Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Truth and justice scandalously lacking in Lockerbie case

[This week’s edition of the Maltese newspaper The Sunday Times contains an interview with designer Mike Ross concerning his involvement with the Malta production of Kenneth Ross’s play The Lockerbie Bomber.  It reads in part:]

The poster for The Lockerbie Bomber, opening at St James Cavalier on Friday, is nothing short of striking. Viewed from a distance, it is a question mark, the sign which best resonates with the investigative nature of the play. Up close, however, the question mark opens up into a timeline of the Lockerbie tragedy.

“I’d had the idea of making a visual timeline of the Lockerbie case for some time but never quite figured out how I wanted to do it,” says Mike Ross, who designed the poster with the assistance of Andrea Meli.

“I thought it might end up being a painting, because that’s also been much on my mind. The whole issue is so full of unanswered questions and the idea of creating a montage of images that told the story from the beginning to the present day in the shape of a question mark came to me. The eureka moment was deciding to place the crucial and controversial piece of forensic evidence, a minute fragment of printed circuit board from a bomb timer, as the dot at the end of the question mark. That’s when it all suddenly fell into place.”

The centrality of the question mark allows for the design to be fluid.

“I like the idea that this can be an ongoing work in progress, which evolves as new facts emerge and allows for visually representing new developments, as and when they happen. It currently ends with the deaths of Muammar Gaddafi and Abdelbaset al-Megrahi but the story is a long way from over. It’s done in such a way that it’s infinitely flexible, and elements can be removed and replaced as the true story unfolds, while always remaining a question mark, always having the same basic look,” Ross says. (...)

“I’m most of all an ideas man, and my most fulfilling work has always been conceptual. Opportunities that allow me to explore ways of communicating important messages are what I’m on the lookout for,” says Ross, who is now also considering going back to drawing, and perhaps sculpture and painting.

This ethos has taken him on the path of the Lockerbie trail, a theme which resonates with his Scottish upbringing, with his time spent in Libya as a teenager and his current sojourn in Malta.

“I’ve read the play several times of course, and from what I’ve seen of rehearsals, this is going to be a profoundly compelling experience. I can’t wait to be a part of it – which is the nature of theatre in the round. Graphic design is very often connected to written content.

“I believe passionately in truth and justice, both scandalously lacking when it comes to the Lockerbie case. I want the truth to come out instead of being covered up by successive lying UK and US governments,” Ross says.

He plans to take the theme further in an installation, which he is literally, in his own words, trying to get off the ground.

“It’s basically a three-dimensional version of the question mark, suspended from above and slowly rotating over a circular turntable, rotating at the same slow speed in the opposite direction. The surface of the turntable consists of the iconic image, seen from directly overhead, of the Pan Am 103 cockpit smashed into a field, which has become synonymous with the atrocity.

“On the edge of the turntable a quotation rotates with the words ‘your government and ours know exactly what happened… but they’re never going to tell’ – said as an aside, by a US senator to a bereaved father at a meeting at the US embassy in London,” Ross says of his upcoming project.

This, Ross hopes, will have a dramatic and sobering effect as viewers take in all the images and the names on the artwork.

“Above all, I hope it will be thought-provoking and make them want to find out more about what really happened. It is not what we’ve been told.”

The Lockerbie Bomber is being performed on Friday, Saturday and next Sunday and on November 8 at St James Cavalier at 8pm. Staged by DnA Theatre Promotions, the play features Manuel Cauchi, Alan Paris, Alan Montanaro, Denise Mulholland, Julia Calvert and Mikhail Basmadjian.

1 comment:

  1. “Your government and ours know exactly what happened… but they’re never going to tell”!

    Why not?

    If we give credence to the ‘revenge theory’ then US would have jumped at the chance to use the revenge-attack to further attack Iran during the Iraq/Iran war.

    Aware of this Iran would not incite a further attack with a revenge attack in response to IA655.

    And if they were mad enough to do so, they would also be mad enough to claim responsibility.

    Therefore the US failure to officially blame Iran and Iran’s failure to claim responsibility should give rise to reasonable doubt about Iranian involvement.

    Whereas a domestic cover-up to protect Boeing does incite reasonable suspicion!