Tahrir Square / Unspeakable

multiscreen HD video 8mn 34
Cairo, September 2011
Jean-Christian Bourcart and Selim Nassib, assisted by Mahmoud Farag
edited by Matt Cowan

Tahrir Square, where the massive protests in 2011 were met with violence from authorities, is now a symbol of the Egyptian Revolution. In order to pay tribute to the people who fought there, I silently filmed some of them, asking them to replay their most emotional memories of the events,( to reconnect with the feelings of those days and nights, of hope and fights).

Social media’s predominant role allowed people to both organize and report on the events, inventing a new paradigm of activism. I collected incredible -sometimes shocking- scenes of personal courage, extreme violence, and collective rage shared online.

Then, I filmed Tahrir Square on a normal day - a vacant lot surrounded by incessant and noisy traffic. An employee was dutifully watering the battered ground, as if trying to grow something out of that aborted revolution.

The silent portraits, the dramatic events, and an ordinary day at Tahrir Square shown simultaneously act as a meditation on the relationship between memories and documents, between individual stories and history, between drama and time, which erases everything.

file 1file 1