Sara and Hanan: «We wait in the garden. We wait like the gravel waits, like the wood pidgeon and the blackbird and the ice and the clear water. We wait, like a two-headed gnome: dirty, coarse, unreliable. Sometimes we look through your bedroom windows: you pig-faced evil bedbugs who feast upon the root systems of hope. Slowly the heart stops running. We light black lanterns. The horror loses its grip. Europe disappears. Then we turn toward paradises lost for you and your kin.»
Pia Maria Roll / Hanan Benammar / Sara Baban / Marius von der Fehr have mapped the networks that are interested in making Norway a more racist society. Who are they and what do they achieve with it? And what is the connection between this environment and an ever-increasing cry for more surveillance?
In Ways of Seeing, they venture into the gray zone between what can be right and wrong, what is legitimate and illegitimate, and what is legal and illegal; both for the state and for the individual. With them on the journey they have the previous Supreme Court Judge Ketil Lund, who led the investigation of the Norwegian government's illegal surveillance of the left.
Hanan B leaves France. It is 2012, the same year that the National Front does its most successful election ever. Jean-Marie Le Pen had been an intelligence officer and torturer in the French colonial war in Algerie, where Hanan’s father, Halim, fought on the side of the revolution. Now, after years of determined political work, Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter Marine Le Pen, has managed to convince the French public that the colonial “war of civilization” has moved on to European soil. That we have to prevent a muslim takeover of France will now be understood as the most important political undertaking. France adopts emergency laws and imposes a rigorous monitoring of the Muslim population, and in the years to come the National Front becomes one of the strongest driving forces of the extreme right-wing movement as it spreads across Europe.
Hanan moves to Norway, just to realize that Le Pen’s agenda has hit deep roots there too. In Oslo she meets Sara B, who fled from Saddam Hussein’s US-backed war against the Kurds in the 80’s, and who knows a lot about the connections between surveillance, racism and horror. Together with former Supreme Court judge Ketil Lund and a deeply beloved ghost, they embark on a journey through the root systems of power. At the same time NATO is plan- ning that their largest military exercise ever is to be carried out on Norwegian soil.