Outdoor film screening: Whose Voice Is It Anyway?

Susanne Bosch, Anthony Haughey

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


    In January 2008 artist’s Susanne Bosch and Anthony Haughey together with film maker, Kevin Duffy invited eleven individuals to participate in the production of a dialogical video. Most of the group had recently migrated to Ireland (north and south) from countries including, Brazil,Nigeria, Somalia, Poland and The Czech Republic. The project generated a series of intersubjective encounters between the participants throughout the cultural production process and later, between the participants and audience when the video was presented in various public contexts. The first stage of this project was to create a dialogue between the participants. This was achieved by generating a blogsite and inviting each member of the group to respond to series of questions relating to the experience of being a newcomer living on the island of Ireland.The questions and discursive exchanges can be read by visiting the blogsite. This virtual conversation, an everyday encounter in social networking sites supported each participant towards generating a personal narrative which was later used to inform and generate a“conversation” performed in a communal setting, around a dinner table where the performance was documented using digital video.In the completed video, the intersubjective process continues when the audience engages with the video. Watching the video viewers can observe and listen to the dinner table conversation. The camera moves continually around the table. The constant movement creates a spatio-temporal frame referencing the transient position of the participants as guests in the host country. The individual dialogues explore the in-between space and transcultural connections between ‘home’ and the host country. There is talk of loss, misunderstandings and confusion between cultures, the reality of everyday lived experience for migrants in their adopted country.Some of the stories are humorous and some are tragic, describing the will to survive in the most dangerous and urgent of times. The conversation recalls Saskia Sassen’s notion of “informal citizenship”, all of the guests are clearly immersed within the host country with their network of family,friends and associates. Yet for most they still live in a state of limbo.‘Home’ has lost its meaning as a fixed and knowable entity.The audience is also the subject of discussion and therefore implicated within the conversation, an ‘imagined community’ invited to participate and reflect upon their own position as host country citizens in relation to the dreams and anxieties of the migrant dinner table guests. In doing so the audience is encouraged to move beyond the aesthetic surface of the video monitor, evoking Derrida’s notion of ‘hospitality’. In order to be hospitable the receiving community must be altruistic and open to the impossibility of tout autre - the aporia of ‘hospitality’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 11 May 2008
    EventInclusionfestival - Academy Street, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast BT15 1ED
    Duration: 11 May 2008 → …

    Bibliographical note

    Outputmediatype: Video. public art


    • Migration
    • Dialogical art practice
    • collaboration
    • film


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