the control tower
The control tower always stands at the entrance to the camp. It guards the main gate, surveying all comings and goings, ever watchful. No one comes or leaves without its permission. Inside, the prisoners are kept within their cells, staring at the blank, dirty walls, the locked door. They have no mobility, no freedom. The mast fixes them within the compound walls. Cells are for prison, mobiles for freedom. Alike though, cells and mobiles promiscuously connect everyone, egalitarian technology, except for those without cells: no mobile, no freedom. Work makes you free. Inside, the confined half-life of the prisoners, lining for food, standing on parade each morning, lying in their straw-filled bunks, their bodies numbed with cold.
Outside, in the town beyond, where they see the tower only in the distance, spiking the horizon, the people go about their daily life without a thought for this other world, these cooped-up thousands, oblivious while they make their breakfast and put the coffee-pot on the stove, phone a friend, iron a shirt. Unconsciously, each one creates a centre to the periphery marked by the skeletal tower.
Within the camp, the tower mocks their geography with its own centre, a looming taunting Babylon that watches, listens, searches with restless moving arc lights that flicker through the darkness. Beneath its gaze, the cells are still, the stretched bodies lie in silent mode.