Curatorial Studies

Alice Diop: Nous

Film Screening

07.06.2024, 20:00

Kunsthal Gent

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Cura­to­ri­al Stu­dies pre­sents a public pro­gram­ma in Kunst­hal Gent bet­ween 31 May and 30 June. All the eve­nings are orga­ni­sed in a relaxed man­ner — feel free to come and go as you like in your own time. Howe­ver, scree­nings will start on time.

The RER B is an urban train that tra­ver­ses Paris and its envi­rons from north to south. Mul­ti-award-win­ning docu­men­ta­ry film­ma­ker Ali­ce Diop takes us through the­se sub­ur­ban spa­ces and con­fronts us with some of the faces and sto­ries of which they are com­po­sed. Docu­men­ting peo­p­le as frag­ments, the ephe­me­ral yet eve­ry­day in-bet­ween pla­ces they sha­re, Ali­ce Diop pro­po­ses ano­ther way to look at the pro­duc­ti­on of domi­nant ima­ges, and reflect on the foun­da­ti­on of cre­o­li­zed and hybri­di­zed con­tem­po­ra­ry Wes­tern societies.

In her docu­men­ta­ry Nous, she takes up the appro­ach taken 30 years ago by French wri­ter Fran­çois Mas­pe­ro in his book Les Pas­sa­gers du Rois­sy Express, in which he recoun­ted sub­jec­ti­ve expe­rien­ces of RER B users, a line of trans­port cros­sing the city of Paris from north to south. With the point of view of her own his­to­ry, she takes this same rou­te and gathers, in the pre­sent, the memo­ry and tra­ces of peo­p­le who have never been told. This jour­ney is not meant to be brought to a clo­se, but rather to con­ti­nue tel­ling a sto­ry, adding lay­ers to it, as an invita­ti­on to pass on the baton.

Soup and bread will be ser­ved befo­re the movie starts
Alice Diop


Ali­ce Diop was born in 1979 and rai­sed in the Cité des 3000, a neigh­bour­hood in the Pari­si­an sub­urb of Aul­nay-sous-Bois. In her work, she sets out to make visi­ble tho­se peo­p­le she is ​“con­di­ti­o­ned to reject”, to anchor their pla­ce in film his­to­ry. She stu­died his­to­ry at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Evry and docu­men­ta­ry film at La Femis in Paris. She made her debut in 2005 with La Tour du mon­de, a docu­se­ries in which she returns to the sub­urb whe­re she grew up. This was fol­lo­wed in 2011 by La Mort de Dan­ton, a movie about a 25-year-old black man from the Paris sub­urbs who tries to esca­pe vio­len­ce by taking an acting cour­se. It was later fol­lo­wed by La Per­ma­nen­ce (2016), and Nous (2021), among others. Saint Omer, Diop’s first fea­tu­re-length film, imme­di­a­te­ly won the Grand Jury Pri­ze at the 2022 Veni­ce Film Fes­ti­val. Sin­ce 2022, Diop has been co-cura­ting the pro­gram­me for ​“La Ciné­ma­thè­que idé­a­le des ban­li­eu­es du mon­de” at the Cen­tre Pompidou.