HORSES AND ANTS
AN OPERA IN EIGHT ACTS
Duration: 24 h
Language: Finnish and Swedish
Song and narration: Frida Josefin Österberg
Music composed together with Kristios Yngling
Dance and choreography: Sandra Lolax
It’s cold and dark outside but inside the tent, the stove is warm. In the cosy light
of the oil lamp, those on guard stay awake. Nightvision goggles keep a watchful
eye for enemy movement. It’s normal to see things when you’re tired.
ÖSTERBERG SLEEPS DEEPER
Someone is talking in their sleep. Mystical characters move around in the
space. In the darkness of the forest the stars shine bright and you can make out
the planets. It happens that you forget where you are.
COMPANY WAKEUP CALL!
The day begins with minute-functions. In the forest, combat training is being
prepared. Here and there the sun looks out through the morning mist.
Those who can, stay in the tents and fall back asleep.
At the hospital it’s warm and comfortable.
THE BEST SONGS ARE LEFT UNSUNG
The company is getting ready for a manoeuvre.
The trucks are filled with equipment and war paint is applied.
Inside the trucks, small holes in the covers create camera obscura effects of the surroundings passing by.
Back at the brigade, films that deal with combat fatigue and stress are shown.
It’s orientation and luckily Österberg can follow Vesanen throughout the course.
Everyone has to be vaccinated for flu and boreliosis.
WAITING FOR A2
The school visits old front lines, bunkers and trenches.
War has broken out in Kaunispää where a farmhouse needs to be evacuated.
Two soldiers are sent down, but the farmer refuses to leave his property.
Combat training continues and TNT-carpets are layed out.
Nyman shows us how to do it.
Österberg is the messenger, and runs between all the trenches. It is hot and sweaty.
The NCO-students visit veterans at a senior citizens home.
The lessons continue with films. The company arranges a track and field day
and first platoon wins as usual. During a lecture, contemporary threats and A2
Yellow State are discussed. After the shootings, the weapons are cleaned and
inspected by the NCO-students. Cleaning duty has to be completed before
rest and recuperation can begin. Starck keeps it in check.
THEN IN OUR DARK HOUSE
Rest and recuperation commences. In the gallop-woods shooting exercises
continue even in dusk. The vicar gives a lesson on returning to civilian life.
At the garrison, st Lucia pays a visit. Liimatainen collects points by going for a
run and Österberg tells him about Atahualpa and Pizarro.
Pehkonen orders pizza.
Jauhiainen gets his hair cut.
Saarinen guides the medics through a stabbing case. Österberg helps a friend
fix his bag. The light is out. In the forest, night shootings commence
and the flares slowly sink into the landscape.
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