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EMERALD CITY embodies our dreams, desires and idealism, admitting the nightmarish realities that come when these utopias are usurped by our greed, our desire for security, or pinning our communal hopes on a single saviour who wields great power.
EMERALD CITY plays with specific historical references that reveal us launching ourselves towards disaster, taking the 1930’s and 1940’s as case studies of liberal ideology subverted by the authoritarian, Fascist, Communist and Totalitarian regimes which commit atrocities in the name of progress, blighting the present in the service of a “brighter” future.
EMERALD CITY focuses on the vulnerability of youth, the most impressionable and idealistic age group, from Soviet Pioneers, Nazi Youth Brigades, American Boy Scouts, to Belgian Navy Cadets and Cambodian Youth Soldiers. These hopeful images of brave comrades in arms, moving in disciplined unison, filled with hope can reveal the dark propaganda that clouds freedom of thought and expression.
EMERALD CITY uncovers the parallels between these historical groups, so comfortably situated in the past, and our contemporary political states, where the same dreams and nightmares recur.
EMERALD CITY is the culmination of a one month long residency at Calgary’s EIGHTOHNINE space. (http://badalmer.com/809/category/residency/).