Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme: Incidental Insurgents – some influences

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (1)

Part 1, The Part about The Bandits

Films featured either as clips or stills in Incidental Insurgents, Part 1:

Wim Wenders – Paris, Texas, 1984

Jean-Luc Godard – Pierrot Le Fou, 1965

Jean-Luc Godard – Band of Outsiders, 1964

Jean-Luc Godard- Breathless, 1960

Chris Marker – Remembrance of things to Come, 2003

Chris Marker – A Grin Without a Cat, 1977

“The film’s original French title is Le fond de l’air est rouge, which means ‘The essence of the air is red’, and has a subtext similar to the English title, implying that the socialist movement existed only in the air. The title is also a play on words: The original expression in French is ‘Le fond de l’air est frais’, meaning ‘there is a nip in the air’. Chris Marker replaced the last word with ‘rouge’ (red), so the original title translates to There are Reds in the Air.” Courtesy Wikipedia.

“There are still some wolves left” (from A Grin Without a Cat – towards the end)

Solanos and Getino – The Hour of the Furnaces, 1968


Part 2, Unforgiving Years

Films that are among the research materials for Incidental Insurgents, Part 2:

Chris Marker – Sans Soleil, 1983

Guy Debord – Refutation of all the judgments, 1975

Guy Debord – In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni, 1978

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni is a medieval Latin palindrome meaning ‘we turn in the night and are consumed by fire’.

Debord’s films can be found on UBUWEB here.  Sadly, the screening quality of both Refutation of all the judgments and In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni is very poor.  However, the unauthorised translation and clean-up, initiated by Ed Halter, Thomas Beard, and Buyoung Kim, and narrated by Paul Chan, is ok (see UBUWEB page).

Michelangelo Antonioni – Il Deserto Rosso, 1964

Jim Jarmusch – Stranger Than Paradise, 1984

Various Film Makers – Ten Minutes Older: The Cello, 2002

Jean-Luc Godard – La Chinoise, 1967

Jean-Luc Godard – Histoire Du Cinema, 1988

Jean-Luc Godard – Un Film Comme Les Autres, 1968

Jean-Luc Godard – Vivre Sa Vie, 1962

Jean-Luc Godard – In praise of love, 2001

Jean-Luc Godard – Masculin Feminin, 1966


And here’s a few books that are amongst the papers in the installation:

Roberto Bolano – Between Paratheses, 2011

Victor Serge – Resistance, ????

“Victor Lvovich Khibalchich (better known as Victor Serge) was born in Brussels, the son of Russian Narodnik exiles. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Russian Communist Party on arriving in Petrograd in February 1919 and worked for the newly founded Communist International as a journalist, editor and translator. As a Comintern representative in Germany he helped prepare the aborted insurrection in the autumn of 1923. In 1923 he also joined the Left Opposition. He was expelled from the party in 1928 and briefly imprisoned. At this time he turned to writing fiction, which was published mainly in France. In 1933 he was arrested and exiled. After an international campaign he was eventually deported from Russia in April 1936 on the eve of the Moscow Show Trials. Upon arrival in the West he renewed contact with Trotsky but political differences developed and a bitter controversy developed between the two remaining veterans of the pre-Stalinist Russian Communist Party. Escaping from Paris in 1940 just ahead of the invading Nazi troops he found refuge in Mexico. During his last years Serge lived in isolation and died penniless shortly after the 30th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in November 1947.” Source: Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Adrienne Rich – An Atlas of the Difficult World, 1991

Victor Serge – Unforgiving Years, ????

First published in French 25 years after his death in 1947.  An English translation only became available in 2008.

Paul Gordon – Vagabond Witness: Victor Serge and the politics of hope, 2013

Guy Debord – Panegyric, 1989

khamsin: Journal of Revolutionary Socialists in the Middle East

Victor Serge – Men In Prison, ????

Between 1912 and 1917, Serge was incarcerated in French penitentiaries:  “Everything in this book is fictional and everything is true. I have attempted, through literary creation, to bring out the general meaning and human content of a personal experience.” Victor Serge in the epigraph to Men in Prison.

Chris Kraus – Where Art Belongs, 2011

Greil Marcus – Lipstick Traces, 1989

It’s the updated 2011 edition in the installation.

McKenzie Wark – A Hacker Manifesto, 2004

Victor Serge – Birth of Our Power, ????

Composed, a decade after the revolution, in Leningrad, where Serge was living in semi-captivity because of his declared opposition to Stalin’s dictatorship over the revolution.

The Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection, 2007


photo(1)From The Coming Insurrection, The Invisible Committee


A Diversion … to Elena Ferrante

“I grew up with the idea that if I didn’t let myself be absorbed as much as possible into the world of eminently capable men, if I did not learn from their cultural excellence, if I did not pass brilliantly all the exams that world required of me, it would have been tantamount to not existing at all. Then I read books that exalted the female difference and my thinking was turned upside down. I realized that I had to do exactly the opposite: I had to start with myself and with my relationships with other women—this is another essential formula—if I really wanted to give myself a shape. Today I read everything that emerges out of so-called postfeminist thought. It helps me look critically at the world, at us, our bodies, our subjectivity. But it also fires my imagination, it pushes me to reflect on the use of literature. I’ll name some women to whom I owe a great deal: Firestone, Lonzi, Irigaray, Muraro, Caverero, Gagliasso, Haraway, Butler, Braidotti.”
“I hold that male colonization of our imaginations—a calamity while ever we were unable to give shape to our difference—is, today, a strength. We know everything about the male symbol system; they, for the most part, know nothing about ours, above all about how it has been restructured by the blows the world has dealt us. What’s more, they are not even curious, indeed they recognize us only from within their system.”
Thanks to Sarah Shin at verso for sending the quotes (hence, not sure of the ultimate source).