Filmed in the slums of Kampala, the capital of Uganda, this video installation by award-winning Swedish artist Markus Öhrn familiarizes viewers with a matchless tradition one can only find in Kampala: live film translation. Inside small huts in the slums surrounding the capital, international movies, mostly blockbusters, are shown to the locals, with video jockeys presenting them and providing commentary. Not only do these VJs explain the plot to the viewers, they also translate the dialogue on the spot and give information on Western customs and patterns of behaviour. The VJs are big stars in Kampala, with a fan following of their own. Öhrn asked one of the most popular VJs to show Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966), one of the most important art films of world cinema. Öhrn then filmed that peculiar cinephilic adventure and translated the live lecture into English. The result is a new version of Bergman’s famous film: Persona narrated to us through a distinctly African perspective, through Ugandan eyes.
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Co-operation: Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Berlin, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brüssel and Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam.