Zineb Sedira pays tribute to Algerian cinema of the 1960s after the liberation

“There are powerful images of the transition to a new life after independence, like Algerians entering houses abandoned by the French,” Sedira said. “The film’s blend of archival material, photographic footage, fiction, and documentary was a discovery of a new path for a militant militant aesthetic.” A few restored scenes from the documentary are included in Sedira’s work as a reminder of the role of cinema in writing history. “Some might call this type of cinema propaganda, but I don’t like to use that term because these films show that cinema can be a tool to fight a war,” she explained, adding that the films were a way for largely illiterate populations to connect and learn. “In villages without cinemas, people would cover a wall with a white sheet and show these films.”

Although Dreams Have No Title is inspired by films wholly or partially funded by the Algerian state as part of nation-building efforts, Sedira transforms them into poetic interpretations of memory. Images of dusty, smoke-filled interiors intertwine with actual production scenes that break the fourth wall. Enveloped by the artist’s voiceover, the work crosses narrative cinema, documentary, music video, and even photography. Sedira’s inclusion of her own voice aligns with her decision to choose people from her environment. “Most films of the time were dubbed by men, but my female voice with a French accent, as well as my friends acting in their native language in Arabic or Spanish, challenge the idea of ​​representation,” said she declared. “I am the product of many identities as an Arab woman born in France and living in the UK”