A Familiar Place- 1945/2013
(Video PAL, 37'48'')
Three chapters (Engagement/Prison/Generations)
In the video A Familiar Place, we enter the speech of Titi, an 81 year old egyptian with a long past of political engagement. How can words recreate the string of a life as it faces the larger history of a country?
The camera follows Titi as he moves from one room to the next, a well-rehearsed habitus of life from the inside of the appartment to the balcony. The same path the observer is invited to experience within the space of the installation (see A Familiar Place). Located in the heart of downtown Cairo and in direct proximity to Tahrir square, Titi’s apartment is directly connected to the city. Sound wise first as the sound of riots echo at the balcony, but also visually with an opening on Tahrir between two buildings. Titi says it’s his «little piece of Tahrir».
Titi unveils the course of his memory, that of a man in a country currently going through an amnesic phase. Must one forget to start again? How does one build a revolution while not remembering the ones, which lead to this moment? What is the meaning of a life dedicated to political engagement? With complete honesty and a fascinating memory, Titi narrates his story and that of Egypt.
Each of the tree sequences invites the observer to a space of consciousness. The sequential construction of the video enables the testimony of a man to unfold gradually, as a history book.