27.05 — 01.06

Bouchra Khalili Vienna

The Circle & The Public Storyteller

visual arts / film — premiere


Please confirm your attendance with a wheelchair during online reservation or through box officeAccessible for wheelchair usersSeating without backrest | French, Arabic → NL, FR, EN | ⧖ ±1h20 | €10 / €7

In 1974, amidst a hunger strike by undocumented workers in Paris, the Movement of Arab Workers created a singular political action: presenting a candidate for the imminent presidential elections. They chose a member of their Al Assifa theatre group, an 18-year-old Tunisian hunger striker using the pseudonym Djellali Kamal. The campaign was conceived as a public performance highlighting the denial of civil rights to migrants and projecting self-agency. Artist Bouchra Khalili now creates a video installation, consisting of two video works that form a unique dialogue reconnecting distant geographies and times. With The Circle, she reconstructed the incredible adventure of this powerful action from fifty years ago. With The Public Storyteller, a new commission by the festival, she films a halqa, a centuries-old practice of public storytelling in Morocco, to people arranged in a circle. In this halqa, Djellali’s campaign is narrated by a storyteller in Marrakesh, implicitly forming a new circle linking the diaspora and North Africa. What does this gap between 1974 and 2024 tell us, a few days before a new election? How can invisibilised identities become visible? Khalili emphasises the importance of remembering past political strategies as a practice of intergenerational transmission for the present and future.


  • 19:00
  • Free entrance
  • Artist talk






Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, KVS
Concept: Bouchra Khalili


The Circle
2023. Mixed media installation comprising the synchronised dual projections with the same title, The Storytellers (five 16 mm films transferred to video displayed on monitors), and the mural paper Timeline for a Constellation.

An installation by Bouchra Khalili | Directed by Bouchra Khalili | Produced by Bouchra Khalili and Alexandre Kauffmann | Line producer: Michel Balagué – Volte Films | With (by order of appearance): Isavella Alopoudi, Giannis Sotiriou, Elias Kiama Tzogonas, Mia Radford, Lucas Yahiaoui, Mustapha Mohammadi, Hedi Akkari, Philippe Tancelin, Abdellali Hajjat, Rocé, Smaine Idri | Cinematographer (16mm film and digital film): Delphine Ménoret | Editor: Bouchra Khalili | Sound recording and engineering: Johannes Schmelzer-Ziringer | Assistant director: Anouk Moyaux | Analog filming consultant: Jake McCarthy Wiener | Camera assistant: Lauren De la Borie | Research assistant: Isabella Seniuta | Production coordinator and location manager: Maxime Mudjeredian | Production assistant: Ariel Mestron | Sound design and sound mix: Johannes Schmelzer-Ziringer | 16mm film scan technician. Le Polygone étoilé, Marseille: Adrien Von Nagel | Primary digital grading: Ben Brix | Digital grading and conforming: Artem Stretovych, The Post Republic | Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation, MACBA Barcelona, Luma Foundation

The Public Storyteller
Commissioned and coproduced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts | Coproduction: Festival d’Automne à Paris, KADIST

website by lvh