L’ami Intérieur

From 15/12/2022 to 08/01/2023

With Ismail Alaoui Fdili, Arash Fayez, Hamedine Kane, Sara Kontar, Rayane Mcirdi, Zoya Laktionova, Harilay Rabenjamina, Phung-Tien Phan, Anaïs-Tohé Commaret, Marina Xenofontos

“L’ami intérieur” (The Friend within) is a screening program conceived by Stéphanie Cottin at the invitation of the association Portes Ouvertes sur l’Art as part of the « 1002nd nights » of the exhibition « Scheherazade, at night ».

A funambulist generation born around the 1990s, with the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, carried away by the flow of post-colonial contemporary history and that of television and internet images, the artists whose work we present seek to consolidate the shores of a more welcoming, more fluid world, where diversity is the order of the day.

What interests them is to understand how the camera, this current ubiquitous object, even existential for some, captures words and bodies: is it this dominating lens that imposes its vision, or a benevolent eye that listens to the language and history of the other, in complete confidence? Does it unfold in a hurried temporality or in the slower one of the tales and stories of everyday life?

What these artists want is to film those who are never heard from and let the sensitivity of the film reveal their ordinary heroism. They invite us to decolonize our minds and our imaginations, to distance ourselves from the media and political time, from ready-made representations, from clichés and amalgams conveyed by colonial history. They speak to us about women and men whose lives are both tiny and big.

The “enemy within” is a principle developed during the Cold War, officially abandoned in France in 1962 at the time of the Evian Accords, reappearing here and there in political debates since the 1980s and still present nowadays when we address the issues of exile and immigration. In contrast, the “friend within” should be a notion to constantly invoke and summon in the current political debate. They would be this being-companion, indispensable to the survival of the social body, feeding it, enriching it with their flow, their differences, their work. This friend who has, by force of circumstance, not always known where to put his suitcases, but who wants to say with his words, which come with pride from here and elsewhere, the difficulty of being one and many at the same time.

Le jardin (2021) by Rayane Mcirdi

In a park, a lunch on the grass, by the water and with the family. Rayane Mcirdi’s aunts and mother, born in the 1960s, recount their childhood memories, their passage from the shantytown of Sartrouville to the Mourinoux district, and their attachement to the city in which they grew up.

22 minutes and 29 seconds long

© Rayane Mcirdi, Le jardin, 2021

Amel Hammane, Jamila Hammane, Fatna Mahlia, Célia Mahli, Adel Marbouh, Naïm Marbouh, Farah Mcirdi, Nabil Mcirdi, Nouria Mcirdi, Rayane Mcirdi, Yanis Mcirdi, Yacine Zerguit, Najia Zerguit.

Sound mixing: Etienne Bonhomme
Graphics: Juliette Duhé
Calibration: Maxence Lemonnier
Acknowledgements :
To my mother’s love, to Auntie Najia, Auntie Jamila and Auntie Fatna, for their kindness and generosity, to Farah Mcirdi for supporting me throughout this project, to Horya Makhlouf, my eternal sunshine, to my former teacher Thomas Bauer for his precious advice.
To the whole team of the Municipal School of Fine Arts / Edouard-Manet Gallery: Lionel Balouin, Blandine Béchet, Fatima Betka, Sory Diane, Zohra Halem, Nadjat Nini.

This film was produced at the end of an artistic residency at and by the École municipale des beaux-arts / galerie Édouard-Manet – Ville de Gennevilliers, on the occasion of the exhibition “Le Croissant de feu”, 29 September – 4 December 2021.
The Municipal School of Fine Arts / Edouard-Manet Gallery is supported by the Drac Île-de-France, Ministry of Culture, the Île-de-France Regional Council and the Hauts-de-Seine General Council.

Three Rather Than Two (or One) (2019) by Arash Fayez

Three, Rather Than Two (or One) is a visual essay based on a poem written by the artist and usually performed live during the screening of the work. The visual is composed of cellphone footage mixed with fictional interviews where the actor/actress is asked to choose between two options yet the given answer by them is a third alternative.

8 minutes and 36 seconds long

© Arash Fayez, Three, Rather Than Two (or one), 2019

With Milagros Bedoya Valdivia, Céline Mathieu, Fran Glez Cardenas, Andrea Rodriguez Novoa, Pietro Massignan, Leah Martha Rosenberg, and Isabel Valli
Narrator: Céline Mathieu
Director assistant: Marina Salvo
Sound designer: Fito Conesa
Editor: Arash Fayez
Co-produced by: BAR project (Barcelona), La Virreina Centre de la Imatge (Barcelona)
Supported by Hangar (Barcelona)

Alpha Jungle (2016) by Hamedine Kane

Through the intimate portrait of Alpha, a childhood friend of the artist, Alpha Jungle questions the places of relegation, detention, uninhabitable that are the European migrant camps, here the Jungle of Calais. Exceptional territories where attempts at resistance nevertheless arise, such as the one set up by Alpha in his habitat-workshop project, a place where a poetics of relationship is constructed that defies the desolation of bodies and the violence of politics.

