Resisting with Cinema: an Evening Curated by Zineb Sedira

Wed 05 Jul
Festivals & Series

Resonating with her 2022 Venice Biennale show, this programme of films curated by artist Zineb Sedira sheds light on the relationship between cinema, anticolonial activism in Algeria and collective memory. This programme features Zineb Sedira’s short film mise-en-scène (2019), and Italian filmmaker Ennio Lorenzini’s documentary on the birth of the Algerian nation, Les Mains libres (1964-65).



FRA | 2019 | dir. Zineb Sedira | 9 mins

Between the 1960s and the late 1980s, the Algerian film industry flourished in an anti-colonial environment, giving rise to a nation of politically aware film lovers. Since then, however, the film industry and archives in Algeria have suffered due to the political and economic situation. This short video work consists of several sequences of found footage from various militant films made in Algeria from the 1960s onwards.

Les Mains libres
ALG | 1964 | dir. Ennio Lorenzini | in French with English subtitles | 56 mins

‘Produced by Casbah Film (who would later finance Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers), Les Mains libres was shot by Italian filmmaker Ennio Lorenzini in 1964 – only two years after Algeria’s independence from French colonisation – and it is the first international Algerian production. ‘As time went by, I became more and more interested in this film, that had not been seen for 57 years! (…) It touched me greatly to discover, not only the newly created Algerian state in colour, a rare sight at the time, but also a multifaceted nation, away from the simplistic view created by the French press and army. Les Mains libres is a discovery, a political and militant testimony to the enduring traces of colonisation and of the tasks to come once a country has newly gained freedom.’ – Zineb Sedira


Followed by a conversation with Zineb Sedira and Gilane Tawadros, Director of Whitechapel Gallery


About Zineb Sedira

Zineb Sedira (born 1963, Paris), lives in London and works between Algeria, Paris, and London. She represented France at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (2022) and received a special mention for her exhibition entitled Dreams Have No Titles.

Zineb Sedira first found inspiration in exploring her identity as a woman with a unique personal geography. From these autobiographical concerns she gradually shifted her interest to more universal ideas of mobility, memory and transmission.

She has previously shown in institutions such as Tate Britain, Centre Pompidou, Mori Museum, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art of Algiers, Brooklyn Museum, Jeu de Paume, Gwangju Biennale, among others.

As part of SAFAR Film Festival

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