68 MIN

Son[i]a #370
Bouchra Khalili

Son[i]a #370

“Who really speaks when someone speaks?” asks Bouchra Khalili (Casablanca, 1975). In the 1970s, this question was also asked by filmmaker and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini, embodying the figure of the “civic poet” who owns his own words and addresses the community, aware of the transformative power of the encounter between the individual and the collective. Something similar occurs with the narrators that Khalili brings together in her pieces: they tell their own life stories, but in doing so they connect to those of their communities of origin, stories of migration and constant movement. She weaves them together into stories in which interrogating the past and the present makes it possible to project possible futures. An emancipatory gesture of collective fabulation that also challenges viewers.

Bouchra Khalili was born in Casablanca in 1975 and grew up between Morocco and France. She studied Film and Fine Arts in Paris and currently lives in Berlin. Through a practice that combines documentary, conceptual art, installation, and oral storytelling, Khalili explores questions of self-representation, political agency, and the resistance strategies of individuals and communities rendered invisible by the colonial, oppressive, and exclusionary dynamics of nation-states.  Who is a witness? Who tells the story? Who documents, archives, and transmits the accounts that reach us? These are the central questions that run through all of Khalili’s work.

In this podcast, we talk to Bouchra Khalili about what it means to produce images and to approach film and documentary practice from new places and perspectives. Khalili also reflects on ways of working with stories with no archive. How can we narrate what is missing and embody absence? She defends the power storytelling—choral and multilingual—and highlights the narrative possibilities of montage and constellations.

<p>Conversation: Loli Acebal, Noela Covelo, and Anna Ramos. Script: Loli Acebal. Sound production: André Chêdas. Voice over: Javiera Cadiz.</p><p>Image: Bouchra Khalili, "The Typographer", 2019. 16 mm film, video transfer. B&W, 3'30. Courtesy of the artist and Mor Charpentier.</p>
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Son[i]a #370. Bouchra Khalili
Deleted scenes

We dig up some unreleased fragments of our conversation with Bouchra Khalili that we were unable to include the first time around. We talk about her relationship with photography and the haunting presence of history in it.

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Son[i]a #370 Bouchra Khalili
Son[i]a #384
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Son[i]a #384