‘Salix Tree’ is the documentation of a displaced domestic space and a self-ethnographic document meant to be experienced as a passage between languages,a concentration of voices whose identity remains opaque. Some of these voices materialize into complete translation, while others provide a departure from national identity and its dominant linguistic form. In which language does one self-documents when there is no mother tongue anymore?. Whatever second language we are communicating with, no matter how much we master it, we never quite own it. Language is a masquerade as much as it is a product of domestication and control. As immigrants we are meant to forever wander between the home we just lost and the one we have to construct for ourselves once again. When at exile our personal history somehow transfigures into a systematic articulation of mythologies, evoking the imaginary. Is the narrator who is telling the story identical with the narrator about whom the story is being told?. I shot the footage appropriating narrative and stylistic strategies from home movies, such as shaky camera, people acknowledgement of the presence of the camera, and documentation of rites of passage. I consider the home movie not only as an important component of popular culture but also as a place colliding self-ethnographic practice with family representation and kinship affiliations.

The story of the immigrant has been positioned as a survival narrative; a tale of losing and recovering, failure and success, integration and rejection. More than often we found ourselves narrated with the same schemes: forced labour, below average income and poor living conditions. We have been narrated from the perspective of an hegemonic dominant system, a system that is heavily focused on the simplistic operation of narrating the immigrant highlighting differences on domestic economies and social mobility. We have been representing someone else roles that somebody wrote for us, deciding our careers, our salary and our place in society. However those are not the only elements of the narrative that matter the most, even further, those are not even the most important. I attempted to disperse the narrative of the immigrant into more modest and localised narratives by erasing the great hero and its achievements, its great dangers with great voyages.

Salix Tree
Single Channel Video
Sound, B&W
Super8mm to 2k
10 mins.
2015

A video by Victor Arroyo

Shot with super8mm, hand processed,
re-photographed and scan to 2k.

Music by Christian Olsen.
Color Correction by Oswaldo Toledano.

Laboratory services and 2k scan provided
by Frame Discreet.
www.framediscreet.com

Produced with assistance by Main Film.
Centre d’artistes voué au cinéma indépendant.
www.mainfilm.qc.ca

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