The Circle (2023)

Bouchra Khalili
The Circle
Synchronised 2-channel video projection; 16mm films transferred to video, shown on cubic monitors; and blueback poster paper Dimensions variable
Co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation; MACBA, Barcelona; and Luma Foundation, Zurich
Courtesy of the artist


Reflecting on the concept of civic belonging, Bouchra Khalili examines the struggle of communities excluded from citizen memberships immigrants for equal rights and the ways in which it continues to resonate in present times. The Circle (2023), a mixed media installation, investigates the legacy of the Movement of Arab Workers (MTA) and its theatre groups, Al Assifa and Al Halaka, active in Paris and the south of France between 1973 and 1978. Moving between activism, theatrical practices and film and new media archeology, The Circle unfolds the multi-layered events that led to the candidacy of Djelalli Kamal, a pseudonym for an anonymous member of Al Assifa, whose candidacy in the 1974 French presidential election was conceived as a public performance exposing the denial of civic rights to migrants and projecting a sense of self-agency and becoming a citizen of a new kind.