Of the films you never made during les années des plomb
my favourite is Territoire de L’instant (Land of the Moment).
After your funeral, I use the video camera you used to document my dance recitals
to film a horizon cracked in two.
The opening scene is so successful that I ask Emma Ramadan
to translate lines from your Arabic to my French to English:
My blue sky between two eclipses of swallows tells of war all the tall volcanoes of long
ago. In the lava recklessly we forged fantastic lives in which we weren’t prisoners.
In the film undearneath my film of your film, I am a tap dance unleashed
and you can be heard to laugh with your wife my mother [off screen].
I realize my act of erasure (of me) has thus becomes a source of the imaginative act
of regeneration (of you).
As if for a moment, an instant, the land can bend and open up to let you ask me
to tell you وساءلتني عن غيابي كلما واجهته واجهت معنىً للغياب
1. les années des plomb tr. ‘The Years of Lead’ (a period in Morocco of government inflicted violence following 1956 Independence)
2. The lines in italics (“My blue sky…) are Emma Ramadan’s translation from Ahmed Bouanani’s Photograms
3. وساءلتني عن غيابي كلما واجهته واجهت معنىً للغياب tr. ‘Whenever I face it, I face a new meaning for absence’ (from Touda Bouanani’s collection of her father’s unpublished script for Territoire de L’instant)