Zoulikha Bouabdellah (b. 1977)
Zoulikha Bouabdellah - Dansons (Algeria/France (2003)
From Resistance(s): Experimental Films from the Middle East and North Africa

Zoulikha Bouabdellah
We Dance
1-channel video installation, color, sound, 5 min

A woman carefully drapes blue, white, and red cloths around her hips, as if she were about to begin a belly dance. This reference to the cliché of oriental femininity is tellingly clothed in the colors of the French nation. After a few minutes, just as the body finally begins its rhythmic movements, the Marseillaise blares out demonstratively. The heroic-national aspect of the march music supplants the expected sensuality of the dance. From the perspective of a young Algerian woman living in France, Zoulikha Bouabdellah presents the history of colonialism and a post-colonial present equally marked by exoticisms and racisms in an ironic and extremely condensed form.