Bouchra Khalili’s Elemental Mapping

Elemental Geography

Bouchra Khalili is a talented and politically engaged Moroccan-French video artist who currently has an exhibition at the MOMA in New York. A former student of mine alerted me of her Mapping Journey Project because it touches upon a variety of things and topics we discussed in our Political Geography lectures. The project, which involves video footage taken from 2008 to 2011,

 details the stories of eight individuals who have been forced by political and economic circumstances to travel illegally and whose covert journeys have taken them throughout the Mediterranean basin… The stories are presented on individual screens positioned throughout MoMA… Shown together, the videos function as an alternative geopolitical map defined by the precarious lives of stateless people.  (MOMA)

The cartographic remapping is interesting but what I found even more fascinating is the way Khalili uses the elements as a critique. I am not the first one to have noticed how her respondents redraw state lines…

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