Ali Cherri, excerpt from The Watchman, 2023. Video, 26:00. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Imane Farès. Collection The Vega Foundation.

Louroujina, a village in the northern part of Cyprus, is currently under the control of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Halil, a young Turkish Cypriot soldier, is doing his military service. He is responsible for guarding the border on the northern side from a watchtower. One night, while on duty, he begins to see strange things happening on the southern side of the hills. He sees suspicious lights moving about. As the soldier’s “visions” recur every night, various scenarios, including the possibility of an enemy attack, occupy his mind. These events seem too uncertain to inform his superiors. When the soldier plucks up his courage and decides to investigate more closely, he comes face to face with an army of “ghosts”: soldiers who died on that front, who return like ghosts haunting the hills. The Watchman explores the idea of waiting not only as a temporal experience, but also as a spatial one. It’s about a soldier caught in the false ridges of duty and a tale of disappointment. It’s a life wasted waiting for an enemy who never arrives…

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