Bouchra Khalili - Carte Blanche

Screenings and discussions
The Movement of Arab Workers : traces and narratives
→ Struggle in fiction - around Les Ambassadeurs

The Tower
Auditorium, Level 1

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Bouchra Khalili’s transdisciplinary practice faces archival absence with a specific interest in suppressed histories and narratives. As she coins it when describing her exhibition at LUMA Arles, “How does film become an implusion for history telling?". In a direct response to that complex interrogation, her Carte Blanche proposes two cinematic sessions.

Traces and narratives focuses on the Movement of Arab Workers’ pioneering struggles, at the intersection of trade union struggles, performance and theater, and cinema, as well as its filmic and militant alliances with the Cinéluttes collective.

While the second session, Struggle in Fiction—around Les Ambassadeurs, highlights the singular approach of filmmaker Naceur Ktari’s Les Ambassadeurs, a groundbreaking first-hand account of the lives and struggles of North-African immigrant workers in the 1970s.

Saturday, February 17, from 2:30 p.m.
The Movement of Arab Workers: traces and narratives

La Grève des ouvriers de Margoline by Jean-Pierre Thorn / Collectif Cinélutte
France | 1974 | 40 min.
Original soundtrack: French, Arabic (with French subtitles)

Still from the film La Grève des ouvriers de Margoline

Droits réservés / © All rights reserved

On 21 June 1973, a meeting of the far-right movement Ordre Nouveau took place at the Salle de la Mutualité, in Paris, under the slogan 'Halte à l’immigration sauvage' (Stop uncontrolled immigration). The demonstrators claimed to be expressing out loud what many people thought. Clashing with it, a counter-demonstration by extreme-left militants was harshly repressed by the police. The event was seen as proof of State racism and was the starting point for La Grève des ouvriers de Margoline. Produced by the CFDT, this documentary was one of the first to examine the situation of undocumented migrant workers in France, with the immigrant workers themselves speaking out for themselves.

Mohamed by Daniel Julien
France, 1973, 15 min
Original soundtrack: French, Arabic (with French subtitles)

Directed by Daniel Julien, this film essay reconstructs the assassination of Mohamed Diab, an Algerian worker killed in a Versailles police station by sub-brigadier Marquet on November 29, 1972. The re-enactment features the different versions of Mohamed Diab's death, including that of the investigation by members of the Committee for the Defense of the Lives and Rights of Immigrant Workers (CDVDTI, Comité de défense de la vie et des droits des travailleurs immigrés). The CDVDTI was created jointly by members of the Movement of Arab Workers (MTA, Mouvement des Travailleurs Arabes) and their allies Geneviève Clancy and Philippe Tancelin, members of Al Assifa, the MTA's theater troupe. 

This screening will be introduced by artist Bouchra Khalili.

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Saturday, February 17, break from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 17, from 4:30 p.m.
Struggle in fiction - around Les Ambassadeurs

Les Ambassadeurs by Naceur Ktari
France / Tunisia | 1976 | 102 min.
Original soundtrack: French

Driven by revolt following the racist murder of 15-year-old Djelali Ben Ali in 1971, Tunisian filmmaker Naceur Ktari (then a student in Paris) conducted a lengthy investigation among immigrant workers in the Goutte d'or district of Paris. The screenplay for Les Ambassadeurs was born of this documented research, and follows the daily scenes and intertwined destinies of several local residents as they face up to everyday racism. Whether at school, on the street, at the construction site, in the bistro, in the shops or in the apartment buildings, the words, gestures and looks of indifference are confronted by those of solidarity and anger. Ktari wanted to make a popular film that would encourage people to fight back.

Produced in 1975 by its director Naceur Ktari, the film won the Tanit d’or for best film at the 1976 Carthage Film Festival, the special jury prize at the Locarno International Film Festival, the same year, and was selected for the 1978 Cannes Film Festival in the category «Un Certain Regard»

A discussion with artist Bouchra Khalili and Christelle Rabier, lecturer at l’EHESS, Marseille, will follow the film screening.

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Why not take the opportunity to (re)discover Bouchra Khalili's exhibition?

The works in the exhibition propose alternative forms of belonging, production of collectivities with and through subjectivity. They offer a meditative approach to witnessing suppressed histories, the power of collective fabulation as epitomized by the public storyteller, and “montage” as the art capable of resurrecting buried history.

Free entry with "Carte blanche" ticket.
Exhibition located in The Tower, level -3.

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This Carte Blanche has been conceived by Bouchra Khalili, Artist, with Vassilis Oikonomopoulos, Director of Exhibitions and Programs, LUMA Arles, and Salma Mochtari, Researcher Associate, LUMA Arles.


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