Marvelous Movie Mondays: Between a Gaze and a Gesture

EPFC | January 20th, 2020

guest curator: Emily Chao

“How do we formulate words to speak of this history?” This week’s pick is an excerpt from Hannah Dawn Henderson’s twin slide projector installation, Between a Gaze and a Gesture. While the video featured here is only a short excerpt, the installation itself runs as an eight minute loop, affording no end to the dialogue that ensues between the viewer and the archive of material from the mid-20th century Commonwealth migrations in the UK.

“As I studied documents in the archive and brought them into consideration with the oral narratives that have transcended the generations within my own family, it increasingly seems that this era marked a particular shift: in light of the then-recent move towards the constitutional independence of formerly colonised lands, Commonwealth migrants and their descendants — entities who are culturally diasporic yet British in nationality — became the new territory upon which the power-play of colonialism would be exerted, and this would manifest first by the negation of their claim to a British identity. It is this ostracisation and, in turn, the desire to reject it that seems to have served as a catalyst for the cultivation of cultural plurality — yet the question of what British identity actually is and to what extent it addresses the diasporic legacies that the British Empire and its collapse orchestrated remains a precarious and fragile question.” – Hannah Dawn Henderson