Samira’s Presentation: Statement

by

Multiply in the glass.
I don’t distinguish those
that went away From those
that stay. I only perceive
the strange idea of family.

Travelling through the flesh.

Elizabeth Bishop, Family Portrait.

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We all have home movies or at least family albums of photographs. We all experience watching home movies with our family and talking about them. These movies are too personal to us as their performers and spectators. At the same time they are universal. If you look at home movies from different parts of the world you notice that they all have some mutual features.

Even the events captured in them are similar. You see birthdays, marriages, family gatherings and parties and most importantly children growing up and flourishing. You almost never see divorce, death or parents struggling. Why are those moments eliminated from home movies? Do we attempt to forget them? Do we want to pretend that they never happened?

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Home movies provide us with a way to define ourselves and how we want to see ourselves. We eliminate all the sad and unwanted events because we want to represent ourselves as people we see in our home movies. People who enjoy being together. People who never fight. Parents who are always nice to their children and children who go to school with a smile on their faces. Not only these movies are a product of us, but we are a product of them. But how can we forget that there are other stories hiding in the darkest moments between different images? As Peter Forgacs points out, home movies permit us to see the unseen, to deconstruct and then reconstruct the humane through the ephemeral and micro historical, where the real and the perform exist side by side. (Mining the Home Movie, p2) Through home movies one constructs memories. There is no truth and no real. A coexistence of real and fiction.

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I am interested to explore these resources to find myself and my relationship to my parents in and between the images of my home movies. I strongly believe that my father who was always behind a camera shooting the family has imagined leave an archive for me as his only child interested in film and video. As he has always said to my mother who was bothered by him filming her “one of you will use these movies one day to see how we were.” And now I intend to see how we were to find who we are.

I intend to create a dialogue between my mother and I, about our family and family relations in general and put them beside some parts of home movies that I have. The combination itself reveals the contradictions. What’s the difference between what we see in home movies and what we actually are as a family member? Is there any difference at all? What’s our reaction to home movies and why do we like to review them once in a while?

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My father is the author of these movies. Now I want to deconstruct them and give them new meanings and for the first time include my mother in them. Every family has a secret. I am interested to explore mine in order to understand how family functions and how we define it for ourselves.

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