video screening, 14 min.
The film, shown more often as part of an installation, usually embedded in a complex wooden structure, is a mixture of documentary and fiction that features people in Mali revealing their individual hopes and dreams for the future. The protagonists emerge from the dark into the scene in front of the camera. Against the lights of fluorescent lamps they recount various instances of how they envisage things to come. However, these imaginaries are articulated in the present tense, resulting in a blend of projected hopes, concrete stories, and fantasies that are at once aspirational, contradictory, and confusing. On the one hand, the film cunningly scrutinizes the western-minded stereotypical view that any viable future is unachievable when it comes to Africa. On the other, by arresting the imagination in the current moment, the film concurrently puts the possibility of these dreams coming true into question. The resulting sentiment is that of a recognizable impasse that is presently shared by many places in the world when it is simply no longer conceivable to continue “moving forward”—so central to the cheerful narratives of western progress—in the way with which we have become comfortable. The film exposes the lack of alternatives and a difficulty to envision a framework for being together in a way that isn’t customary, yet urges that we need to nevertheless continue seeking what means are necessary to move out of the stand still of the contemporary.