Me and La Tourette

Pekka Niskanen


The film tells me about my life.

Me and La Tourette interlaces a story about death with experiences of political oppression. For most of us, the well-nigh invisible presence of security services in our private life, on the web and in the streets is as unreal as the sounds, figures and moving objects that we associate with the dead. The actor in the piece talks about the pressures and threats resulting from a documentary film about Chechens. The Russian film producer has demanded that the film must give prominence to the Russian perspective: “One Chechen has already been killed in Denmark, and the same can happen in Finland.” Death and security services are uninvited guests in the video installation, guests who are difficult to get rid of.

Most of the video was shot in the convent of Sainte Marie de La Tourette, a closed community which outsiders may also join. Located near Lyon, the convent with its architecture (it was designed by Le Corbusier) stands in stark contrast to the stories in the installation that take place in random places and buildings in Europe and Asia. The separate events in La Tourette evolve into an unbroken story that underlines continuity.

Pekka Niskanen has collaborated with asylum seekers arriving in Finland in many different projects since 2008. In 2012, the Finnish public service broadcasting company YLE broadcast a documentary directed by Niskanen entitled Virtual War. The film is about the Chechen diaspora in Europe. After the first broadcast, YLE cut out four minutes from the film. Since 2012, Niskanen has worked primarily in France.

This work is a collaborative effort
Actors: Salla Lintonen and Samuel Camus
Music: Robert Aeberhard /
Sound design: Juuso Oksala / Napoleon Sound & Music

The production of the work was generously supported by
Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture AVEK, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, City of Helsinki Cultural Office, Oskar Öflund Foundation, and VISEK Centre for the Promotion of Visual Art.