Beyond Borders : A Mile in their Shoes

This installation by the artist Siemon Scamell-Katz was produced by The Knitting Circle and Beyond Borders Scotland in response to the capture and persecution of Yazidi girls and women by ISIS/Daesh.

Inspired by photographs taken by Falah Shakarm of the girl’s shoes when they first arrived in refugee camps, the installation uses experience, film and dance to tell stories and explore our relationship to another culture’s abuse and genocide. In forcing the visitor to confront the taboo of walking on others’ shoes, the artist considers how our shoes express our individual identities.

Chests of drawers, icons of familiarity and comfort, display a pair of shoes worn by one of the escapees from ISIS/Daesh. Taken from their conservative community, a religious minority, and used and sold as sex slaves, each pair of shoes is accompanied by the wearer’s testimony.

Working with the choreographer/performer Claudia Erixon, Scamell-Katz has made films exploring themes including Capture, Home, Suicide and Conformity. These are accompanied by text by Brian Brivati from The Knitting Circle. Another film of a Yazidi wedding has music composed by Martin Scheureggerr.

Brochures accompanying the installation are available at the bookshop and all donations made by means of the installation will go to a refuge day centre in Northern Iraq, set up by WADI. Donations can also be made online.

In 1991 at the age of 24, Scamell-Katz set up a design business. The business, ID Magasin, then started to create completely new research techniques to study human behaviour, including filming, eye tracking, virtual reality and neuroscience. In 2010, Siemon left to concentrate on working as a visual artist and uses film and painting as part of his practice, adapting learnings about human behaviour to his work.

The Knitting Circle is a collective of volunteers raising awareness of genocide related issues through art and building capacity for peace. Beyond Borders Scotland is an initiative dedicated to fostering peace and greater understanding between peoples, small nations and different cultures from around the world. #jindashoes

Summerhall Associate Exhibitions Programme, 1 September – 31 October 2015 11:0018:00

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