Bouchra Khalili’s videos have an intuitive as well as intellectual appeal. It seems possible to see in them “only” audio documents of illegal immigrants or to completely lose oneself, on a visual level, in hypnotic cityscapes. Yet the existence in the background interests the artist mainly as a philosophical phenomenon and the beginning of a new storytelling style. In this way, Bouchra Khalili, born 1975 in Casablanca, follows the path of literary scholar Edward Said, who, in exile, recognizes immigration and the crossing of borders as experiences which give “us new narrative forms and a different type of storytelling”. In her films, Bouchra Khalili tells individual stories of exile, loss, and rootlessness.
Regarding her own story, she grew up in Morocco and France, studied film at the New Sorbonne University in Paris, and acquired a master’s degree in video art at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy. Her films and installations investigate the boundaries of film and the visual arts, but also embrace documentary and experimental filmmaking. Since 2002 she has produced over twenty video works, which deal with the topic of migration in various ways, and have been shown at festivals worldwide, in galleries and museums, as well as in art collections. They were screened in the House of World Cultures in Berlin, in the Pacific Film Archives in Berkeley (USA), in the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Cinématheque Francaise, at the Rotterdam and the Oberhausen film festivalsl, the Reina Sofia National Museum in Madrid, and in Spain’s Filmoteca Espanola, as well as in MoMA.