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Film Festival

The Flâneuse

By 23rd February 2021March 8th, 2021No Comments

Week 47 : The Flâneuse

Originally the image of strolling or sauntering was ascribed to an affluent male, a literary gentleman from 19th-century France who moved unobserved, through the streets but was always observing. Women, aimlessly strolling about were likely to be perceived as prostitutes until this male-dominated public space was re-conquered by flâneuses like Virginia Woolf or Patti Smith.

Due to the pandemic, walking by oneself or strolling around with a friend, (when curfew measures permit), has seen a renaissance. Street photography is closely linked to the flâneur’s and flâneuse’s detached and distanced observation. We listen to US-American singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant as she wanders with her camera through the streets of New York in 1995. She is followed by Clara Charrin in the same city 26 years later. Miae Son, Korean performative video and installation artist who is based in Vienna, seems to have had a premonition about the current lock-downs, when in 2015 she filmed her imaginary travelling flat and, a year later, her city haircut. Hala Elkoussy, an Egyptian artist then takes us on a stroll through Cairo which we see through the eyes and are led by the voice of Sein, a contemporary flâneuse.

* being open source or obtained from a permitted uploader to either YouTube or Vimeo

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