CADA DÍA PASO POR AQUÍ
As the title suggests, this video describes the urban environment which the author walks through ever day – the neighbourhood of El Raval, part of Barcelona’s old town -. He covers this space in a singular manner, guided by a specific and dynamic organisation of signs: a lot of graffities, street signs, plaques, posters, stickers, rubbish and other residues, the texture of the walls and the roads, the geometric designs of the tiles on the pavement… This is thus an imaginary tour, which is nonetheless as faithful to reality as any documentary film can be. Its mode of expression is a rhythm of forms, colours, signifiers… complicit with the music created by Ramón González. However, as the author clearly states, his video also embraces “the rhythm of things, the rhythm of each of us, the implicit rhythm of the spaces that we inhabit.” The passing footsteps that his images portray are witnesses to the facts of the world, the changes that disturb a neighbourhood with a long history, the heartbeats of a city, the worries and clamours of its inhabitants.
UN CHANT D’AMOUR
Jean Genet’s one and only film, a distillation of his abiding obsessions. In neighbouring cells, two convicts daydream, masturbate and communicate through the walls, watched by a voyeuristic warden who fantasises alternately killing them or making love to them; in Genet’s hands, this claustrophobic premise explodes with tension and eroticism. An undoubted masterpiece.
Emergence explores the themes of identity, alienation and herstory in the context of the diasporan experiences of Chinese/Guyanese, Afro-American, Asian, and Palestinian communities. Through different modes of artistic practices such as poetry, visual art and performance art, four Black and Third World women, situated in the urban landscape of Britain and the U.S.A., give their testimonies. Includes Meiling Jin, Audre Lorde, Sutapa Biswas and Mona Hatoum.
MEMORY OF HOME
This essay film is a part of my ‘first person expression’ practice-based research project of my experience as a migrant moving from rural to urban areas in China and across national borders. I use moving image and sound to present my psychological journey of searching for ‘home’, which in my case, between China and Britain. It is also a project about the conflicts and interactions between Western and Chinese sides of one’s cultural identity. Born in the 1980’s China, I experienced the national rural-urban migration wave at a young age, as I moved from an ancient town in the middle of China with my family to Shenzhen, the first city that open to the world and embraced the western culture in the late 1970s. In my late teen, I came to London alone for education and now live here as a filmmaker. The cultural differences and physical distance between China and Britain put me in a position as one of many foreigners in London, but also relocate me as an outsider whenever I return to my home country. Being there, in China, I see the small town I was born being transformed into a standard urban city and the old lifestyle in the danger of disappearing. The old neighbourhood has gone, as people are frequently moving around for work. The cities, on the other hand, have been fast built up based on the existing model of the West. Where is my home? Do we want another Tokyo or New York? Home, the places I was familiar with have been transformed into a giant ‘theme park’ of the so-called modern future. But where exactly is our future home? The film is presented as a surreal dream and narrated by myself in a very personal and reflexive manner, constantly questioning China’s massive urbanization and expressing my uncertainty of being home, being nowhere.
GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM
GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM is constructed from fourteen dreams taken from eight years’ worth of my journals. The text is scratched directly on to the film so that you hear your own voice as you read. The accompanying images of women, water, animals and saints were chosen for their indirect but potent correspondence to the text.
VIDEO LETTERS #3,WHY WOULD A LETTER HAVE A TITLE ?
“Because I have always been on the move, departing a city and waking up in another country, I find myself writing letters all the time — to people I miss, people I met on the road, people I look forward to meeting… When I grew tired of words (which happened very often), I began writing them in video. Since I was traveling, writing letters in unknown lands, I also had very limited access to technology. I write my video letters with Fisher Price Pixelvision, Super-8, and Hi-8. When I could not find editing facilities I edited them with the camera. They became records of my desires desperately in need of an outlet… When shown in public, they re-invent new meanings in different contexts. They become letters to anyone who can relate to them.”
THE SNIPER narrates the parts of a notebook in which artist’s late father kept file on his actions in 1992 as a soldier in the war. This narrative is paralleled by the minimal but effective visualization of the artist’s hand drawing a red circle behind which the photograph of her father will appear as brought to life by her memory.