Premiere: Stefana Fratila’s Edmonbomb

We’re excited to premiere the new video for Vancouver experimental musician Stefana Fratila,  from her album Efemera.  Directed by Sara Wylie and shot by Evan Mason.
Watch the vid and read about the footage below! 

The video for “Edmonbomb” features footage taken by Sara and Stefana, including video shot by Stefana at an abandoned amusement park in Denpasar, Bali and by Sara in Antigua, Guatemala and the Pacific Northwest. 

The lyrics, song and video are about the tension between destruction and growth in the aftermath of violence. On the one hand, we’ve used footage from places we’ve visited that have experienced serious massacres and political violence (for further context, see here on Bali and here on Guatemala). In these places we are visitors, learning about histories, and enacting the role of the ‘tourist.’ On the other hand, we’ve connected this footage to our own ‘home’, violently renamed (‘British’ Columbia) and its peoples dispossessed, the land we are settlers on, wherein we are active ‘trespassers.’ Shame is an essential part of this piece: the shameful legacy of our colonizing ancestors, as well as our ongoing shame as tourists/settlers/trespassers. While bearing witness in a literal sense (through the camera’s lens), we simultaneously colonize the experiences of these violent histories, unable to grasp a full understanding of the land’s violent past. 



The collections of these gathered images were held together by a green and blue colour palette and our idea was to layer the imagery, creating textures that stretch the sense of calmness as it confronts a wider sense of calamity. In weaving our footage, we hoped to put our own memories in conversation with the memories of these spaces, creating a textured and intimate processing of trauma. The footage of Stefana indicates both the vulnerability and strength of the body, suggesting how the experiences of/by/on land can mirror more personal experiences of emotional devastation. 

The VHS format is archival in nature; it recalls the past and acts as a visual frame within which we can understand these histories. At first we see Stefana in high definition, but barely visible in the dark with her eyes closed. As if submerged, she is seen coming to surface in glimpses. When the song moves beyond its climax and towards the destruction referenced in the lyrics, we see her fully lit and transformed into VHS format herself, eventually disappearing into the landscape completely.