52 *Scouting for Locations : yazan khalili

Scouting for locations
Film title: Traces of a Scream

Photography + Text
photo installation and text

Exhibited: Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013) & Shanghai Biennial 2016

No one heard us shout in angst for every yard we found a lonely tree standing as we roamed the city for days searching in the sounds where the three men’s bodies were thrown under a silent tree no one remembers hearing the anguish that they screamed the day the sun melted their dreams

A film production crew mysteriously disappears in an Arab Gulf city while scouting for locations for an adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun (1963). Their fate is not unlike the three protagonists of this seminal novella, who vanish with a piercing scream as they search for work and meaning. This scream is echoed through photographs and text of this photo installation as the viewer journeys with the crew through an unfamiliar, muffled landscape, learning about their encounters and aspirations through photographs and notes left behind. Scouting for Locations, attempts to bring attention to the everyday struggle of labourers in the Gulf to find visibility and representation.

Shanghai Biennial / Installation shot
Shanghai Biennial / Installation detail
Sharjah Biennial / Installation shot
Sharjah Biennial / Installation shot
Sharjah Biennial / Installation detail