Under the Flag

Artūras Raila


Video, 00:20:00.
Materials: 2 channel digital video, color, sound

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. M00239).

In the late 1990s, Raila began collaborating with Mindaugas Murza, the founder of the lnsvs/Lithuanian Alliance of National-Socialist Unity, Lithuania’s first neo- Nazi organisation. For Under the Flag, Raila first traveled to Linz to record his impressions of everyday life during the Austrian parliamentary elections of 1999 — which marked the final breakthrough for Jörg Haider’s far-right fpö/ Freedom Party of Austria. Back in Lithuania, Raila showed the footage to Murza and four other members of the lnsvs, filming their reactions. The final work is a split-screen video, featuring Raila’s footage from Linz on one side, and the lnsvs members — sitting under their Nazi-inspired party flag — on the other. The party members’ comments are a confused mishmash of racism, anti-Americanism, homophobia and anti-Semitism. In the end, despite previous agreements, Murza refused to allow the video to be shown in Lithuania. Under the Flag not only shows the workings of illiberal right-wing populism up close, but also demonstrates how the extreme-right worldview was able to make a comeback throughout Europe in the 1990s.

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