Walid Raad & Atlas Group - The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs / Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (1999 - 2001)

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Two Videos by Walid Raad & The Atlas Group

"The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs is a three-part video project: Missing Lebanese Wars (in three parts), Secrets in the Open Sea and Miraculous Beginnings (in two parts). The work investigates the possibilities and limits of writing a history of the Lebanese wars (1975-1991). All parts are short fake documentaries, hysterical symptoms of sorts that present imaginary events conctructed out of innocent and everyday material. The tapes document fantastic situations that beset a number of individuals during the civil wars. The tapes do not document what happened, but what can be imagined, what can be said, what can be taken for granted, what can appear as rational, sayable, and thinkable about the wars.

This lyrical three-part video project investigates the possibilities and limits of writing a history of the Lebanese Civil Wars (1975-1991). Director Walid Ra'ad does not document what happened but, rather, what can be imagined, what can be said, what can be taken for granted, what can appear as rational, sayable and thinkable about these wars."

17:30 mins





"In Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (English version), the "Western Hostage Crisis" is examined through the testimony of Souheil Bachar. Mr. Bachar was held hostage in Lebanon between 1983 and 1993. What is remarkable about Souheil's captivity is that he was the only Arab to have been detained with the Western hostages kidnapped in Beirut in the 1980's. In fact, Souheil was held for 3 months in 1985 in the same cell as five American men: Terry Anderson, Thomas Sutherland, Benjamin Weir, Marting Jenco, and David Jacobsen.

In 1999, Bachar collaborated with The Atlas Group (a non-profit cultural research foundation based in Lebanon) to produce 53 videotapes about his captivity. Tapes #17 and #31 are the only two tapes Bachar makes available outside of Lebanon. In the tapes, Bachar addresses the cultural, textual, and sexual aspects of his detention with the Americans."

16:17 mins




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at 8:29 PM