• 00:01 Members of migrant comunities HAVE HISTORIES!
  • 05:04 Who speaks when someone speaks? What does it mean to produce a picture? Essaying forms of potential collective fabulation.
  • 08:36 Witnessing past, present and potential emancipatory futures
  • 12:46 "The Tempest Society" (2017). Performing a self that becomes a public voice
  • 21:15 I don’t make documentaries. I don’t make fictions either.
  • 22:17 Public nomadic storytellers. Circular stories with no ending
  • 27:33 Kateb Yacine, a public writer. A writer does not possess the words: words are public, words need to be disseminated.
  • 30:42 Recurring ghosts in my work: Kateb Yacine, Pier Paolo Passolini, Jean Genet, Carole Roussopoulos…
  • 31:35 "The Magic Lantern" (2019-2022): Carole Roussopoulos, portapacks, magic lanterns and other beautiful machines.
  • 39:07 Editing is a form of dialectics. Phantasmagoria: making lost voices speak in public.
  • 44:00 A film can be a film even without images. It's a simple gesture: showing something to someone.
  • 50:51 How do you work with the supressed? I often research un-archived stories.
  • 55:37 Jean Genet’s suitcases. Before the archive.
  • 60:02 "The Circle" (2023): public performance as a civic gesture.
12/04/2023 67' 22''
Bouchra Khalili, "The Typographer", 2019. 16 mm film, video transfer. B&W, 3'30. Courtesy of the artist and Mor Charpentier

"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.

Conversation: Loli Acebal, Noela Covelo, and Anna Ramos. Script: Loli Acebal. Sound production: André Chêdas. Voice over: Javiera Cadiz.

Image: Bouchra Khalili, "The Typographer", 2019. 16 mm film, video transfer. B&W, 3'30. Courtesy of the artist and Mor Charpentier.

Son[i]amigra and colonialityBouchra KhaliliCreative Commons

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