Searching for the European Roller takes place in several public and private institutions across Sweden. It targets to mimic the purpose of educational videos and playfully applies an academic voice whilst exploring strategies of storytelling. The video weaves in and out of the history of a disappearing blue bird whilst re-tracing its memories and emotions. It excavates the many layers surrounding the birds' need for departure and the strong national desire for its return. In doing so, concepts of migration and identity are connected to a larger political understanding of belonging.
Searching for the European Roller, a project in evolution since 2011, takes the form of a performance/reading, a video and an installation made up of various artefacts tracing the history of a specific species of bird. Long ago, the European Roller lived and reproduced freely in northern Europe. For no apparent reason, the species slowly went into steep decline and its last known nesting in Sweden dates from 1967. Recently, however, by breaking up the landscape and designing specific environments to attract the bird, scientists are attempting to reintegrate the species in Sweden. An in-depth study of cartography and of this bird’s migratory models has led Hillside Projects to analyse this desire to reintroduce a species, and to wonder why some species are more desirable than others, or have irrevocable legitimacy in a given territory. The history of the European Roller thus became a metaphorical starting point for a broader investigation into the notions of borders, limits and migration, as well as the notions of belonging, acceptance, and partiality.