“We must bring about the end of the world as we know it.”
From Left to Night (2015)
Simon(e) van Saarloos:
This film by Wendelien van Oldenborgh features philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva, who formulated the words with which we opened. Five people gather at a subway stop, a music studio, and a police station to discuss the unjust incarceration of Dean Burke. He was arrested because he was supposedly spotted on CCTV camera footage during the 2011 ‘riots’ in London. But it wasn’t him. It wasn’t just that he was wrongfully convicted, but that he was actually convicted in the first place: after all, the rebellion can also be viewed as a declaration of social dissatisfaction and poverty. Rather than punishing the government’s failure, (primarily) men of color are locked up. The way the world is organized makes freedom so impossible, that Da Silvia claims: We must end world as we know it.” The hip-hop in this film consists of protest and polyphony, but it also echoes the ‘sampling’ style Van Oldenborgh usually incorporates in her work: multiple narratives, registers, styles, and histories of injustice cross each other. Because her films do not portray chronological or linear histories, and because the various stories cross-cut each other, she creates open spaces. These spaces invite you to listen.