Film, Archives, and Memories as a Process to Heal the Wounds of the World
The world as we see and experience it today, carries all the wounds accumulated throughout the history of Western modernity. This world of wounds is based on the crimes committed by modernity–from slavery to colonialism with racism as an ideological weapon. Many of these wounds that have never been repaired tend to become invisible. Though they have not completely disappeared, their symptoms continue to manifest themselves. Even if material and intangible wounds inflicted by colonialism seem irreparable, we cannot continue to deny them or ignore them with silence.
As he departed Algeria after the independence war, Albert Camus, descendent of French settler in this country, wrote in his last novel The First Man: “Since what we have made here is a crime, it has to be wiped out.”
The list of the crimes of colonialism is so long that many of them remain invisible till today. While at the same time, making these crimes invisible has also been a weapon of control for the colonizer, claiming victory while disavowing all responsibility.
Although repairing all of them seems to be a never-ending task, there is a need for many people to move beyond this discouragement. It is through the process of identifying these wounds, listening to them, reflect upon them, talk about them and take care of them, that these countries will be able to reinvent themselves.
There are many ways to approach this difficult task, but I believe that art through different medias can be a powerful one and successfully contribute to it. Making documentary films is a way to understand and heal these traumas, and access to material or immaterial archives is an essential task which contribute to multiply knowledge and experience.
All these films speaks about wounds of the past, collecting memories, repairing archives, bringing testimonies to the surface, and are means to find a ways to cure them. In Algeria, in Madagascar, in Bissau, and in Indonesia, this important process of reappropriating the past is the only way to heal and illuminate the present.
Associate Festival Programmer: Jean-Pascal Elbaz