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SELF-PORTRAIT (2016-2018)
HD video, 2:39, black and white, Dolby 5.1 sound, 10 min., Germany-Portugal
Web project, photography and text, Germany-Portugal
2 Photogravure, spite-bite aquatint on 300g Somerset Softwhite paper, Portugal
Paper Size: 56 x 76 cm; Image Size: 21x15cm (image), 33x48,3 cm (text)
Commission: This Long Century Web Project, Escola das Artes Universidade Católica do Porto
Production: Curtas Metragens CRL / Solar Galeria de Arte Cinemática, Lamaland
Fine art: MeelPress
Support: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, DGARTES - Mnistério de Cultura
Produced with materials collected in 2014 and 2015 for the shooting of the feature film Extinction (2018) by Salomé Lamas produced by O Som e a Fúria, Lamaland, Mengamuk Films, Walla Collective, Screen Miguel Nabinho, Bikini with the support of Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual (ICA)

The war in Ukraine is burning. In early 2015 a Portuguese producer allocates a symbolic fund for the production of Extinction (2018) that allows for a return to Transnistria, a pro-Russian frozen-conflict in Moldova. We apply for journalist visas with a false script.
The visas take too long. Nevertheless we book the crew their plane tickets; I fit part of the available budget in my pockets; S.D carries the rest from Berlin. Two days before departing all the crewmembers are granted journalist accreditations – including the Moldovan nationals.
The shooting runs as expected for 20 days, the only border incident to allude, between Moldova and Ukraine, with KGB agents is reported in Self-Portrait (2016/2018). There is no consular protection in the territory. I’m unsure if I’ll ever get to meet our friends again.
Dream World (2018) is a sequence of 148 firework shots in the colossal Memorial House of the Bulgarian Communist Party, built on Mount Buzludzha between 1974 and 1981.

— The war in Ukraine is burning. In early 2015 a portuguese producer allocates a simbolic fund that a allows for a return to Transnistria, a pro-Russian frozen-conflict in Moldova. We apply for journalist visas with a fake “script”.
The visas take too long. Nevertheless we book the crew their plane tickets; I fit part of the available budget in my pockets; S.D carries the rest from Berlin. Two days before departing all the crewmembers are granted journalist accreditations – including the Moldovan nationals.
The shooting runs as expected for 20 days; the only “incident” was recorded and is reported in Self-Portrait. We were shooting next to the border with Ukraine. There is no consular protection in the territory. I’m unsure if I’ll ever get to meet our friends again.

Text: Transcript of dialogues
February 2015 – Conversation with the KGB, military checkpoint, Kuchurgan (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Moldova) | Pervomaisk
(Ukraine). Transcript of dialogues. The inquiry continued at KGB headquarters, Tiraspol (PMR, Moldova). It was not recorded.

/tc 00:37:54:05 00:37:57:15
- Damn, what is going on?

/tc 00:38:04:01 00:38:06:09
- Hello.

/tc 00:38:06:21 00:38:08:16
How are you?
- Everything is fine.

/tc 00:38:08:19 00:38:11:05
What is going on?
- Hello everybody.

/tc 00:38:11:08 00:38:13:15
Why are you all gathered here?
- Who speaks Russian?

/tc 00:38:13:18 00:38:16:01
Yes, but not all of them.
- Some do, the others don't?

/tc 00:38:16:04 00:38:18:22
Where are the documents?
- Do you have them?

/tc 00:38:19:01 00:38:20:23
Where? Show us.
- We already showed you.

/tc 00:38:21:02 00:38:24:02
Yes, but not to me. Passport.
- The passport.

/tc 00:38:27:17 00:38:30:15
Where do you come from and where are you going to?
- Lenin.

/tc 00:38:30:18 00:38:36:00
What have you been doing there?
- Right, I recognize your faces.

/tc 00:38:37:15 00:38:42:12
Where did you register?
- They entered and left...

/tc 00:38:42:15 00:38:46:10
You're out of time? Where were you lodged?
- No, no.

