned boats , and itâ€™s reused either for a symbolic reason (it is as if the boat, and with it the events of Falstad, emerges from time to time by the fjord) and for purely design issues of environmental and economic sustainability. These materials will be also taken over by the tide, in the future.
Micro - architectures We designed micro - architectures that interact with the tide. These devices operate with low tide, ensuring the exploration of the bay. They can also be used with the high tide: in this case they take possession of a further symbolic level.
pole for birds
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RRR team Fabrizio Bellomo Fabrizio Bellomo (Bari, 1982 ) graduated in Industrial Design at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence, and attended the master’s degree in Photography at NABA in Milan following a scholarship from the Puglia region, Italy. He carries out projects aimed at involving the public and to study the individual and his activities, both as a single entity and as a member of society, experimenting with languages such as video, photography, web, installation and print media, and combining the subversion of the linguistic rules to the storytelling and popular environment. Among the latest projects and events, in 2012 was selected for the 34th Cinemed - Festival international du cinéma méditerranéen de Montpellier, he participated in the opening of the new Museum of Pino Pascali in Polignano a Mare and won the Premio Celeste in Rome with the video 32 Dicembre. In the same period he was selected by the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Cinisello Balsamo (Milan) and by Pirelli Foundation for ART AROUND, a project/commission on public art. Achieved in 2011, in collaboration with Bruno Barsanti, the project amarelarte, public art in the ancient port of Bari, was invited by Luca Panaro exhibition on photography at the Rocca Malatestiana of Fano and by Francesco Zanot to the exhibition Milano, un minuto prima at the Fondazione Forma of Milan. In 2010 he curated and designed two publishing products as a result of a research on Puglia region, and the way in which it is represented by photographers born in Puglia, and participates in Milan in some project activities at Isolartcenter. He is currently planning his first film, a documentary set in Bari in the district of San Cataldo. Birgitte M. Fjørtoft My name is Birgitte M. Fjørtoft, and I am 25 years old. I’m from the small island Fjørtoft, located on the west coast of Norway, outside the
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city of Ålesund. Today I live in Trondheim. I graduated from NTNU as an archaeologist in the summer of 2012. Within my education I also have a one year history study. My master thesis is a modern archaeological contribution to the interdisciplinary research project Painful Heritage, which focuses on increasing the awareness of the cultural landscape and material culture from the prisoners-of-war (POW) camps in Norway. This is something that has received little attention until today. The main focus of my thesis was to locate, evaluate and analyze the conservation status of some POWcamps in Trondheim and Øysand, in the context of modern archaeology. The landscapes and material culture from the POW camps are an enormous source of knowledge that can increase the understanding and insight on how people in captivity were treated during the Second World War. It is therefore very important that such remnants are recognized as sourcematerial and not undermined. I have experience in background research through archive searches, interviewing, and location of sites. I believe that such methods of acquiring material will be important in the REcall-project and as a foundation for an exhibition. As a eld- archaeologist I have participated on several projects in Norway, dealing with both registration of cultural heritage sites and excavation of such in relation to road and railway development. In general, these have been projects on stone- and iron-age remnants. Today I work at the Falstad Center. Here I mainly work on a project that deals with women’s lives in wars and conicts, which also is a topic that has received little attention. Piergiorgio Italiano Piergiorgio Italiano (Lanciano, Italy 1983) is an interior designer and visual researcher currently working in Milano. He studied interior design at the Università degli studi di Firenze and Politecnico di Milano, where he followed the laboratory of Prof. Pierluigi Nicolin and discussed the master thesis with a project in museography, supervisor Prof. Pietro Marani. He participated in an exchange program at the Department of Architecture at Chalmers
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Tekniska Högskola, Goteborg; he also had a course in typography at CFP Bauer, to deepen the interest in graphic design. He has been working as a exhibition designer for Artex in Firenze, and in a young team of designers for SVID (Swedish Designers Association) in Småland (SE), taking part in SommarDesignKontoret 2009, where he was in charge of the renovation and restauration project of an old tire factory spaces, Weland. He worked for some architectural firms in Milan, such as Francesco Librizzi studio (www.francescolibrizzi.com) and Nunzio Gabriele Sciveres (www.sciveres.com), mainly in the field of interiors restauration. He’s also involved in a research with a network of designers, U A A A U. They were mentioned in the “CO/Auletta” competition, promoted by SNARK and RENA: the goal of the contest was to select ideas, design teams, and participants for the future development and transformation of Auletta, a small town located in the Campania region of Italy that fell victim to the devastation of the 1980 Irpinia earthquake. He recently curated the exhibition “Gino Sarfatti. Il design della luce” at the Triennale di Milano. Irene Arescaldino Interior designer, Biella, 1985. Anna Paola Buonanno Interior designer, Solofra, 1986.
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REcall docs – Falstad workshop book Published by Politecnico di Milano, DAStU © The Authors: Creative Commons: license CC BY SA 3.0
falstad workshop book REcall is a research project founded by EC Culture 2007-13 Programme focused on the possible roles Museography can play when dealing with Difficult Heritage such as the ones coming from conflicts and wars. REcall wishes to envision new ways to the handling of Painful Places & Stories going behind any traditional approach: there is the need to shift from the ‘simply’ commemoration attitude to a more active involvement and participation of people in/with Places & Stories, through design strategies of ‘reappropriation’ (www. recall-project.polimi.it).
REcall is a research project funded by EC Cluture 2007-13 Programme (n. 2012 - 0927 / 001 - 001 CU7 COOP7)
RRR Birgitte Margrete Fjørtoft Fabrizio Bellomo Piergiorgio Italiano + Irene Arescaldino Anna Paola Buonanno