Scary Stories

is a participatory project, in which I recorded my conversations with Americans and non-Americans living in different parts of the US, from New York to Louisiana and Texas. The conversations took place over three years, 2014-2016, and focused on different notions of fear. Fragments of these conversations, illustrated by participants’s drawings, were made into a collection of short animated videos and an experimental film, "Life and Dreams In the Burgh" . 

Taken together, the films paint a collective portrait of pre-Trump America with its polarized cultural landscape and brewing social and economic tensions. By transforming the personal to the collective, and the familiar into the strange, the videos reevaluate life’s mundane occurrences and trivial concerns, giving them alternative meanings and interpretations.

The complete Scary Story video archive may be found on my vimeo channel. 

Scary Stories: Unspeakable things, 11:16 min, 2015

No Fear in Texas is based on multiple conversations recorded in San Antonio, Texas, in 2015, as part of the Scary Story project. The recordings mark a unique moment in time: the country on the brink of tremendous political and cultural shift that was to come with the election of President Trump in 2016. The piece traces psychological and emotional indicators pointing towards this shift, unthinkable as it was at the time when the conversations took place.

No Fear in Texas, 12:41 min, 2015-18

In the spring of 2015 I was invited for a residency at a non-profit art and literature institution, City of Asylum, in Pittsburgh, PA. During my stay I recorded interviews with thirteen men and women of different backgrounds, currently living in the city: a housewife, a poet, a homeless person, a medical student, a dishwasher, a foster mother of six, and others. Fragments of their stories were reworked into an experimental film, combining diaristic video imagery recorded by local videographers with found footage and animation. The film conjures up the psychological landscape of a city troubled with social and economic tensions, haunted by the memories of former prosperity and the dreams of possible and impossible futures.

Life and dreams in the Burgh, 45:29 min., 2016