‘And still, it remains’ is a new artists’ film that examines time, toxic colonialism and how we survive the end of our world. In 2021, radioactive sand resulting from French nuclear bombs travelled in the winds all the way from the Algerian Sahara back to France. The bombs had been detonated in Algeria back in the 1960s. These returning winds were a reminder that the environmental legacies of colonialism cannot be forgotten or contained; it also raised the more pertinent question of how people live with the afterlife of toxic colonialism.
‘And still, it remains’ spends time with the residents of a village in the Hoggar Mountains of Algeria who live surrounded by ancient rock art and the legacy of France’s nuclear bombs. Exploring their migration to the area, faith, their way of life, colonialism and the nuclear bombs, the film asks: What does it mean to live in such intimacy with toxic colonialism? What understanding is gained from this proximity? The feminist thinker bell hooks talks about a particular way of knowing that comes from experience – “it’s a deep understanding that is often expressed through the body, as what they know has been deeply inscribed on it.” How do people make sense of what happened to them? What are their ideas of justice? And finally, how do they find a way to carry on?
‘And still, it remains’ is presented in collaboration with Open City Documentary Festival (6-12 September 2023) and was commissioned by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, supported using funds from Arts Council England and The Elephant Trust.