J.S.Bach: Goldberg Variations: Aria da Capo è Fine. Performed by Kimiko Ishizaka. Sound: Alex Zampini
In between territories
I live between many territories. I share them mostly with ants and mosquitos. Here the latter ones are famous for spreading the virus called dengue. They are called “tiger mosquitos”, that have nothing to do with “Pantheras”. They’re two winged insects belonging to the family called “Culicidae” and I call them “bitches”. The “bitches” kill the most humans in the world. And guess what, the face masks and night curfew won’t help, because they like to eat my legs and many of them are active during the day time. And they really are everywhere, inside and outside.
When I am going to explore new territories, it is way too hot. I am afraid of snakes and scorpions. The grass is sharp and it scratches the wounds on my skin. We all embody the lions from different environments. We have formed a temporary pride, and there are 25 017 kilometers between us. We are in a relationship to each other through a very strange territory. It is time consuming to take over the territory online. It can be an overwhelming place to be. It is perhaps one of the most dangerous territories today and at the same time the information, I gain so easily, is astonishing. I know so many things about lions now, additionally I can be in the shade, use air-con, and stalk lions from a safe distance. I am reading about how animals gain group immunity. I read how a lack of social connections decreases the immunity in humans. I read that lions are the only cat animals living in prides, making it easier for them to get territories for themselves. I read how some female lions exhibit male attributes, they grow manes and kill cubs, which is commonly known as male behaviour. I read that the biggest threat to lions are poachers and urbanization, and how their territories are tightened. Some of them are left out from the pride, they live in solitude and roam as nomads without territories. There are no queens and kings inside the pride except in the human imagination. They are the felines that need the most rest. They have strong legs, teeth and shoulderplates and they always greet each other with physical touch.
It has been a genuinely interesting experience working online, posting assignments and videos back and forth. One of the most exciting things was how the two members of our temporary pride have never met off the screen in real life, but nevertheless they have developed a confidential, close, and inspiring working relationship with each other. Finding a work strategy took its own time and required experimentation when we all were in different places around the world, but we definitely bonded by the end of the research.
I am exploring verticality. It is a new territory in my solistic lion practice. It is surprising and unexpected. I thought I would only crawl all the way to and from the stage. I don’t actually know anymore whether I am doing research for a camera or a stage piece. I became a cameraman, an editor and I appear in my own film. I am not a filmmaker, but it is interesting to edit our research materials and try to combine them with some narratives they don’t initially have. The whole project for me became an amalgam of different habitats we nomad.
And suddenly I was supposed to decide where my home is, where I want to be when countries are closing their borders. The foreign ministry of Finland was calling its “pride” out to go home immediately. They wanted all the Finnish people to go home to their own territory. Germany was offering evacuation flights to go back to German territory, because they call it a safe place for “us” who live there. They want us to stay inside of our own walls. Luckily I would have those walls, where to go. I was in between many choices, but I stayed next to the woods and wildlife. Next to two most dangerous species: humans and mosquitoes. Since I’ve been on this island people have died and injured from traffic accidents, someone was murdered, a woman fell from the rocks and died, a guy went kayaking, the ocean took him and he never came back. Additionally there’s plenty of dengue. And corona, fortunately so far one case, already healed, no deaths.
The strong muscle pain, mess of hallucinations, enormous headache, stomach ache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, rash, itchiness, cold, sweat, and eight days of high fever. “The bitches” got me. My body became a temporary territory for a virus, dengue took me as host. And you know what they say, the more we squeeze the wild life due to urbanization and farming, the more and more viruses are passed from animals to humans. We move so vastly and they move as we move, between territories. That’s nature’s nature.
Thinking of territories, homes, prides, and their meaning to us. Or if they even exist, except in our imagination like lions, in a way as we know them.
The research continues but now we need a real flesh.