Category Archives: Video
The Green Bag
2007 | 7 min | Colour | Sound

The Green Bag is a single take. A 7-minute, real-time documentary shot from the terrace of the Circle Hotel restaurant in Gondor, Ethiopia. While it allows a brief look at the density and multiplicity of everyday interactions taking place around the camera, the film also stimulates questions related to defining the essence of what documentary film is as a cultural artefact. The simple act of framing creates a dramaturgy that at times resonates with early silent films.

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Mo’s Birthday
2006 | Commissioned short for the Mozart year of 2006. Video, 1 min, PAL 4:3 | Colour | Stereo

Image03On the visual level the film shows drummers on the streets of Dakar celebrating Mohammed’s birthday during an electricity blackout while at the same time there is a transient presence of a piece Mozart—the second ‘Mo’ of the title—wrote for the glass harmonica in the last year of his life for a blind woman musician. It is played here by a Slovak street musician.

I was also interested in the use Mozart made of the Orient in his work—in The Abduction from the Seraglio, for example—which, although informed by the ideas of enlightenment, nevertheless handles the cultural space it allegedly deals with as a screen for Western imaginings. Since any real threat of actual cultural or military invasion had been dispelled these began to move towards the more exotic outgrowths of Orientalism. Read More…

Mo’s Birthday, 2006 · Category: Video
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The Trapdoor
2005 | 26 min | Colour & Black & White | Stereo
Transfer from 9.5mm, 8mm and Super 8 film

The Trapdoor uses amateur film material from around 1920 to 1990 to examine how history—personal and collective—is written and rewritten into ever-changing but cohesive narratives and how re-examining the past brings to light forgotten (or suppressed) material. Family films lend themselves to this end since they are almost always “innocent” attempts at representing their conformity. The trapdoor belongs to stagecraft and allows things to abruptly appear and disappear from the scene… Read More…

Traveller’s Tales
2003 | 13 mins | Colour | Sound


Through the use of found footage – outtakes from a decades old documentary about North African nomads – Tim Sharp has fashioned a radical critique of ethnographic filmmaking. In teaming personal narrative and theoretical commentary, he effectively exposes, considers, and undermines the narrative authority of a far from neutral gaze, the making of a postcolonial subject. Read More…

Dar-el-Beida
1996 | 16mm film and video (PAL) | black and white | stereo | 2min 40sec

passportsMade as a contribution to FilmArt Takes Position: Alien/Nation.

While Casablanca has much to do with male power and friendships, propaganda morality and adventure, Dar-el-Beida concerns the harried feelings of being a refugee/outsider, the experiences of those in the background of the Hollywood film. They exist in an atmosphere of threat, always on the move but never getting anywhere; their identity is violated and their nationality arbitrarily changed. In short they are the powerless, dependent on chance, corruption or sexual favours to save them. In Dar-el-Beida (the Latinised Arab name for Casablanca), Bogie asks, “do you want my advice?” His cynical answer (in Casablanca)  is the unspoken reality of Dar-el-Beida. Read More…