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STORIES FROM THE SUDAN

SD Video | 17 minutes | 2003

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A young woman (the artist’s girlfriend) is filmed
during her holiday travelling in Sudan.
The account of a refugee, as delivered to the UNHCR in Cairo,
who follows more or less the same route, is narrated in subtitles
to the silent images.

The juxtaposition of the two personal accounts, one of which
has the arrogance of being more or less meaningless,
or obscenely private, in it’s observation of a young woman
in a context where she only seems to belong in a kind of colonial
nostalgia- whereas the other has the political function of pressuring
the listener into the service of granting a refugee status- aims to
address their mutual interdependency. It is the colonial nostalgia
in the form of a sense of ‘responsibility’ that drives numerous
young Western women to the Sudan and other war-torn regions
to act out a kind of rite-de-passage doing development aid,
and it is the art of getting across the right narrative,
seen from within a Western cultural framework, that determines
the chance for admittance in the UNHCR’s system as a legitimate refugee.

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