The release of three publications on the work of filmmaker Med Hondo, who died in March 2019, marks the conclusion of the exhibition, festival and book project “Cours, cours, camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi – Run, comrade, run, the old world is behind you – The Cinema of Med Hondo,” organized by Arsenal and curated by Enoka Ayemba, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Brigitta Kuster. The two books and an e-publication, comprising an integral part of the overall project, are based on and expand upon a variety of events held at Arsenal, Archive Kabinett, SAVVY Contemporary and the silent green Kulturquartier in August 2017. These three publications bring together different perspectives on Med Hondo’s work and include a series of interviews with the filmmaker that have been translated into English for the first time. Over the course of his long career, Med Hondo not only created films that address decolonization and the history of the African diaspora, developing new artistic means for doing so. He was also equally successful in developing alternatives to European and American production and distribution structures.
Volume 1 brings together 17 interviews conducted with Med Hondo over a period of nearly half a century. These conversations are a documentation of the historical contexts of those times and reveal Med Hondo’s critical stance toward the entanglement of politics, economics and culture as well as his interests and passions. Hondo was a critical observer of racist hostility and everyday violence against migrants, drawing connections between their individual stories, political and social history and the present. His focus captured the local situation in France in the geopolitical context of an intermeshed cultural geography with particular spotlights on the Caribbean, Western Sahara, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, South Africa and the United States. Interviews with Med Hondo by Michel Ciment, Paul-Louis Thirard, Moune de Rivel, Jean Delmas, Madeleine Dura, Noureddine Ghali, Guy Hennebelle, Rémy Kleib, Marcel Martin, Meneceúr Merzak, Françoise Pfaff, Don Ranvaud, Mark Reid, Jean Roy, Catherine Ruelle, Christian Scasso and Melissa Thackway.
Volume 2 is a collection of original texts that focus in on the work of Med Hondo and discuss it from a wide variety of perspectives, including close readings of films, recontextualizations from contemporary artistic perspectives with regard to body politics and historical narratives, philosophical-feminist commentary, pluri-perspectivist analysis of historical events and their cinematic reappraisal, and moments of remembrance and shared journeys with Med Hondo in Algiers and Ouagadougou, amongst other places. These texts open up numerous points of entry into a politically motivated and aesthetically radical body of work that deserves to be rediscovered and newly interrogated. With writing from Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Madeleine Bernstorff, Kudzanai Chiurai, Ute Fendler, Abrie Fourie, June Givanni, Med Hondo, Boudjemaâ Karèche, Astrid Kusser Ferreira, Seloua Luste Boulbina, Shaheen Merali, Pascale Obolo, Abdoulaye Souleye, Françoise Vergès, Ibrahima Wane and the editors.
The e-book contains 22 essays and interviews in French and German.
The editors of all three publications are Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Brigitta Kuster on behalf of Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V. Publisher: Archive Books.
“1970-2018 Interviews with Med Hondo: A Cinema on the Run” and “On the Run: Perspectives on the Cinema of Med Hondo” are published in English and can be ordered from Arsenal via mail(at)arsenal-berlin.de or from Archive Books.
“Das Kino von Med Hondo: Deutsche und französische Originaltexte, 1970–2020 / Le cinéma de Med Hondo: Textes originaux allemands et français, 1970-2020” is available as an e-book and can be downloaded for free from Archive Books here.
Cours, cours, camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi – Run, comrade, run, the old world is behind you – The Cinema of Med Hondo was supported by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.