17 minutes and 34 seconds long

© Hamedine Kane, Alpha Jungle, 2016

Director, photography: Hamedine Kane
Editing: Mathieu Delcourt
With the participation of Alpha and Julie Kremer

Va-et-vient (2022) by Sara Kontar

Treated like a black and white photo novel, this short film essay reflects the uncomfortable situation, this in-between, experienced by exiles in their host country.

4 minutes and 15 seconds

© Sara Kontar, Va-et-Vient, 2022

Direction, photography, editing: Sara Kontar
Sound mixing: Rita Mahmoud

Sunlight Vandalism (2018) by Marina Xenofontos

Sunlight Vandalism presents two narratives woven together to reveal a diverse portrait of Cyprus and the intricacies of Mediterranean migration. This includes a conversation with a Kurdish mother named Ayşe, who requested asylum in Cyprus in 2007. Speaking in Turkish Cypriot with Xenofontos—who responds in a Greek Cypriot—Ayşe is depicted swiping through images of her new home in Ankara, Turkey, where she has since relocated. The second portion of the film follows Ayşe in her space of work, where she is a cleaner in a local school, and in her living room, where Xenofontos interviews her in front of her wall of images of Abdullah Öcalan—a once prominent yet controversial leftist political figure. Through these vistas, Sunlight Vandalism reflects on the labor of domesticity and the precarity of settling during politically motivated migration.

8 minutes and 39 seconds long

© Marina Xenofontos, Sunlight Vandalism, 2019

Supported by Critical Distance Centre for Curators for the exhibition « A Big Heritage With a Glorious Past », commissaire mama (Magdalyn Asimakis and Heather Rigg)

Suno (2021) by Zoya Laktionova

An experimental video about the dreams of Roma women living in the gheto in Kosice.

Roma are one of the largest ethnic groups living in Slovakia. Despite this, integration into all spheres of society is difficult. And it should be noted that this applies not only to Slovakia. Luník IX houses the largest community of Romani people in Slovakia. Although originally built for 2,500 inhabitants, it is estimated that the population is now three times larger. Living standards are low, with services such as gas, water, and electricity cut off, as the majority of inhabitants are not paying rent or utilities fees.

5 minutes and 49 seconds long


Direction, photography, editing: Zoya Laktionova
Creative advice : Jana Bucka

Le nez de ma mère (2021) by Harilay Rabenjamina

In Le nez de ma mère Harilay Rabenjamina moves away from what usually characterizes his work and tells a personal story. He recounts an event  that destabilized him : his sister had her nose redone.

13 minutes and 54 seconds long

© Harilay Rabenjamina, Le nez de ma mère, 2021

Coralie Ruiz and Anthony Stephinson, Goswell Road, Christophe Honoré, Philippe Bouthier, AAA Association des Alumni et Amis de l’ebabx, Yvonne Rabenjamina et Anja Rabenjamina.
The film is part of the collection of the Capc Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux.

Half Moon (2019) by Phung-Tien Phan

In Half Moon, Travis Scotts Sicko Mode” is paired with footage of the artists Vietnamese father walking in an Asian restaurant, the music transforming his nervous march into a hip catwalk stride. Meanwhile, sluggish, eerie electronic beats often accompany angled shots of apartment interiors, accentuating a certain ghostly nature of such spaces. Music haunts, yet this state of being haunted has nothing to do with horror; it is more hypnagogic and ethereal. Amidst the hauntingly disorienting music, the sense of space is as distracting as the temporal experience.

11 minutes and 05 seconds long

© Phung-Tien Phan, Half Moon, 2019

UIGV class with Abderrahim (2021) by Ismail Alaoui Fdili

UIGV class with Abderrahim  is an interactive video course on car guarding theory, given by Mr. Abderrahim, the educational director of UIGV Marrakech, and emblematic partner guard of the International University of Car Guarding.

5 minutes and 30 seconds long

© Ismail Alaoui Fdili, UIGV class with Abderrahim, 2021

Direction, photography, editing: Ismail Alaoui Fdili

Amor sur Mama (2019) by Anaïs-Tohé Commaret

A cinematographic essay/poem mixing archival images and fiction around the representation of the past, history and its fictionalization. Solange (my mother) took refuge in France after the Chilean dictatorship. In the retirement home where she works, the stories of wandering souls merge with her own situation of wandering as an exile. This film questions the identification with space through a personal mythology.

9 minutes and 37 seconds

© Anaïs-Tohé Commaret, Amor sur Mama, 2019

Director: Anaïs-Tohé Commaret
Director of photography : Nicolas Jardin
Actors: Solange Commaret