F A R Z A D K O H A N - M I G R A T I O N S T O R I E S

Ayyam Gallery
Migration Stories # 19, 2016, mixed media on canvas, 147 x 115 cm | VIEW PRESS KIT

F A R Z A D   K O H A N 
M I G R A T I O N   S T O R I E S
15 November 2016 - 23 February 2017
Opening reception: Tuesday, 15 November from 7.00 to 9.00 pm
DIFC Art Nights: Wednesday, 23 November from 7.00 to 9.00 pm

Ayyam Gallery Dubai DIFC is pleased to announce Migration Stories, the solo show of Los Angeles-based artist Farzad Kohan.

In his latest body of work, Kohan records the experiences of migrants who have resettled in the United States or Europe, mostly from the Middle East. Detailing their stories with text-based paintings that are written in American typewriter font, the artist adopts the role of a documentarian. This is also suggested with the vertical folded canvases of the series, which recall letters or messages that are shared in secret or tucked away for safekeeping.

Kohan sourced the transcribed stories from social media, asking friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to share the crucial moments that defined the process of migration for them. Filmmakers, artists, and scholars are among the over two-dozen people that replied to Kohan’s request. Some responded with partial memories of leaving home as children, while others offered harrowing accounts of fleeing due to political persecution or the outbreak of war. The formal characteristics of each work are tailored to the represent these individual narratives, as thin layers of different media are applied over the surface of the canvas, creating a tactile background that is saturated with colour. Text is then stenciled onto the painting, evoking the fleeting yet assertive nature of anonymous graffiti as Kohan’s respondents disclose their experiences without having to reveal their identities. Multigenerational and from diverse communities, his invisible figures represent a cross-section of today’s ever-increasing migrant population.

The complexities of resettling in a foreign country are further chronicled in form as Kohan uses oil and water based media that separate upon contact. As the artist attempts to bring together these materials, he provides an apt metaphor of the difficulties that are faced by millions who must resettle and reestablish the concept of home in a new place. In many ways, this notion of home shapes a significant portion of the self, and is instrumental to the formation of one’s identity. By mapping their experiences, Kohan paints biographical portraits of uprooted lives.

Kohan’s exhibition coincides with a special programme that is part of Dubai Watch Week, a non-commercial, international event dedicated to the craft and industry of watchmaking. From November 15 until 19, Ayyam Gallery Dubai (DIFC) will host a display that is part of a larger effort to educate the public on the artistry and history of watches. A second opening for Migration Stories will be held on 23 November in conjunction with DIFC’s Art Nights, a biannual event that presents new exhibitions, performances, and art installations.

About the Artist

Farzad Kohan’s sculptures and paintings explore themes like love, migration, and identity, and often incorporate appropriated media and found objects. Partially inspired by his personal history and surroundings, Kohan places an emphasis on form, allowing the successive stages of art making to become analogous to diasporic experience, as diverse, sometimes opposing, elements are sampled, brought together, and accumulated. These apparent stages are integral parts of each finalised work. Kohan’s formalistic process is revealed, for example, as he layers then strips abstract works through painting, collage, décollage, and sanding, creating built-up yet weathered surfaces that are at once chaotic and methodical. Allusions to the passage of time, gradual transformations, and hidden stories are found in the tactile details of his treated panels.

Text has also been central to Kohan’s compositions, as he uses Farsi or Arabic script to add narrative elements. In Love Letters, a series of works on paper, he describes moments of longing and desire with poetic confessions that are written across the lower portion of his compositions. The artist’s verses correspond with the colour schemes and textured surfaces of specific works, as abstraction is used to detail the different sensations of romantic love. With his most recent series of paintings, Kohan records the migration stories of others through excerpted texts or quotes that are written across the canvas in American typewriter font, as though creating an archival document. The forms of these untitled works are inspired by the very process of migration, and reflect the difficulties of assimilation with techniques that attempt to unify repellent materials like oil and water based media.

Alongside his sculptures and paintings, Kohan has experimented with installation, and also maintains a large body of works on paper that he expands on a daily basis. Although Kohan’s ink drawings reflect similar themes, their figures signal a representational departure for the artist, as the thin, black outline of a recurring man is delicately rendered and accentuated with Persian letters and numbers in addition to other enigmatic symbols. 

Born in Tehran, Iran in 1967, Farzad Kohan lives and works in Los Angeles, California, where he first trained as a sculptor in the late 1990s. Kohan has held solo exhibitions at Ayyam Gallery Dubai, DIFC (2016, 2013) and Seyhoun Gallery, Los Angeles (2006). Selected group exhibitions for the artist include Arena 1 Gallery (Advocartsy), Los Angeles (2016, 2015); Mim Gallery, Los Angeles (2015); Ayyam Gallery, Beirut (2015); Francis Boeske Projects, Amsterdam (2015); ABRA Gallery, Los Angeles (2011); Human Rights Awareness Tour, USA (2008); J Ferrari Gallery, Los Angeles (2008); Eagle Rock Center for the Arts (2008); and Phantom Galleries, Los Angeles (2007).

About Ayyam Gallery

Founded in 2006, Ayyam Gallery is a leading arts organisation that manages the careers of diverse established and emerging artists. Blue-chip art spaces in Beirut and Dubai, a series of collaborative projects in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and a multinational non-profit arts programme have furthered the gallery’s mandate of expanding the parameters of international art. With its widely respected multilingual publishing division and a custodianship programme that manages the estates of pioneering artists, Ayyam Gallery has also contributed to recent efforts that document underrepresented facets of global art history.

Exhibition Facts

Exhibition Dates: 15 November 2016 – 23 February 2017
Opening Reception: Tuesday, 15 November from 7.00 to 9.00 pm
DIFC Art Nights: Wednesday, 23 November from 7.00 to 9.00 pm


Du raï au post-punk, voici le "Couscous Clan"

Un peu de musique à Paris ! Début novembre, ce superbe concert à ne pas manquer :


Du raï au post-punk, le Couscous Clan monte le son au Palais de la Porte Dorée lors d’un concert exceptionnel
D’abord groupe fictif, puis groupe clandestin, le Couscous Clan, imaginé par Rodolphe Burger, grand explorateur du rock français, et Rachid Taha, pionnier du rock’n’raï, prend vie sur la scène du Palais de la Porte Dorée pour un concert exceptionnel le 4 novembre 2016

Accompagnés de leurs fidèles compagnons, les deux complices embarquent les spectateurs dans un voyage des bords du raï au post-punk au gré de quelques compositions et de reprises rock teintées de sensualité orientale

Programmé dans le cadre de l’exposition Vivre !! La collection agnès b. - présentée au musée national de l’Histoire de l’immigration jusqu’au 8 janvier 2017 - ce temps fort musical s'inscrit également dans le mouvement Fraternité générale.

Conception : Rodolphe Burger & Rachid Taha 
Avec : Rodolphe Burger guitare, voix ; Rachid Taha voix ; Hakim Hamadouche luth-mandole ; Kenzi Bourras claviers; Franck Mantegari batterie ; Julien Perraudeaubasse ; Léo Spiritof son 
Tarif : 13,50 € 
Achat des billets : Fnac et France Billet.
Merci de vous présenter à l'entrée 20 minutes avant le début du concert muni de votre billet (pas de vente sur place). 
A l’occasion du concert, l'ensemble des espaces du Palais (expositions agnès b. « Vivre !! », musée et aquarium) seront ouverts et gratuits de 16h à 20h (dernier accès à 19h15).
Le Palais de la Porte Dorée s'associe au mouvement Fraternité générale : 


Plus de détails :

 Le Couscous Clan, avant de devenir le nom officiel d’un véritable groupe se produisant sur de vraies scènes, a d’abord été un groupe fictif, puis un groupe clandestin. Il s’agissait d’abord du groupe fictif que s’inventaient Rachid Taha et Rodolphe Burger pour rire, lorsqu’ils s’imaginaient fabriquer ensemble un jour une sorte de commando musical en forme de protestation joyeuse.

Les premiers concerts (officieux) du Couscous Clan ont lieu dans des bars de Nanterre, et sont précédés de projections de la collection de scopitones de Rachid Taha. C’est un concert surprise à Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines, lors du festival C’est dans la Vallée, en 2013, et un autre dans le bar Chez Mehdi, qui se chargent de créer la légende. Le Couscous Clan sort alors de la clandestinité et célèbre son « coming out » sur le toit du Théâtre de Vidy, à Lausanne, sur l’invitation de Vincent Baudriller, son nouveau directeur.

La politique du Couscous Clan est claire : pas de demi-mesures. Petits concerts à l’improviste ou grands évènements, petits bars ou grandes scènes il faut que chacune de leurs représentations garde ce parfum d’émeute joyeuse qui les rend si salutaires.

