Vuelos Migratorios

Josu Rekalde

For this piece, intended for an installation, Rekalde salvages sequences from previous works of his and polarises them in order to speak about migration and about how escape transforms the one into the other. The video denounces the human conflicts of those others, and subtly contrasts this to the comfort that prevails in our culture of wellbeing.

From the very beginning the socio-cultural duality between the Arab and the Western worlds is proposed. We are presented with Spanish and Arab fragments, both whispered and written in white type over a black ground,  of a poem about selfexclusion. Then images of an excursion are contrasted to those of a group of sitting Arabs, an escape by car under the rain to a child being fed milk by a group of soldiers, an exhausted dancer being helped out by a Westerner who was walking by, public waiting for the doors to a (projection, exhibition or conference) room to open against the image of refugees crying at a fence, which itself is being projected and watched by a public. Finally, the public is let into the room.

The video’s point of view aims to be objective, with a poetic undercurrent. Phrases in Spanish and Arab mark the rite of passage of the individual who decides to leave, to become an expatriate, to loose his identity and his past to be another, but who is nevertheless always watched from different points of view, from that of contemplation to that of surveillance. Vuelos migratorios is a textual, visual and sound representation of an act of self-identity contextualised within real events as part of the process of abandonment. As he gradually gains knowledge of himself, the individual becomes more reflexive, more suspicious of his own identity. Rekalde here revisits some of the ideas pointed at in his previous video Anthropozulo (1994) in order to speak about the individual conflict and the social effect derived from the phenomenon of migration. He then contrasts and recontextualises these notions with other images, performances and installations about the problematic of exclusion.

Vuelos migratorios becomes a harsh text about the infinite act of waiting to inhabit the idealized space of the other. Rekalde’s discourse of representation affirms migration and nomadism as inherent characteristics of human beings, as that fundamental hope of happiness that prevails in the darkest moments.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Vuelos Migratorios
  • Direction: Josu Rekalde
  • Production: Josu Rekalde. 2004.
  • Team:

    Soundtrack: María Eugenia Luc
    Cast: Jorge Horno, Ahïza Cheddad

  • Duration: 00:11:30
  • Languages: Arabic - Spanish
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright