Son[i]a #299 Naeem Mohaiemen
- 00:01 A great missing object
- 03:06 “Two meetings and a funeral”: the Wayback story
- 08:07 Archival obsessions and moments of accidental discovery
- 12:55 Real politics happens behind the scenes
- 17:58 Generational projections
- 31:44 Melancholia as a generative mood
- 39:58 Pragmatics politics: compromises, endorsments, audiences
- 46:47 “Gulf Labour”
- 52:03 Failing / Flailing masculinities
- 58:53 Building stories together
With a modus operandi based on wandering and endless searching, Naeem Mohaiemen (b. London, 1969) repeatedly delves into Bangladesh’s history through a detailed examination of its documentary heritage. His films meticulously analyse the way in which historical events are filtered and stored in national audiovisual archives, and reveal that the borders of those archives contain significant geopolitical narratives in a latent state.
Mohaiemen describes his research as “following the work down, down, deep into the rabbit hole,” without knowing where it will lead, picking up lost narrative threads that we wouldn’t have imagined we’d find there, which point in an unexpected direction.
In this podcast, Naeem Mohaiemen talks about pragmatic politics and failed masculinities, about Yasser Arafat, Muammar Gaddafi, and Salvador Allende, about the backstories of "Two Meetings and a Funeral", and about the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. We also talk about the generative aspect of melancholy, behind-the-scenes politics, and the importance of keeping up the search for the things that we still do not know.