The Spokesman – My Crush Was a Superstar
The Bottled Songs of Lost Children is a series of video letters investigating desire, power and terrorism in online and social media. The videos, recorded from the researchers’ desktops, depict and interrogate their subjects’ compulsive engagement in the production of everyday myths and fictions about themselves and others.
Here are presented Chapters 3 and 4. “The Spokesman” investigates the online traces of John Cantlie, a British news reporter who was kidnapped and appeared in several Islamic State propaganda videos. “My Crush was a Superstar” tracks a French ISIS fighter, Abu Abdallah Guitone, through a trail of messages, videos and postings to uncover his existence in both social media and reality. This leads to an uncomfortable first-person exploration of the gender dynamics behind ISIS recruitment strategies.
The Bottled Songs of Lost Children was conceived with the support of the Harun Farocki Institut, sponsored by the Goethe Institut. It was further developed at m-cult (Helsinki), supported by EMAP/EMARE, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.