Benera and Estefan
No Shelter From the Storm, 2015
HD video, 5 min., 42 sec.

Two solitary figures are climbing a mountainous terrain of devastated woodland, whistling the tune of the1960’s antiwar song “Where have all the flowers gone?” performed and recorded in many different languages over the years.

Shot in the disappearing primeval forest in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, one of the last remaining old-growth forests in Europe, currently destroyed by multinational corporations and corruption– the film comments on the fact that while traditionally forests have provided refuge for humans in times of need, today they only stand as reminders of the human condition of our age.

The anti-war tune –whistled against a filmic backdrop of ravaged hillsides to which biodiversity may never return– is therefore a wake-up call against our complicity in global conflicts but also the present-day environmental devastation, destruction of ecosystems and wildlife extinction across the world. 

The footage was shot on the borderlands between Romania and Ukraine, during a time of armed conflict on the territory of the post-Soviet country.
The lyrics of the American folk song “Where have all the flowers gone?” originated in a pre-war Ukrainian Cossack folk tune mentioned in Mikhail Sholokhov’s 1928 novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”, in which war –in the form of both international conflict and civil uprising – provides the epic backdrop to the narrative.