The Next Layer, 2018
HD digital video, sound, 128mins looped
The installation is displayed via three separate channels; a wall projection showing the completed film in the main room and 2 x flat screen monitors (4 x 3) situated in the first room.
The Next Layer focusses on the hidden narratives within a documentary filmmaking context. A New Beginning is the compelling true story in which background filmmaking dynamics are explored. In 1989, a childhood friendship is filmed by journalist Patrice Barrat in a Sudanese refugee camp by day, whilst the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army train the children for brutal militia activity at night. The resulting documentary film, Famine Fatigue, drew international attention to the civil war in Sudan and resulting famine. Decades later Barrat reconnects with David Nyuol Vincent and Emmanuel Jal, the children he once filmed who were resettled as adults in the West.
Curious and concerned about underlying power dynamics, the work aims to explore the question ‘Where am I in the film’? And does this ‘I’ carry unexamined motivations that are at odds with the intention of the film? By working with a script developed from the email communication spanning 9 years and 3 continents, hidden narratives are revealed, highlighting complex relationships and a power struggle in the present day concerning the lost Famine Fatigue archive. Ultimately the focus shifts to reveal a common humanity where the ‘I’ in the documentary process is revealed to be intrinsically linked with the ‘we’.