Post-colonialism

A search for a non-existent image, a desire to create an image where there is none,“ leads to Rea Tajiri’s composition on recorded history and non-recorded memory. Framed by the haunting facts of the post-Pearl Harbor Japanese internment camps (which dislocated 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II), Tajiri creates a version of her family’s story through interviews and historical detail, remembering a time that many people would rather forget.

Home Movies Gaza introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a mircrocosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity.

"... Basma Alsharif’s Home Movies Gaza, a film that captures the impossibly politicized domestic sphere of the Gaza Strip, under the constant hum and buzz of overhead drones."

Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (English Version) is an experimental documentary about "The Western Hostage Crisis." The crisis refers to the abduction and detention of Westerners like Terry Anderson, and Terry Waite in Lebanon in the 80s and early 90s by "Islamic militants." This episode directly and indirectly consumed Lebanese, U.S., French, and British political and public life, and precipitated a number of high-profile political scandals like the Iran-Contra affair in the U.S.

Adapted from psychologist A.R. Luria’s research in the Islamic outskirts of the Soviet Union in the 1930s, How to Fix the World brings to life Luria's conversations with Central Asian farmers learning how to read and write under the unfamiliar principles of Socialism.

Colorful digital animations based on Max Penson's photographs of collective farmers play against a backdrop of landscape images shot in Uzbekistan in 2004.

Using footage from mainstream British and Hollywood films, and excerpts from a poem by Shani Mootoo, this video explores the impact of cultural imperialism and the erasure of language—residual tools of oppression on members of post-colonial societies.

This title is also available on The New McLennium.

Four tales about cannibal monsters narrated and performed by the Waiãpi Indians. “We have made the video,” say the Waiãpi, “to teach people to be more careful with monsters they never heard about. Even a white man can be eaten as he goes into the forest.”

Directed by Vincent Carelli and Dominique Gallois.

Edited by Tutu Nunes.

In Waiãpi with English subtitles.

Four tales about cannibal monsters narrated and performed by the Waiãpi Indians. “We have made the video,” say the Waiãpi, “to teach people to be more careful with monsters they never heard about. Even a white man can be eaten as he goes into the forest.”

Directed by Vincent Carelli and Dominique Gallois.

Edited by Tutu Nunes.

In Waiãpi with English subtitles.

Invited to speak at an Indigenous Revolutionary Meeting, the narrator describes an intimate encounter with an Evil Colonizing Queen which leads to Turtle Island's contraction of an invasive European flora.

This title is also available on the compilation What Was Always Yours and Never Lost.

Kindah, 2016

The Diaspora Suite

Language Lessons entwines the search for the fountain of youth with the dream of a common language. The fountain both promises and frustrates eternity, while this dream offers hope for common ground. The lessons, made vivid by watery, elemental images and multiple voices, suggest that communication remains at the limits of our imagination.

Music by Pamela Z.

Language Lessons entwines the search for the fountain of youth with the dream of a common language. The fountain both promises and frustrates eternity, while this dream offers hope for common ground. The lessons, made vivid by watery, elemental images and multiple voices, suggest that communication remains at the limits of our imagination.

Music by Pamela Z.

Sections 1-30 of an incomplete extended poem describing the artist's connection to the radical black tradition. The completed poem will be formed of 180 sections.

"Lessons are all about constraints; they are thirty seconds, must feature a black figure, and I have rules about where to make cuts, how to edit sound, etc."
— Martine Syms in conversation with Aram Moshayedi, Mousse Magazine

Sections 31-60 of an incomplete extended poem describing the artist's connection to the radical black tradition. The completed poem will be formed of 180 sections.

"Lessons are all about constraints; they are thirty seconds, must feature a black figure, and I have rules about where to make cuts, how to edit sound, etc."
— Martine Syms in conversation with Aram Moshayedi, Mousse Magazine

“To take back the gold that was stolen from us – this is the object of our actions.”

Lettres du Voyant is a documentary-fiction about spiritism and technology in contemporary Ghana, which attempts to uncover some truths about a mysterious practice called "Sakawa" — internet scams mixed with voodoo magic. Tracing back the scammers’ stories to the times of Ghanaian independence, the film proposes Sakawa as a form of anti-neocolonial resistance. 

“Trying to think the revolution is like waking and trying to see the logic in a dream...”.

Incorporating appropriated television footage as artistic experimentation and social critique, Chilean artist Magaly Ponce retells a history of violence and repression from her point of view. Magnetic Balance is a self-portrait of the artist as a member of a generation she terms the "children of Pinochet." Recalling the circumstances surrounding the execution of a family friend in 1973 at the onset of the Pinochet dictatorship, Ponce reexamines her relationship to Chilean society.

We recently went to Guinea Bissau to research the guerrilla schools of the mangroves. Instead, we soon became ourselves the apprentices and the first lesson we had to learn was how to walk. If you walk straight, placing your heels on the ground first, you promptly slip and fall in the dams of the flooded mangrove rice field or you get stuck in the mangrove mud. You need to lower your body, flex your knees and stick your toes vertically into the mud, extend your arms forwards in a conscious and present movement. In the mangrove school the learning happens with the whole body.

We recently went to Guinea Bissau to research the guerrilla schools of the mangroves. Instead, we soon became ourselves the apprentices and the first lesson we had to learn was how to walk. If you walk straight, placing your heels on the ground first, you promptly slip and fall in the dams of the flooded mangrove rice field or you get stuck in the mangrove mud. You need to lower your body, flex your knees and stick your toes vertically into the mud, extend your arms forwards in a conscious and present movement. In the mangrove school the learning happens with the whole body.

The Diaspora Suite

Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, NY ( an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to use an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and McPhee’s real time “sight reading” of the score.

Combining collage and animation with an Asian-influenced soundtrack, images of women dancing sensually and devotional imagery, Matsushima Ondo compares religious devotion with sexual representation. The viewer is invited to make connections and recognize the irony in some of the similarities.

In this video, the artist tries to overcome the effects of distance, and reflects on geography represented in exile due to war, and on the psychological distance represented in each one’s approach to her womanhood. The video beautifully weaves personal images and audio recordings of a very intimate nature, binding the personal with the political.

Chief Waiwai recounts for his village the story of a trip he and a small entourage made to meet the Zo’é, a recently contacted group whom the Waiãpi “know” through video. Both groups speak Tupi dialects and share many cultural traditions, but the Zo’é are currently experiencing the phenomena of contact that the Waiãpi underwent 20 years ago. Waiãpi cameraman Kasiripinã illustrates the Waiwai’s account of the trip with video. The Zo’é afford their visitors the chance to re-encounter the way of life and wisdom of their ancestors.

Chief Waiwai recounts for his village the story of a trip he and a small entourage made to meet the Zo’é, a recently contacted group whom the Waiãpi “know” through video. Both groups speak Tupi dialects and share many cultural traditions, but the Zo’é are currently experiencing the phenomena of contact that the Waiãpi underwent 20 years ago. Waiãpi cameraman Kasiripinã illustrates the Waiwai’s account of the trip with video. The Zo’é afford their visitors the chance to re-encounter the way of life and wisdom of their ancestors.

Tanaka passionately evokes the loss of her mother by visually recreating the ominous and disempowering feeling of isolation that accompanies mourning. The tape enunciates the painful phases of grieving: the claustrophobic results of dealing with the inevitability of death, the transitional void where one is lost between the comfortable orientation of one’s world and Nothing, and the new sense of clarity where images from the past resurface from the abyss of forgetfulness.

The film-essay Mined Soil revisits the work of the Guinean agronomist Amílcar Cabral, who studied soil erosion in the Alentejo region of Portugal through the lens of his political engagement as a leader of the African Liberation Movement of the 1950s. This line of thought intertwines with documentation of an experimental gold mining site, now operated by a Canadian company located in the same Portuguese region once studied by Cabral.