They’ve Never Had It So GooD
How does the world breathe now?
Session N°1 14.09.2016 20:00
With Dani Gal
film Mau Mau 1973 51 minutes
bY David Koff
film Occupied Palestine 1981 87 minutes
by David Koff
In the series‘ initial session, Dani Gal presents works by filmmaker and social activist David Koff (1939–2014) who spent his life between the U.S., England and West Africa exploring issues of social and economic justice, racial discrimination, colonialism and resistance.
Long before Britain opened its imperial archives to the public and long before the first Intifada popularised the Palestinian struggle, David Koff's films presented a unique and uncompromising position on colonialism and systematic exploitation of colonized people. His films give a voice to those people who are rarely, if ever, presented on film and show a reality from the perspective of people who were dehumanised under colonial rule. Today, with the rise of nationalism and xenophobia in Europe and Britain and their connection to the war in the Middle East, and the ongoing colonisation of Palestine, David Koff's films are still of the utmost relevance.
From Koff‘s encompassing oeuvre, Dani Gal chose two films: Mau Mau (1973) and Occupied Palestine(1981). Mau Mau belongs to the trilogy The Black Man's Land about British colonialism and its after-effects in Africa and focuses on the state of emergency declared by the British in Kenya in 1952, including the creation of the myth of a Mau Mau terrorist group to justify the suppression of the African nationalist movement. The documentary Occupied Palestine takes a look at the roots of the Zionist Colonisation of Palestine and the resistance to it. The film led to a bomb threat at its premiere.
Dani Gal (1975 in Jerusalem) is a video artist who lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem; the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule in Frankfurt; and the Cooper Union in New York. His films and works have been shown widely, including at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), The Istanbul Biennale (2011), Berlin Film Festival (2013), Kunsthalle St. Gallen Switzerland (2013), The Jewish Museum New York (2014), Kunsthaus Zurich, Kunsthalle Wien (2015) and more.