Film, Produced with the support of Ashkal Alwan

When Osama Bin Laden’s compound was demolished in 2012, A BBC article stated, “No official reason for the demolition has been given. Residents around the compound have speculated that authorities do not want it turned into a shrine.” A simple search for the compound will yield scale replicas in the United States, China and Afghanistan and numerous models both virtual and physical. The demolition of the original compound however did not prevent its proliferation as a site, and the possibility of its memorialization and shrine-hood. The tools of control and surveillance responsible for the existence and and then demolition of the compound and its replicas are in turn vital to its expansion and symbolic suspension in memory. In Landscapes Without Bodies an emotional echo who attempts to make sense of the multi-folding violence of military replicas and its various manifestations (both physical and virtual) speaks only the language of intimacy and loss. Plagued by the ritual of forging intimacy via virtual mediation, it manufactures a narrative built on collisional assemblies of military and institutional replicas of the compound, reimaginings of memorialization and the strange interplays between intimacy and the virtual.
The visions and bodies of technological systems and networks become central to the sensorial experience of navigating the film. Amongst all this, larger questions continue to loom. As sites are increasingly sanctified and weaponized through military violence, where do their replicas and speculative trace stand? As our landscapes are populated by military monuments, militarized urban infrastructure and networks of surveillance, our forms of intimacy too are being channeled through these very structures, enfolding themselves within dense entanglements of violent legacies. What grows in the voids left by methodical demolitions, site-less shrines and continually mutating and mediated memories?

Watch the film here.


©Anamika Singh