Abkhazia Files (working title) is a collaborative project emerging as part of ‘The Archive’ 2017 Residency Programme at SKLAD (Sukhum, Abkhazia). It forms part of a series of outcomes drawing from Jury and Kuc’s research on themes such as memory, trauma and archive, as reflected in their individual practices and other activities carried out under the Disasters of Peace banner. Currently a work in progress, Abkhazia Files is envisaged as both, two separate films, authored by Jury and Kuc, as well as a collaborative multi-media installation that examines the widening territory between the authority of the physical repository and the ephemeral archive of shared social narratives in the age of mass communication. Abkhazia Files seeks to question what makes an archive and crucially, what does an archive make?
If an archive is understood as a vessel that stores and represents the past, what does the archive stand for in the wake of its absence? An uncertain future? Or a release from the past? While a physical archive can solidify and set an identity, arguably, its destruction can liberate the individual to participate in the shaping of new stories. In the current age of mass-mediation, this installation suggests that histories operate as dynamic forms of media practice rather than fixed national narratives.