October 2017, a huge extension of the southern territory of Pontevedra was burned. A great social commotion, articulated through the emotional exaltation of social networks, placed the problem of fires at the top of citizen concerns for several weeks. However, after a not very long time, and in the absence of new similar incidents, the concern silently disappeared.
LUME questions this phenomenon. The fires, at least in Galicia, are the symptom of a deeper process, related to the abandonment of the rural and the fracture in the economic-social model that articulated this country for several centuries. Given its great emotional impact and given the tendency of the media to deal with information about fires from the “show” perspective, our main effort is aimed at seeking a reflective distance that would allow us to ask ourselves the necessary questions, beyond emotional springs and sentimental “clichés” in the treatment of this phenomenon.
This distance gives a certain contemplative look. A look directed, not at the spell of the flames, ash and smoke or the state of exception that is associated (helicopters, seaplanes, motor-pumps, fire brigades, military and volunteers, people fleeing their homes) but to the routine. To the processes that take place under the seal of normality. Everyday life that seems to have nothing to do with all this, as if we were living in parallel dimensions that would suddenly connect a few times a year, transferring floods of fire from one to the other.
Along with this we try to channel two concerns: what happens to the remains of all those burned trees? what is the wood’s fate? And also, what is happening in our society as time makes us move away from the phenomenon. We think that there is a ‘forgetting work’ that is not trivial. There is a singular intensity in the effort to forget about the traumatic collective events under the influence of the “back to normality”. It is weird, because our feelings get closer to the “back to abnormality”.
The abnormality in which we are installed on a daily basis.