 Rodolphe Burger :

Fondateur du groupe Kat Onoma (1986-2002), guitariste et chanteur, Rodolphe Burger développe depuis 30 ans une carrière des plus originales.
A travers son label Dernière Bande, il fait paraître, outre ses quatre disques solo, plus d’une vingtaine d’albums qui témoignent d’une générosité créatrice qui l’a vu collaborer avec de nombreux auteurs et artistes, parmi lesquels ses amis et écrivains Pierre Alferi et Olivier Cadiot, mais aussi Alain Bashung, Jeanne Balibar, Françoise Hardy, James Blood Ulmer, Erik Truffaz, Rachid Taha, Ben Sidran et bien d’autres.
À travers la Compagnie Rodolphe Burger, il développe depuis 2010 de nombreuses créations de spectacles, dont la Compagnie assure également la diffusion : le Cantique des Cantiques & Hommage à Mahmoud Darwich (qui compte plus de quarante représentations à ce jour), Hommage aux Velvet Underground (spectacle programmé à la Philharmonie de Paris en mai 2016), In the Land of the Head Hunters, musique live sur un film de Edward S. Curtis (joué en juillet 2015 en clôture des Rencontres d’Arles au Théâtre antique), Psychopharmaka (avec Olivier Cadiot), etc.
Un nouvel album solo intitulé Good paraîtra en février 2017 et sera suivi d’une tournée.
Il est le fondateur du festival C’est dans la Vallée, un rassemblement d’artistes particulièrement original qui se tient tous les deux ans dans la ville de Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines, dans le Haut Rhin (la 12ème édition du Festival, en octobre 2015, a connu une affluence record).

 Rachid Taha : 

D’origine d’algérienne, Rachid Taha est né le 18 septembre 1958 à Saint-Denis-du-Sig, près d’Oran, et réside en France depuis 1968. Sa musique est inspirée de différents styles, tels que le raï, le chaâbi, la techno, le rock’n’roll et le punk.
En 1981, il crée le groupe Carte de séjour qui est formé de Mohammed et Moktar Amini mais qui ne prendra sa forme définitive qu’une année plus tard avec l’arrivée de Jérôme Savy. Cette même année, il ouvre également une boîte de nuit à Lyon. Prônant l’intégration et la tolérance envers les immigrés, le groupe participe à la Marche des beurs de Paris à Marseille et sort, en 1984, un premier album intitulé Rhorhomanie.
En 1986, Taha et Carte de séjour ont défrayé la chronique en reprenant Douce France, une chanson de Charles Trenet qui fut distribuée aux députés de l’Assemblée nationale.
Après la dissolution de son groupe, Rachid Taha se lance dans une carrière solo et sort son premier album Barbès en 1991. En 2008, il interprète le rôle principal de Là où je pense, court-métrage réalisé à l’occasion de la collec- tion Écrire pour un chanteur. Il collabore également avec Rodolphe Burger pour le titre Arabécédaire et publie son autobiographie Rock la Casbah.
Son neuvième album solo Zoom qui contient notamment des hommages à Elvis Presley et Oum Kalsoum est sorti en 2013. 


About 'I, Daniel Blake', Ken Loach and his legacy

 I wrote this article for the French monthly magazine Transfuge, dedicated to literature and cinema.
Here is my English translation. The article in French is below.

Ken Loach’ cinema and the post-Brexit Kingdom

50 years of an extraordinary career, a legacy. But what do young British filmmakers think of Ken Loach’ films? Is he still an inspiration?

Dinard, between rain and sun, between bleu, blanc, rouge flags and Union Jacks... This year at the 27th edition of the British Film Festival, the English-friendly Breton town became the centre for questions about the future of the United Kingdom and its partnership with the European continent. Mirroring the state of the world, British cinema has always, by bit, fostered a social fiber, the rich cinematography of Ken Loach being the forefront of this trend. His latest film, I, Daniel Blake, was honoured at the Dinard Festival early October. And his producer, Rebecca O'Brien, made a special guest, organized a round table on the Brexit.

Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach, a documentary directed by Louise Osmond was also screened at the festival. “Ken Loach is an icon”, exclaimed Louise, “he found his voice very early, thanks to his first producer Tony Garnett, who has always been very committed. Together, they produced an incomparable documentation on the UK, capturing in their films the reality of British life for decades”. Notably with Kes (1969); Raining Stones (1993); Ladybird (1994) and now I, Daniel Blake. Having received a general acclaim from critics, the film was highly anticipated for months, especially in this political context, but doesn’t reflect the rest of the British film production.

“I’m still waiting to see an emergence of a generation inspired by him”, insists Louise Osmond. “But many filmmakers are afraid to be called 'loachian'; few people take his inheritance and therefore we are not seeing any strong trend of new social cinema emerging. Yet the country needs it more than ever and the role of the BFI (British Film Institute) will be crucial according to me”, claims the director. “Just go to the north of England or in small villages in Wales, where nobody works full time anymore and you’ll realise it”.

In England, most filmmakers show a greater interest in creating new genres, far from social cinema: the melodramatic fantasy film by Jonathan Glazer, Under The Skin, produced in 2014, revealed the possibilities for experimentation in this field. Described as a “mutant masterpiece” by the French press, the film earned him to be compared to Stanley Kubrick. For many other filmmakers of this generation, it's the comedy that is inspiring. But British comedies have always shown themselves as social, like Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting and Peter Cattaneo’s The Full Monty (released in 1996 and 1997 respectively). Mike Leigh (All or Nothing, 2002; Be Happy, 2008), Michael Winterbottom (Jude, 1996; Welcome to Sarajevo, 1997; Wonderland, 1999; The Emperor's New Clothes, 2015), as well as Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette, 1994; Dirty Pretty Things, 2002) and John Crowley with Boy A (2009) enriched the social genre, in distinct forms of filmmaking.

A rare form of cinema, but all the more committed

So when director Saul Dibb released his film Bullet Boy, in 2005, he proved that the BBC could still fund social movies with a very strong message. This story of young blacks teenagers from east London destroyed by weapons and violence marked people’s and critics’ minds. Returned three years later with The Duchess, a historical drama with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes – and a huge success, Saul was previously a documentary filmmaker for ten years before filming Bullet Boy. He has been inspired by Loach’ “full of humanity” Kes, an important film of Dibb's references with Sweet Sixteen, notably for the use of non-professional actors.

“No one else in Britain would dare to make a film about poverty shot in a geniune food bank”, insists Saul, speaking of I, Daniel Blake, “but we must say that it is increasingly difficult in terms of marketing and distribution. Young filmmakers are also afraid of being labelled”. Saul is working on an adaptation for the BBC of Zadie Smith’s latest novel, NW, a real social saga embodied in her home area, north-west London. “Ken Loach is very anti-establishment, very left and yet he won the Palme D'Or, for which he is very admired. And his films have touched and still touch a lot of British people”, adds Saul, who borrowed his technique of shooting in real places, among local inhabitants for Bullet Boy as NW.

For Mark Donne, Londoner, former journalist for the BBC and the Guardian and director of the noticed documentary on tax evasion in the City, The UK Gold, “what is worrying however is that British directors are increasingly coming from a homogeneous and dominant part in our society”, deploring a severe lack of diversity. Mark worked with Ken Loach for a project on Jeremy Sandford, author of the book that inspired one of his first films, Cathy Come Home (1966). He and his team have been very impressed with his presence and his discourse; this experience also strengthened their convictions as committed filmmakers.

“I think one of the most important things that Ken has done and continues to do (to his enormous credit) is to allow stories and storytellers to evolve and live as primary sources in and of themselves, adds Mark Donne. “I don’t feel for example, either in the stories he tells or the actors he casts, that he ever feels the need to filter or dilute them. I think Ken preserves then elevates raw material as raw material and lets it live and sparkle in its own right? It’s the key element of his genius for me”.

Another illustration of the British continuing interest in social movies is the reaction of independent cinemas. An example: in Bristol, the Watershed organizes a series of events entitled 'Cinema of Dissent', the last weekend of October. The programme includes I, Daniel Blake, of course, but also Leviathan by Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev, Taxi Teheran by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, Cathy Come Home, and adds a discussion with Tony Garnett, long-term producer of Ken Loach’ films. The event was organized by Dave Taylor-Matthews, programmer at the very independent Cube Cinema, whi is also writing a thesis on the social impact of cinema. A question haunts him: what if this type of movies only preached to the converted? 

“In Bristol, the DIY culture still reigns and we are deeply marked by Ken Loach’ speech in Cannes for the Palme d’Or. The film was partly funded by the BFI and the BBC while radically denouncing the social policies of the current government”, says Dave. “Cathy Come Home was produced in different circumstances and broadcasted on television with a huge audience, it was seen by a quarter of the UK population, which is unimaginable today. But since then, it became increasingly more difficult to express dissent with cinema; such films are very hard to finance and distribute. Ken Loach has therefore even more impact because he is one of the few to get there. He is a national treasure and a true dissident artist”, says Dave.

Louise Osmond concludes this questioning: “politics is real life, it affects the choices and opportunities of people, their possibility to choose their own life, it will always be extremely powerful in terms of drama, that's the talent of Ken and his screenwriter Paul Laverty ... they put a sense of urgency in the projects they write”. And one can only believe that is inspiring and will keep on inspiring some other British filmmakers.


