‘Art can alter the way we look at war’: the exhibition exploring the aftermath of conflict

Interview with Corinne Silva and Cécile Bourne-Farrell, January 2023


Cécile Bourne-Farrell: The Score (You and I Both Know) is the result of a long period of research you have been conducting in and around Sarajevo. This exhibition is an initiative of the Department of War Studies at King’s College London with my colleague Vivienne Jabri, Professor of International Politics in the Department of War Studies, and co-curator of this exhibition. Together, we believe art can alter the way we look at war and its aftermath.

Over three years the project evolved in different ways, partly due to the Covid interruption. Corinne, you had to adapt your approach and find your space for conceiving such a poetic and meaningful art project. I would like to ask if you can tell me more about the title The Score (You and I Both Know), as it might be the key to many levels of understanding of what you are presenting here?

Corinne Silva: When I first learned about the linden trees that marked Sarajevo’s former frontline, I was fascinated. I have always been interested in how landscapes are shaped by humans, especially in ways that are not always visible. These trees were human planted, and they have then been reshaped by circumstance. When I visited them, my first thought was to try to record systematically every single rupture that I could find on the surface of the tree bark made by the bullets and shrapnel as they entered. I began to think of each mark as a record or a score in the bark. So, the score has multiple meanings for me, one of which is keeping score, keeping a count.

I was also thinking of a musical score – these bullets and shrapnel become audible with a metal detector and this audio is incorporated into the soundscape you hear in the gallery. I think a lot about rhythm and pace in the way I work with photographs. I’m always considering them in relation to one another, how they unfold in a sequence, spacing, alignment, tempo. Here these photographs are placed in relation to the …


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