For further information please download the respective Forum Expanded sheet (PDF).
UHF42 E01+02 are the first two episodes of a teledrama set entirely within the studios and offices of Wattan TV, a 24-hour television news agency based in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. Each episode portrays one day in a continuous work week, blending scripted performances with documentary scenes of office life. The series follows the station's managers, technicians and journalists as they act out a report on the rise of consumer debt in the city of Ramallah. The area has experienced a surge in private bank loans over the past decade, forming a cosmopolitan island of prosperity in the occupied Palestinian territories. Parallel to these developments, Wattan created a dramatized series to report on the advent of the criminal justice system in Ramallah, providing one of the first scripted news programs of its kind in the Middle East. For the production of UHF42, Mike Crane worked with the writer and crew members of that series to script a new fictional drama about the credit system that has shaped the city over the past decade. UHF42 adapts the formal techniques of news production to investigate a period of rapid development, employing the station’s workers to probe the structures of public and private debt under military occupation.
Mike Crane, born in 1982 in Miami, USA, and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, is an artist currently based in New York. He graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art (BFA) and Hunter College, City University of New York (MFA). Crane has presented his work in cinemas and exhibitions worldwide.
Production: Mike Crane, New York; Wattan TV, Ramallah
Screenplay: Khaled Faqeeh
Camera: Amjad Shoman
Cast: Wafaa Arouri, Kamal Odeh, Sara AlAdra, Hamza AlSalaymeh
Format: 4-channel video installation, color
Running time: 40 min
Photo: © Mike Crane