Zerda and the Songs of Forgetting
Olivier Hadouchi presents two evenings of films that try to re-think, re-invent and re-open the visions and perceptions of history. The selected films are a mixture of experimental, sometimes disturbing and very creative, innovative styles. They challenge exotic and neo-Orientalist representations derived from old imperial traditions and reinvent new ways of dealing with ancient struggles, history and memory. Starting with Zerda and the Songs of Forgetting (1982) by Assia Djebar. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Olivier Hadouchi.
Zerda and the Songs of Forgetting, directed by Assia Djebar, 1982
With this film, her second one after The Nouba Of the Women of Mount Chenoua (1978), Assia Djebar explores, deconstructs and reconstructs colonial archives shot in the Maghreb in the 1910’s, 1920’s and 1930’s where visions of the local people were dominated by a violent and imperial gaze. The film examines the contrast between the foreign perspective and the reality of the lives being viewed from that perspective. The famous Algerian novelist co-wrote the script of the film with poet and author Malek Alloua. The soundtrack is by Ahmed Essyad, a composer from Morocco who mixed ancient and popular sounds from North Africa with modern, dissonant tones. The film is an innovative essay, demonstrating a brilliant way of rethinking archives, offering different perspectives and breaking away from colonial and imperial visions.
Olivier Hadouchi is an independent researcher and film curator with a PhD in Cinema Studies. He writes regularly for film magazines and journals including CinémAction, Mondes du Cinéma and Third Text. In 2017, he curated a film program for Museum Reina Sofia (Madrid), ZdB (Lisbon) and Bandits-Mages (Bourges). He often works with film Festivals and was a member of the Jury at « Documentary » in Beirut (2013) and in Algiers (2015). He has contributed texts to a number of books including; Filmmakers of the World, Unite ! (edited by Tereza Stejskalová Tranzit/Prague), Chris Marker L’homme-monde (edited by Christine Van Assche, Raymond Bellour) and Solidarity with Algerian Independance from the reporters from Ex-Yugoslavia as a booklet for MoCab (Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade).