Once Removed: Screening and Conversation

Once Removed: Screening and Conversation

Sharlene Bamboat, If From Every Tongue It Drips (still), 2021.

Once Removed: Screening and Conversation
Films by Parastoo Anoushahpour, Sharlene Bamboat, and Miryam Charles. Curated by Devika Girish, Lakshmi Padmanabhan, and Pooja Rangan.

Admisison starts at $5

June 3, 2023, 4–7pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

To be once removed is to be both intimate and distant, absent and present. As a phrase connoting a generational and often diasporic difference, it is haunted by an elision—an excavation—across which relations persist. Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Saturday, June 3 at 4pm for Once Removed, a program of three works of accented documentary that explore how geographic, historic, and familial chasms are bridged by acts of translation.

Curated by Devika Girish, Lakshmi Padmanabhan, and Pooja Rangan, the program includes Miryam Charles’s Song for the New World (2021, 9 minutes), Parastoo Anoushahpour’s The Time That Separates Us (2022, 35 minutes), and Sharlene Bamboat’s If from Every Tongue it Drips (2021, 68 minutes). The screening will be followed by an extended conversation with the filmmakers and the event’s curators.

Charles’s Song for the New World crafts an intimate archive of colonial exile, weaving narratives of loss and longing for Haiti—a home the Canadian filmmaker never quite had—through the rich sonic inheritance of Haitian kreyòl. The film is part of an ongoing practice developed by Charles that melds myths, memories, children’s songs, and family stories into poignant reflections on the colonial origins of contemporary Black diasporic life. 

In The Time That Separates Us, Anoushahpour creatively reinterprets the Sodom and Gomorrah myth of Lot to give form to the fraught negotiations of state borders and national belonging in the heavily militarized Jordan River Valley. Produced through a collective practice, the film reflects the director’s ethical commitments to translation across multiple legal and linguistic registers.

Made under the conditions of social isolation imposed by the COVID-19 lockdown, If From Every Tongue it Drops is an experiment in collaboration across distance. The film is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Ponni, a queer historian, translator, and anti-caste activist in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Footage filmed by Ponni’s lover, Sarala, was assembled by Bamboat in Montreal and scored by Scottish composer Richy Carey in the Isle of Skye, resulting in a film that finds unending creative possibilities in plurality and unintelligibility. Bamboat collides sound, text, and image to conjure a world where the boundaries between times, spaces, nations, and languages are porous and constantly shifting. 

All three films raise fraught questions about the necessity of speaking across difference, particularly in a world where violence requires no translation. 


Miryam Charles, Song for a New World (Canada, 2021, 9 minutes)
Years after the disappearance of her father in Scotland, a young woman recalls her childhood on a Caribbean Island.

Parastoo Anoushahpour, The Time that Separates Us (Jordan/Palestine/Canada, 2022, 35 minutes)
The Time that Separates Us circles an ancient salt-rock formation overlooking the Dead Sea, near Ghor Al-Safi, Jordan. In the process, this Pillar of Salt becomes a portal through which to face the Jordan River Valley, its heavily militarized border and complex infrastructures of tourism, as well as the stigmatized realms of desire, sexuality, and gender encoded within a highly mediated political landscape and its related sites of mythology.

Sharlene Bamboat, If From Every Tongue It Drips (Canada/Sri Lanka/United Kingdom, 2021, 68 minutes)
If from Every Tongue It Drips is a documentary film that explores questions of distance and proximity, identity and otherness, through scenes from the daily interactions between two queer women: a poet and a cameraperson. Created between three locations—Montreal, Batticaloa, and the Isle of Skye—and connected through three languages—Urdu, Tamil, English—as well as through personal and national histories, music and dance, and the gaze of the camera lens, the film explores subjects both expansively cosmic and intimately close, from quantum superposition to the links between British colonialism and Indian nationalism.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.      
–For elevator access, please RSVP to program@e-flux.com. The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.               
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Colonialism & Imperialism
Documentary, Family, Memory, History, Translation, Geography

Sharlene Bamboat is a moving-image and installation artist based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Her practice engages with translation, history, and sound to uncover sensory and fractured ways of understanding the relationship between the self and the social in transnational contexts. Her works examine the role of colonialism, globalization, culture, and desire through poetics, abstraction, and collaboration by working with artists, musicians, and writers to animate historical, political, legal, and pop-culture materials. Her most frequent collaborator, since 2009, is Alexis Mitchell. In addition to her art practice, Sharlene works in the arts sector, including artist-run organizations and collectives in Canada, and with artists both locally and internationally.

Parastoo Anoushahpour (Iran/Canada) is an artist originally from Tehran now based in Toronto, working predominantly with film, video, and installation. She was an artist in residence at the Mohammad and Mahera Abu Ghazaleh Foundation (Jordan), Tabakalera International Center for Contemporary Art (Spain), Taipei Artist Village (Taiwan), and Banff Center for Arts & Creativity (Canada). Her recent solo and collaborative work has been shown at Berlinale, MoMA, The Flaherty Film Seminar, Punto de Vista Film Festival, Sharjah Film Platform, Viennale, NYFF, TIFF, Images Festival, IFF Rotterdam, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Experimenta (Bangalore), and Media City Film Festival. Since 2013 she has been working in collaboration with Ryan Ferko and Faraz Anoushahpour. Their shared practice explores the tension of multiple subjectivities as a strategy to address the power inherent in narrative structures.

Miryam Charles is a Haitian-Canadian director, producer, and cinematographer living in Montreal. She has produced several short and feature films. Her films have been presented in various festivals internationally. Her first feature film, Cette Maison (This House), was presented at the Berlinale, and was also included in the TIFF Top 10 of the year. She also launched the short film At Dusk at the Locarno Film Festival. As a producer, she is currently working on the post-production of the series Still I Rise.

Pooja Rangan is a scholar of documentary media based at Amherst College, where she is Associate Professor of English and Chair of Film and Media Studies. Rangan is the author of the award-winning book Immediations: The Humanitarian Impulse in Documentary (Duke University Press, 2017), and coeditor of the anthology Thinking with an Accent: Toward a New Object, Method, and Practice (University of California Press, 2023, now available in print and as a free open access ebook), as well as numerous journal articles and essays (available on poojarangan.com). Her new book-in-progress, The Documentary Audit, explores how listening has come to be equated, in documentary discourse, with accountability.

Devika Girish is a film critic, editor, and programmer based in New York City. She is the Co-Deputy of Film Comment magazine and a Talks programmer for the New York Film Festival. She contributes regularly to the New York Times, and her writing has also appeared in The Nation, the New York Review of Books, the Criterion Collection, The Village Voice, and other publications. She has served on the selection committees of the Mumbai Film Festival and the Berlin Critics’ Week.

Lakshmi Padmanabhan is Assistant Professor of Radio, TV, Film at Northwestern University. Her academic writing is published and forthcoming in journals including Cultural Critique, Camera Obscura, JCMS, Women & Performance, Art History, and New Review of Film and Television. Her essays, criticism, and reviews have been published in Seen, Public Books, Jewish Currents, and Post45. She is the editor of the forthcoming volume Forms of Errantry, on the experimental films of Miryam Charles. Her current book project examines the aesthetics of counter-cinema and the failed dreams of decolonization in India from 1980 to the present.

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