Countdown is a collaborative photographic and video installation by Susan Timmins and Roxane Permar, comprising one film and 18 photographs. In this work we focus on the perceived threat of nuclear attack using images of the deserted former Royal Air Force operations block at Saxa Vord in Shetland, which was part of NATO's Early Warning System during the Cold War. The title is a play on the much derided "Four Minute Warning" which was a public alert system conceived by the British Government during the Cold War. The name is derived from the length of time it would take for a Soviet nuclear missile attack against the United Kingdom to be confirmed until the impact of the missiles on their targets.
The film Countdown was originally shown in Shetland (2013) and Relate North (Nordic House, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2013). Subsequently the film was selected for screening in Film Al Fresco (Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia, USA, 2013) and the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York (2013). Additionally the film has been shown at Syktyvkar State University, Institute of Culture and Arts, Russia; University of the West of Scotland; Shetland College University of the Highlands and Islands; Suffolk University College, Ipswich. Film running time: 4 mins, 30 secs
You can watch the film on the page about Countdown on our Cold War Projects web site.