Le cinéma de Ken Loach et le Royaume post-Brexit


50 ans d’une carrière hors du commun, un héritage certain. Mais que pensent les jeunes cinéastes anglais du cinéma de Ken Loach ? Reste-t-il une inspiration ?


Dinard, entre pluie et soleil, entre drapeaux bleu, blanc, rouge et Union Jack… Cette année, lors de la 27ème édition du Festival du Film Britannique, la petite ville bretonne si anglophile est devenue le creuset des interrogations sur l’avenir du Royaume-Uni et de son partenariat avec le continent européen. A l’image de cet état du monde, le cinéma britannique a toujours su, par bribe, se relier à une fibre sociale, à l’instar de la riche filmographie de Ken Loach, dont le dernier film, Moi, Daniel Blake, était à l’honneur lors du Festival, début octobre. Sa productrice, Rebecca O’Brien, invitée d’honneur, a justement organisé une table ronde sur le Brexit.

Le documentaire Versus : The Life and Films of Ken Loach, réalisé par Louise Osmond a également été projeté lors du festival. « Ken Loach est une icône », s’exclame Louise, « il a trouvé sa voix très tôt, grâce notamment à son premier producteur Tony Garnett, qui est très engagé. Ensemble, ils ont produit une documentation hors du commun sur le Royaume-Uni, capturant dans leurs films la réalité de la vie britannique pendant des décennies ». Avec Kes (1969), Raining Stones (1993), Ladybird (1994) et maintenant Moi, Daniel Blake. Ayant reçu un salut général de la critique, le film est très attendu, surtout dans ce contexte politique, mais dénote encore largement par rapport au reste de la production cinématographique britannique.

« J’attends de voir émerger une génération inspirée par lui », insiste Louise Osmond. « Mais beaucoup de cinéastes ont peur d’être qualifiés de ‘loachiens’ ; peu de gens assument son héritage et on ne voit donc pas émerger une tendance forte de nouveau cinéma social. Pourtant, le pays en a plus que jamais besoin et le rôle du BFI (British Film Institute, équivalent du CNC français) sera déterminant selon moi », affirme la réalisatrice. « Il suffit de se rendre dans le nord de l’Angleterre ou dans les petits villages du Pays de Galles, où personne ne travaille plus à plein temps, pour s’en rendre compte ».

En Angleterre, les cinéastes montrent plutôt un intérêt pour la création de nouveaux genres, bien loin du cinéma social : le film fantastique mélodramatique de Jonathan Glazer, Under The Skin, produit en 2014, a révélé les possibilités d’expérimentation sur ce terrain. Qualifié de « chef d’œuvre mutant » par la presse française, le film lui a valu d’être comparé à Stanley Kubrick. Pour beaucoup d’autres cinéastes de cette génération, ce sont les comédies qui inspirent. Mais la comédie britannique a toujours su se montrer sociale, à l’instar de Trainspotting de Danny Boyle et The Full Monty de Peter Cattaneo (sortis respectivement en 1996 et 1997). Mike Leigh (All or Nothing, 2002 ; Be Happy, 2008), Michael Winterbottom (Jude, 1996 ; Welcome to Sarajevo, 1997 ; Wonderland, 1999 ; The Emperor's New Clothes, 2015), ou encore John Crowley avec Boy A (2009) et Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette, 1994 ; Dirty Pretty Things, 2002) ont enrichi le genre social, dans des cinématographies bien distinctes.

Un cinéma rare, mais un cinéma d’autant plus engagé

Ainsi, quand le réalisateur Saul Dibb sort son film Bullet Boy, en 2005, il prouve que la BBC peut encore financer des films sociaux dotés d’un message très fort. Cette histoire de jeunes noirs de l’est de Londres détruit par les armes et la violence marque les esprits et les critiques. Revenu trois ans plus tard avec The Duchess, un drame historique avec Keira Knighley et Ralph Fiennes et un immense succès, Saul a été documentariste pendant dix ans avant de réaliser Bullet Boy. Il reste marqué par le film Kes de Loach, « plein d’humanité » selon lui, qui fait partie de ses références avec Sweet Sixteen, notamment pour le recours aux acteurs non professionnels.

