Assembling Samira: Queering sexual humanitarianism through experimental film making

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When: 3/12/14, 13:00 – 14:30                      Where: 427, Muirhead Tower

All are welcome at this seminar from Nick Mai, London Metropolitan University and Aix-Marseille.

Samira is a 27 minutes two-screen art-science installation presenting an ethnographic account of the life history of Karim, an Algerian migrant man selling sex as a travesti at night in Marseille. Karim left Algeria as a young man as his breasts started developing as a result of taking hormones. He was granted asylum in France as a transgender woman, Samira. Twenty years later, as his father is dying and he is about to become the head of the family Samira surgically removes her breasts and marries a woman in order to get a new passport allowing him to return to Algeria to assume his new role.

Samira is part of the Emborders art-science project questioning questions the effectiveness and scope of humanitarian initiatives targeting migrant sex workers and sexual minority asylum seekers. In order to get their rights recognised and avoid deportation migrant women, men and transgender people reassemble their bodies and perform their subjectivities according to standardised humanitarian biographical and somatic borders. The Emborders filmmaking/research project gathers and analyses the migration, asylum and work experiences of real people, which will be performed by actors to protect the identities of the original interviewees and to embody the performance of their self-representations through interviews. The Emborders project aims to produce an epistemological and aesthetic intervention on the inherently fictional nature of any narration of the self. By using actors to reproduce real people and real life histories, the project problematises what constitutes a credible and authentic reality in scientific, filmic and humanitarian terms.

Trailer of Samira: https://vimeo.com/84704860

Registration

To register, please contact Ann Bolstridge, a.bolstridge@bham.ac.uk.

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