Assia Djebar

Assia Djebar – La zerda ou Les chants de l’oubli AKA The Zerda and the Songs of Forgetting (1983)

This film essay pieces together various photographs and footage of the Zerda ceremony from colonial archives, with anonymous poetic voiceovers recounting the lived experiences of indigenous Algerians. This pairing examines the contrast between the foreign perspective and the reality of the lives being viewed from that perspective, and the soundtrack is interspersed with “songs of forgetting” to recognize traditions that are being lost to colonialism even as they are tokenized by and subjugated to the colonial gaze. Read More »