« Personne d’autre en Grande-Bretagne n’oserait faire un film sur la pauvreté tourné dans une véritable banque alimentaire », insiste Saul en parlant de Moi, Daniel Blake, « mais il faut dire que c’est de plus en plus difficile en terme de distribution et de marketing. Les jeunes cinéastes ont aussi peur d’être étiquetés ». Saul travaille à présent sur l’adaptation pour la BBC du dernier roman de Zadie Smith, NW, véritable fresque sociale incarnée dans son quartier d’origine, le nord-ouest de Londres. « Ken Loach est très anti-establishement, très à gauche et a pourtant remporté la Palme D’Or. Pour cela, il reste très admiré et ses films ont touché et touchent encore énormément de Britanniques », assure Saul, qui a emprunté sa technique de tournage dans les lieux réels, au milieu des habitants.

Pour Mark Donne, Londonien, ancien journaliste pour la BBC et le Guardian et réalisateur du remarqué UK Gold, documentaire sur l’évasion fiscale et la City, « ce qui est inquiétant est que les réalisateurs britanniques sont de plus en plus issus d’un milieu homogène et dominant de notre société, je déplore un manque cruel de diversité ». Mark Donne a travaillé avec Ken Loach pour un projet sur Jeremy Sandford, l’auteur du livre qui a inspiré l’un de ses premiers films, Cathy Come Home, en 1966. Mark et ses équipes ont été très impressionnés par sa présence, son discours, et renforcés dans leur conviction de cinéastes engagés.

Autre illustration de l’intérêt persistant pour ce cinéma : la réaction des salles indépendantes. Un exemple : à Bristol, le Watershed organise les rencontres ‘Cinema of Dissent’, le week-end du 28/30 octobre. Au programme : I, Daniel Blake, bien sûr, mais aussi Leviathan du Russe Andrey Zvyagintsev, Taxi Teheran de l’Iranien Jafar Panahi, Cathy Come Home, ainsi qu’une discussion avec Tony Garnett, le producteur de ce dernier. L’événement a été organisé par Dave Taylor-Matthews, programmateur au très indépendant Cube Cinema, qui écrit un mémoire sur l’impact social du cinéma. Une question le poursuit : ce cinéma ne prêche-t-il que les convaincus ? 

« A Bristol, la culture DIY règne encore et nous avons été profondément marqué par le discours de Ken Loach à Cannes. Le film a été en partie financé par le BFI et la BBC alors qu’il dénonce radicalement la politique sociale du gouvernement actuel », souligne Dave. « Cathy Come Home avait été produit dans des circonstances différentes et diffusé à la télévision avec une immense audience, il a été vu par un quart de la population britannique. C’est inimaginable aujourd’hui. Il est devenu compliqué d’exprimer la dissidence par le cinéma, c’est très difficile à financer et à diffuser. Ken Loach a donc encore plus d’impact parce qu’il est l’un des rares à y arriver. C’est un trésor national et un véritable artiste dissident », résume Dave.

Louise Osmond conclut ainsi ce questionnement : « la politique, c’est la vraie vie, cela touche aux choix et aux opportunités qu’ont les gens de choisir leur propre vie, ce sera toujours extrêmement puissant en terme de dramaturgie, c’est ce qui fait le talent de Ken et de son scénariste de Paul Laverty… un sentiment d’urgence dans les projets qu’ils écrivent ». Et l’on ne peut que croire que cela inspire et inspirera encore d’autres cinéastes britanniques.


 Le site de Transfuge : https://www.transfuge.fr

About Raoul Peck's 'I Am Not Your Negro'

Ce soir à la Fémis était projeté le chef d'oeuvre de Raoul Peck : I Am Not Your Negro. Immense film! Iconoclaste, magnifiquement monté, avec un texte tiré de différents écrits de Baldwin d'une puissance sans comparaison, le tout sur un sujet brûlant et tellement d'actualité.

The Guardian's review gives 5 stars and heads: "Raoul Peck’s stunning look at the civil rights era ends up as the writer’s presumptive autobiography, but it gets there via an unexpected route":

'I Am Not Your Negro' review – James Baldwin's words weave film of immense power


 Raoul Peck’s stunning look at the civil rights era ends up as the writer’s presumptive autobiography, but it gets there via an unexpected route


Raoul Peck’s documentary I Am Not Your Negro has a “written by James Baldwin” credit in its opening sequence. At first this seems like a polite tip of the hat to the author, essayist and public intellectual who died nearly 30 years ago. Soon we realize this is an accurate statement of fact. Each line of the narration that permeates the film is taken directly from one of Baldwin’s texts or letters. His words dominate the archival clips as well.

It in no way diminishes Peck’s work as a film-maker to suggest that Baldwin’s ideas and personality are the author of this movie. It is a striking work of storytelling. By assembling the scattered images and historical clips suggested by Baldwin’s writing, I Am Not Your Negro is a cinematic séance, and one of the best movies about the civil rights era ever made.
Eschewing talking head interviews, Peck’s documentary ends up as Baldwin’s presumptive autobiography, but it gets there via an unexpected route. During the final years of his life, Baldwin was researching a book he planned to call Remember This House. It would profile three assassinated civil rights leaders: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. He intended it to be a personal work, as he knew each of these men, and telling their stories would likely be a springboard to tell his own story at a more advanced age.
Beginning with Baldwin’s pitch to his agent, we link to touch points with the slain men, hopping through time, juxtaposing Baldwin’s personal essays with his public statements. (As with last year’s wonderful Best of Enemies, I Am Not Your Negro excerpts from the Dick Cavett show. I can only imagine a documentary about him is headed our way soon.) The entirety of Baldwin’s written and on-camera oeuvre eventually mixes down to a roux, and while Peck uses the occasional chapter break, the effect is more of a Chris Marker-like cine-essay than typical Frontline-like reporter’s documentary. (Though they both focus on the topic of race in America, I Am Not Your Negro is quite the opposite of ESPN’s justly celebrated OJ: Made In America.)
Peck occasionally takes advantage of some of Baldwin’s more prophetic passages to flash-forward through time. Images from Ferguson, the Obama inauguration and the dross of daytime TV aren’t there so much to say “see, he was right?” as to make us realize the timelessness of his greater arguments. Baldwin did much of his best writing about America while living as an expatriate, and this outsider’s perspective (shared by Peck, who is from Haiti) brings with it a tremendous amount of clarity. I Am Not Your Negro’s specifics are only intermittent, like reporting on different reactions between white and black audiences during Sidney Poitier films. By and large this film concerns itself with the greater philosophy of why groups in power behave the way they do. This might be the only movie about race relations I’ve ever seen that adequately explains – with sympathy – the root causes of a complacent white American mindset. And it took a black writer and director to do it.
The narration is done by Samuel L Jackson, and it’s one of the best things he’s done in years. No offense to the many boldfaced names who swoop into a recording booth to lend their voice and celebrity to a well meaning issue-oriented documentary, but what Jackson does here is give a performance. He doesn’t exactly mimic Baldwin, who we see in many of the archival clips, but he does much more than read words on the page. (I didn’t even realize it was him until the closing credits.) We live at a time when almost every notable person from the 20th century has a documentary about them streaming somewhere. That’s all well and good if they are about someone whose work you fancy. I Am Not Your Negro isn’t a special interest title, it is a film.


Banksy takes London - again

Big Banksy news today!

Read Time Out London:

Banksy’s getting a permanent exhibition space in London

Good news, Banksy fans: you no longer have to scour the walls of the city to find his artworks. The elusive graffiti artist now has his very own permanent exhibition space at an east London gallery.
Dalston’s Hang-Up Gallery has unveiled the ‘Banksy Bunker’: a room dedicated to the 'Dismaland' creator's canvases, prints and sculptures. 
‘There’s currently nowhere in the capital to view a permanent Banksy collection,’ says gallery director Ben Cotton. ‘So we thought we’d change that. It’s an intimate space packed full of a broad cross-section of his work from the start of his career to the present day – so whether you’re a Bansky aficionado or a seasoned collector it’s certainly worth a look.’ 
There are 15 works on display in the Bunker at the moment, but it's all up for sale, so it's unlikely you'll ever see the same work twice. And unlike out on the streets, there's no worry they'll get covered up by the council. Woop!

Hang-Up Gallery is at 81 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 8AD. Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon until 6pm. Free.

With many pictures from the collection here: http://www.timeout.com/london/blog/banksys-getting-a-permanent-exhibition-space-in-london-102416


More in this article from Dazed & Confused:

Banksy to open permanent ‘bunker’ show in London

An exhibition on the elusive street artist is coming to Dalston’s Hang Up Gallery

Following the sell-out success of last year’s “Dismaland” showBanksy is now opening a permanent exhibition in an East London gallery.
The space, which has been nicknamed the “Banksy Bunker”, will be open six days a week at the Hang-Up Gallery in Dalston. It will comprise of an ever-changing collection of the elusive artist’s prints, canvases and sculptures – all of which will be purchasable by the public.
“There’s currently nowhere in the capital to view a permanent Banksy collection,” Hang-Up director Ben Cotton told Time Out. “So we thought we’d change that. It’s an intimate space packed full of a broad cross-section of his work from the start of his career to the present day – so whether you’re a Bansky aficionado or a seasoned collector it’s certainly worth a look.”
The elusive Bristolian’s work is rarely seen inside an actual gallery space, with most of his creations appearing randomly on gorges, street walls, or steam rollers. 
Despite achieving global eminence, however, Banksy’s actual identity has remained a mystery throughout his 27-year career (unless he is actually Massive Attack co-founder Robert Del Naja, which he could bebut isn't, but could be). 
Hang-Up’s Banksy bunker will be open from Tuesday to Sunday indefinitely, and entrance is free. 
Check out the gallery’s official website for more details:

Hang-Up Gallery

Photo: Paul Wells - Courtesy of Banksy and Hang-Up Gallery 

Hang-Up is a contemporary art gallery, specialising in Banksy sales to an international collector base since 2008. In addition to our extensive gallery inventory we have close links with a global network of galleries, publishers, dealers and private collectors, enabling us to source specific artwork requests quickly and efficiently.

Banksy Specialists

Having dealt in Banksy prints for the best past of a decade and with over 500 sales to date, Hang-Up Gallery has also grown to become one of the worlds largest online dealers in original limited edition Banksy prints. On an average week we will receive over 100 phone and email enquiries with specific requests about his work, and we pride ourselves in being able to source artworks quickly and efficiently, selling and buying on behalf of our international client list.

Dealers in Established Artists

Further to Banksy, we are major dealers in works by Harland Miller, Invader, KAWS, Ben Eine, Shepard Fairey and Sir Peter Blake, buying and selling artworks by leveraging our extensive networks developed over many years.

Exhibition Programme

The gallery works with a roster of young forward thinking artists in selling and presenting artworks through our dynamic exhibition programme. Hang-Up has a core stable of artists with whom they have worked with in developing their artistic careers including The Connor Brothers, Joe Webb,  Mark Powell, Magnus Gjoen and Lauren Baker, most of whom had their first show at the gallery. These artists have subsequently gone onto have large sell out exhibitions with Hang-Up, with wait lists for their new work.

Calais - update - second day of eviction


Help Refugees UK

- The French government started registering residents of the 'Jungle' and began the process of taking people on busses to accommodation centres across France. The queues for registration began as early at 4am.

- In total approximately 1,900 people left the 'Jungle', much less than the 3,000 that was initially planned for today. 

- In camp the atmosphere has been generally calm. People have left Calais voluntarily; many have been waiting for this moment for months and are happy to finally have the chance to stay in France. 

- There was some kettling by police at the registration centre - which the additional media presence did not help to calm the situation. 

- The safe and appropriate accommodation for the unaccompanied minors did not seem to materialise. Registration was chaotic, with no children being registered for transfer to the UK 

- There are still unaccompanied girls in the camp, who are highly vulnerable.


'It is extremely welcome to see vulnerable children who have been trapped in Calais reaching safe haven in the UK over the last week. But, as night falls in Calais tonight, we are deeply concerned for the fate of hundreds of children who remain and who do not know where they will sleep tonight and have no information on what tomorrow will bring. It is unacceptable that the French operation to demolish the camp, which has been planned for weeks, now risks putting vulnerable children at greater risk.'

KEVIN CATKINS - Save The Children 



 Today together with The Unofficial Womens and Childrens centre and using our census data, we sent a list of 49 children under the age of 13 who would qualify to be brought to safety in the UK under the Lord Alf Dubs Amendment to the wonderful Stella Creasy.

Labour MP STELLA CREASY told the Home Secretary: 

- That children on the list were not able to register at the warehouse and were still being ignored. 

- That three of them are under the age of 11

- She offered to share the details with Rudd, and asked for assurances that children will not be put in detention centres.

Home Secretary AMBER RUDD response: 

- “We are making sure children are looked after in a proper way that you would expect from a compassionate nation,” she says. 

- She said the UK Home Office had 36 staff-members on the ground, trying to find the youngest children, and was surprised at Stella Creasy’s information. 

- ‘There is no ‘them and us’ feeling on the ground; we all have the same aims, we want to get the youngest children out, there is nothing but good will and good intent on this side.’

Former Shadow Home Secretary, YVETTE COOPER

- Cooper, citing Help Refugees, voiced the concern about the risk of trafficking and disappearance of children. 

- She asks for the French government to ensure children, especially girls and young women, have appropriate social workers and youth volunteers to look after them in the container camps. 

Rudd says the French government has pledged to maintain a secure area of the camp for children and minors - we hope she comes through on her promises tomorrow.