Throughout their individual careers, artists and filmmakers Hélène Crouzillat and Laetitia Tura have examined the harrowing histories of borders and the individuals made most vulnerable by them. Their starkly poetic film Les Messagers (2014) focuses on the border at Melilla, a Spanish city at the northern edge of Morocco. Through the testimonies of migrants attempting to cross into the European city by land or to the continent by sea, Crouzillat and Tura expose the dark irony of a guard’s claim that the border “does no harm.” Each migrant recounts the ways they escaped death over the course of their individual journeys. Each also tells the stories of those who did not—adults and children dying of exhaustion, violence, or drowning. With carefully composed shots of the Mediterranean, Moroccan desert, and migrant grave sites, Crouzillat and Tura convey the desolation of these “messengers” who bear witness to the metaphysical costs of geopolitics. In French, Arabic, English, Spanish, and Pulaar with English subtitles.
2014, France, 70 min + discussion
Hélène Crouzillat and Laetitia Tura in person
Presented in collaboration with SAIC's Department of Liberal Arts and Department of Visual and Critical Studies.
Hélène Crouzillat is a documentarian. Her fields of investigation focus on labor, processes of relegation, and resistance in society. Speech—its collection and formulation—is at the center of her practice. She works at the intersection of cinema and live performance, experimenting with different forms of narrative. Crouzillat’s principal artworks are: Corps de métiers (2011–12), En travail (2014–15), St-Ouen 01 (2016–17), Amnia (2016–17). She is currently working on a feature-length film, L'Effet Bahamas. She is a lecturer at Université Paris XIII.
Laetitia Tura is a photographer and filmmaker whose projects focus on geopolitical borders and the invisibility of the experiences of exiles. In addition to projects related to Les Messagers (2014), she has made works on the border of Southern Lebanon (Jnoub, 2001) and the border between Mexico and the United States (Linewatch, 2004–06). She is currently finishing production on Ils me laissent l’exil, a film on the memory of the Spanish dictatorship. Tura’s work has been exhibited at Galerie du bar Floréal, Paris; Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris; Galerie d'Art de l'Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, Mexico; International Biennale de l’Image Possible, Liège, Belgium; as well as the film festivals Cinéma du Reél, Paris and Pan-African Film Festival of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, among others. She has held a résidence de réalisation du Grec at the Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris and a residency at Périphérie, Montreuil, France. Tura studied at Université Paris VIII.