To Be Here (2012 -16)

To Be Here (2016) Trailer

    To Be Here is a body of video works exploring the prolonged displacement endured by Sahrawi refugees living in camps in the Sahara Desert since 1975. This short film opens with the stark context of the camps, describing the flight of the women, many of whom were forced to leave behind members of their family, including their children. The film traces their journey from building the camps to search for self-determination. In this section, the camera silently rolls across the sparse desert while the voices of the women are represented through subtitles that scrolls across the screen. Excerpts from Ben Rawlence’s book City of Thorns, which details the lives of refugees in Dadaab camp in Eastern Kenya, prefaces each section. Here the comparison is made between the universal experience of displacement – a kind of malaise and stasis.

    As the exterior film draws to a close, the sound of the interior of the camps fades in the second section of the film, composed of four different perspectives inside the camp, each detailing the spaces and daily rituals of the people as they endure the harsh living conditions there. Intermittently, the voice of a young female resident fades in and out. Born in the camp, she reveals her growing frustration with the static nature of life there. Ultimately, To Be Here conjures complex issues of individual and collective identity, forced migration and exile, and the often overlooked female experience of conflict.

     

    Four screen installation with octophonic soundscape (2016)
    Broad/MSU Museum, USA

    Four screen installation with octophonic soundscape (2016)
    Broad/MSU Museum, USA

     

     

    Pop-up screening (2016)
    Excharia Square, Athens