/tc 00:38:46:13 00:38:48:18
Did you enter through Moldova?
- Yes

/tc 00:38:48:21 00:38:54:19
Which Moldovan address are you all registered in?
- Well... we rented an apartment.

/tc 00:38:55:00 00:38:58:09
Still, there must be some kind
of registration in the EU?

/tc 00:38:58:12 00:39:01:21
The EU doesn't require registration.
Today you won't need it, right? - Yes.

/tc 00:39:02:00 00:39:05:07
You only entered and left?
Rented an apartment in Moldova? - Yes

/tc 00:39:05:10 00:39:09:15
What for? Are you the translator?
- Yes, I am.

/tc 00:39:09:18 00:39:13:05
Are you Moldovan?
- No, I'm Ukrainian.

/tc 00:39:13:08 00:39:16:00
From Ukraine. And you've
just arrived with them?

/tc 00:39:16:03 00:39:19:00
Yes, they don't speak
Russian and I do.

/tc 00:39:19:03 00:39:24:12
Interesting. I want to know what you are shooting.
- You should've called before.

/tc 00:39:24:16 00:39:28:06
Film. - I understand that you're shooting
but... Is it over or what?

/tc 00:39:28:09 00:39:31:12
No, it is still the same film.
- Haven't you finished yet?

/tc 00:39:31:15 00:39:37:16
Why Transnistria, what is the reason?
- Is it Moldova and Transnistria separately?

/tc 00:39:37:19 00:39:41:20
The main theme is Transnistria.
- What is he smoking? Show me.

/tc 00:39:41:23 00:39:45:06
- Our cigarettes don't please you?

/tc 00:39:45:09 00:39:50:06
He's used to rollies.
- Our cigarettes are expensive outside.

/tc 00:39:50:09 00:39:52:18
Are they expensive where he lives? ...Yes.
- Yes.

/tc 00:39:52:21 00:39:57:08
Damn, here you can smoke them.
- That's why they smoke tobacco. Half the price.

/tc 00:39:57:11 00:40:00:02
If you have the opportunity,
you should try smoking our cigarettes.

/tc 00:40:00:05 00:40:04:02
It might be better for him.
- Joking...

/tc 00:40:04:08 00:40:08:23
They bought some.
- Here everyone always smokes cigarettes.

/tc 00:40:09:02 00:40:12:17
I was also surprised.
For them, cigarettes are chic. - Yes?

/tc 00:40:12:20 00:40:16:01
It's expensive, you can
buy it for 5€

/tc 00:40:16:04 00:40:22:11
That's too expensive.
- Not smoking costs less, here it's the opposite.

/tc 00:40:23:21 00:40:28:14
They tasted and bought the Soyuz
cigarettes, with no filter.

/tc 00:40:28:19 00:40:32:12
Too strong for them.
- Yes.

/tc 00:40:33:12 00:40:37:03
Who is financing this expedition?

/tc 00:40:37:07 00:40:39:14
Is she the director?
- Yes, the director.

/tc 00:40:39:17 00:40:42:14
Who ordered it to be about Transnistria?
- She did.

/tc 00:40:42:16 00:40:46:12
She decided?
Is there any particular objective?

/tc 00:40:46:15 00:40:50:01
Interesting, no?
- What are you shooting in Transnistria?

/tc 00:40:50:04 00:40:52:18
That's true.
- On television?

/tc 00:40:52:21 00:40:56:15
There's nothing to see.
- Everything is adulterated.

/tc 00:40:56:18 00:40:59:14
Especially in Western television.

/tc 00:41:01:04 00:41:04:06
Everything's clear with you now.
- I certainly want to see the film.

/tc 00:41:04:09 00:41:07:17
But isn't there a script explaining
what the film is about? - Yes.

/tc 00:41:07:20 00:41:11:08
Is it about the lives of ordinary
people or other things?

/tc 00:41:11:11 00:41:17:04
Is it a worthwhile project about Transnistria?
Or are there any other interests?

/tc 00:41:17:07 00:41:20:23
There must be something else.
- The history.

/tc 00:41:21:02 00:41:25:04
The history of Transnistria? Did you go to
United Work Collective Council office?

/tc 00:41:25:07 00:41:30:05
OSTK can tell you the origin.
- Yes, that's why we did some interviews.

/tc 00:41:30:08 00:41:32:13
Have you interviewed people?
- Yes.

/tc 00:41:32:16 00:41:35:06
Who owns the car?
- We rented it.

/tc 00:41:35:09 00:41:39:22
In Chișinău? ...Is the driver from Chișinău?
- Yes.

/tc 00:41:40:07 00:41:44:08
Are you from Chișinău?
- Yes.

/tc 00:41:44:11 00:41:46:08
Is it interesting?
- Very.

/tc 00:41:46:11 00:41:49:20
What border have you crossed today?
- We came through Dubăsari.

/tc 00:41:49:23 00:41:53:16
Did you jump right in our direction?
- To Lenin?

/tc 00:41:53:19 00:41:56:14
Yes, we came to Lenin with Kolja.

/tc 00:41:56:17 00:42:00:20
Who is Kolja? This is Kolja, right?
- Yes.

/tc 00:42:00:23 00:42:02:23
This is Kolja.

/tc 00:42:03:02 00:42:06:05
Kolja, what did you want to show them?
- Me?

/tc 00:42:06:08 00:42:09:01
Yes, where have you been?
- To Lenin, I live here.

/tc 00:42:09:04 00:42:16:05
But did you go to your house? Or have you
been shooting again? - No, to Oksana's.

/tc 00:42:16:11 00:42:18:11
- Natasha.

/tc 00:42:18:14 00:42:20:01
- Oksana.

/tc 00:42:20:04 00:42:22:08
Who's she?
- And the grandmother.

/tc 00:42:22:11 00:42:28:00
There's an old woman and an old man.
We wanted to talk to them.

/tc 00:42:28:03 00:42:29:23
Are they Kolja's grandparents?
- No.

/tc 00:42:30:02 00:42:35:03
What did you want to talk about?
- Nothing special.

/tc 00:42:35:06 00:42:39:15
Considering that Moldova has almost
entered the European Union.

/tc 00:42:39:18 00:42:42:20
It is easier to cross the border, no documents
are needed, nor the registration, as before.

/tc 00:42:42:23 00:42:47:08
No, only the registration.
- And how many Moldovans do you see out there?

/tc 00:42:47:11 00:42:50:21
That I don't know. I just know that
they have biometric passports.

/tc 00:42:51:00 00:42:52:22
Do you have a biometric passport?
- You don't need one.

/tc 00:42:53:01 00:42:56:17
They arrive at any time, they rent an
apartment and live there as...

/tc 00:42:56:20 00:43:01:17
I'm not sure, if it's for a long term stay
I guess you must register.

/tc 00:43:01:20 00:43:06:10
Are these people here for a long term?
- No, they stay until the 4th of February.

/tc 00:43:06:14 00:43:13:12
Isn't that a long term stay?
- A long term stay is more than three months.

/tc 00:43:13:15 00:43:15:19
Now they're here as tourists.

/tc 00:43:15:22 00:43:20:20
Have you filmed anything today in Rîbnița?
- In Rîbnița today... let's see.

/tc 00:43:20:23 00:43:25:03
Yes, near the hotel...
We filmed him leaving.

/tc 00:43:25:06 00:43:27:14
Who, Kolja?
- Yes, leaving the hotel.

/tc 00:43:27:17 00:43:31:06
Is Kolja the protagonist?
- Yes...

/tc 00:43:33:13 00:43:37:04
Kolja, what do you do in Rîbnița?
- I work.

/tc 00:43:37:07 00:43:41:05
- In the Russian Regiment.

/tc 00:43:41:08 00:43:44:05
Do you work or serve in the Russian Regiment?
- I work as a civilian.

/tc 00:43:44:08 00:43:46:18
As a civilian?
- Yes.

/tc 00:43:48:10 00:43:51:13
In the heavy lifting work?
- What?

/tc 00:43:51:16 00:43:53:16
In the heavy lifting work?
- No, no.

/tc 00:43:53:19 00:43:56:10
- Surveillance.

/tc 00:43:56:18 00:43:59:00
I can't hear you.
- Surveillance.

/tc 00:43:59:03 00:44:02:14
So you're a guard?
-Yes, yes.

/tc 00:44:04:12 00:44:06:05

/tc 00:44:08:16 00:44:10:20
That cell phone doesn't have signal.

/tc 00:44:10:23 00:44:15:09
She has brought you presents.
- You should've called before.

/tc 00:44:15:12 00:44:19:15
You should've called before.
Now we'll have to escort you to Tiraspol.

/tc 00:44:19:18 00:44:21:18
- With whom?

/tc 00:44:21:21 00:44:23:18

/tc 00:44:25:20 00:44:29:11
I'm going to be punished.
- Seriously?

/tc 00:44:34:00 00:44:36:19
Why are you going to be punished?

/tc 00:44:38:03 00:44:39:14
Yes, yes.

/tc 00:44:39:17 00:44:45:05
The two people with the cameras
should go by jeep.

/tc 00:44:45:08 00:44:51:22
Me and Vitali Yurievich will go by van,
to divide ourselves.

/tc 00:44:53:20 00:44:58:13
You should've called yesterday,
warning that you would arrive today.

/tc 00:44:58:16 00:45:02:09
Then I would have met you...

/tc 00:45:07:17 00:45:11:19
Now it'll be difficult.

/tc 00:45:19:22 00:45:25:22
Have you planned to return to
Moldova after this trip?

/tc 00:45:26:01 00:45:29:21
Yes, because we didn't register for long.
- Did you enter for a day?

/tc 00:45:30:00 00:45:33:04
For about six/eight hours.
- Yes...

/tc 00:45:33:07 00:45:36:16
Is the authorization for less than a day?
- Yes, yes.

/tc 00:45:37:15 00:45:40:21
Did everyone register when
you crossed the border? - Yes.

/tc 00:45:41:00 00:45:44:01
Do you all have the immigration cards?
They must be in your passports.

/tc 00:45:44:04 00:45:45:17
They didn't give us that.
- They didn't?

/tc 00:45:45:20 00:45:49:17
They only returned us the passports
with our visas. - Visa.

/tc 00:45:49:20 00:45:52:20
All clear. Do you have a visa
for the Transnistrian territory?

/tc 00:45:52:23 00:45:55:15
- When does it expire?

/tc 00:45:55:18 00:45:59:09
Yes, it is valid until February.
- Hmm...

/tc 00:46:00:02 00:46:02:02
For a month.

/tc 00:46:04:16 00:46:07:04
Kolja, when should you go back to work?
- Tomorrow.

/tc 00:46:07:07 00:46:08:22
As a guard?
- Yes.

/tc 00:46:09:01 00:46:13:07
You are a Russian citizen, correct?
- I have their passport.

/tc 00:46:13:10 00:46:18:08
If you have the passport you are a Russian
citizen. Why are you so uncertain? - Well... Yes...

/tc 00:46:18:11 00:46:20:21
You have the passport and you don't
know which country you belong to?

/tc 00:46:21:00 00:46:24:06
Nikolai Nikolaevich, maybe it's better
not to waste time?

/tc 00:46:24:09 00:46:26:15
Should Romanich write it or will it take long?
- We don't need to.

/tc 00:46:26:18 00:46:33:13
The situation has changed a bit and
now you'll have to be escorted to Tiraspol.

/tc 00:46:34:12 00:46:36:03
- It's on your way out.

/tc 00:46:36:06 00:46:41:13
We need to talk to you in more detail.
There is no need to stay here in the open field.

/tc 00:46:42:02 00:46:46:21
Let's go. In half an hour
we'll be in Tiraspol.

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