Broken Tongue
Mónica Savirón, USA, 2013, DCP, 3m

Broken Tongue is an ode to the freedom of movement, association, and expression. It pays homage to the diaspora of the different waves of migration, and challenges the way we represent our narratives. It is a search for a renewed consciousness, for reinvention, a ‘what if,’ the formal equivalent of asking a question expressed with a broken tongue—or not so broken after all. Mainly made with images from the January 1 issues of The New York Times since its beginning in 1851 to 2013, Broken Tongue is a heartfelt tribute to avant-garde sound performer Tracie Morris and to her poem ‘Afrika.’” —Mónica Savirón

Ismaïl Bahri, France/Tunisia, 2012, digital projection, 10m

“A series of five short films using the same procedure: a strip torn from the newspaper is coiled and then placed on a surface covered with a film of black ink. At the the ink’s touch, the paper unfurls and frees itself from the gesture that created it, revealing what remains of the inexorable passage of current events.” —Ismaïl Bahri

The Innocents
Jean-Paul Kelly, Canada, 2014, HDCAM, 13m

“Partially constructed around a shot-by-shot reenactment of segments from a 1966 Albert and David Maysles documentary, The Innocents features an image stream, an interview with Truman Capote’s desire, and shapes that correspond to the former through the instructions of the latter.” —Jean-Paul Kelly

Chapters 1, 2 & 3 ‘from the impossibility of one page being like the other’
Oraib Toukan & Ala Younis, Jordan, 2014, DCP, 4m

“Toukan and Younis have been working on discarded films from defunct Soviet cultural centers in Amman, Jordan following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Chapters 1, 2 & 3 isolate this mass of material down to its every frame. The factory is treated as the starting point, and is reconceived as an assembly line of the very images that are being sorted through. A reorder of films once made for communism get smelted down to the very fetish object they have now become. The work can also be seen as gesture on the institution of collaboration, and specifically that of two artists in the face of an over-supply of images. The work is therefore presented as a diptych with repeated configurations of two entirely different approaches to the same material. The title ‘from the impossibility of one page being like the other’ is a play on a phrase uttered in the film. The soundtrack is left intentionally unsubtitled.” —Oraib Toukan & Ala Younis

Sugarcoated Arsenic
Claudrena Harold & Kevin Jerome Everson, USA, 2013, DCP, 20m

“Much of my work as a historian has been devoted to exploring the nuances of the Southern black voice—its pregnant silences, its powerful whispers, and its eruptive rage. The genesis of Sugarcoated Arsenic can be traced to my discovery of rare archival materials (reel-to-reel audio of Professor Vivian Gordon, discarded photographs, local newspapers) at the University of Virginia that revealed the institution’s deep though largely undocumented connection to the cultural and political revolutions of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film captures not only the spontaneity of our subjects’ lives but also the improvisational spirit guiding my collaborative work with Kevin.” —Claudrena Harold
A film shot in 16mm, as if someone had made a documentary film at the University of Virginia in the 1970s, “(as) if Claudrena Harold had found a reel of film as she was researching materials about African American life at UVA.” —Kevin Jerome Everson

Adorno’s Grey
Hito Steyerl, Germany, 2012, digital projection, 14m

Adorno’s Grey depicts a team of conservators scraping away at one of the walls in the auditorium at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt. According to legend this wall was painted grey at the request of the German philosopher Theodor Adorno, in order to augment concentration and keep the attention of students during his lectures. The conservators were hoping to reveal a grey layer of the original paint. While showing these images of the search for the grey wall, a voiceover tells the story of an incident in 1969, when amid student protests, female students bared their breasts to Adorno during one of his lectures. Adorno panicked, collected his papers, and ran away. This was to be his last lecture.” —Hito Steyerl

O, Persecuted
Basma Alsharif, UK/Palestine, 2014, digital projection, 14m

O, Persecuted turns the act of restoring Kassem Hawal’s 1974 Palestinian Militant film, Our Small Houses, into a performance possible only through film. One that involves speed, bodies, and the movement of the past into a future that collides ideology with escapism.” —Basma Alsharif