When You Take Something Apart
This film program investigates the concepts of decolonization, forensics, deconstruction and purpose through the medium of video. How have artists developed a language of filmography that is using video to provide support and action in humanitarian, social and political contexts? Documentary videos have long harnessed the potential to bear witness, but could a video actually become a witness, a testimony, and a piece of evidence? How do artists and creative practitioners use the method of video to ask questions about reclaiming agency and provide a tool of effectiveness in our times? The film program enigmatically starts with Shuruq Harb’s artistic video that questions languages of truth and normality, through the mirrors of the intimate teenage years of experiencing the Gulf War, the Intifada and the jarring underground culture of trance music in Tel Aviv. This video program is largely inspired and named by one of the quotes within the text of this work. The program then segues into the effective work of Forensic Architecture and presents a case study of their work, “Chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria” and how they have advanced the language of architecture and forensics utilizing public video feeds to create evidence used in human rights cases, dissemination of truth and even tribunals. The program then presents the work of Sandi Hilal an integral member of DAAR that has worked with many issues related to refugees, from Palestine to Boden in Sweden. In this film documented by Ana Naomi De Sousa, she records the beginnings of a vital project initiated by Hilal, The Living Room or The Madhafah, where refugees reclaim their agency through taking on the right to host.
The fourth video is that documenting the pertinent work MTL Collective, formulated in New York by Nitasha Dhillon and Amin Husain, but with reach to Palestine, Istanbul, São Paulo and London. They have aimed to create an artistic political collective aimed towards the proliferation of direct actions in a way that asserts ideas of resistance and training in the practice of freedom. The final video by artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan presents pertinent sound analysis of bullets proving that Israeli army officers targeted the killing of two Palestinian boys, in a demonstration on the outskirts of Ramallah. This is presented in an abstracted format through a court case where this sound analysis is presented as evidence.