decima campesina

decima campesina, 2015

Single-channel video projection (silent). 12 mins.


(excerpt) decima campesina

In this silent video, text from a love letter is juxtaposed with photographs taken by my father in June 1991 in Kuwait, in the aftermath of the Gulf War. The images depict what he there encountered: carnage, oil rigs still afire after the bombings, and other scenes of devastation and abandonment along Highway 80, the road between Kuwait and Basra ­– a.k.a. ‘The Highway of Death’. The filmic relationship between image and text unfolds in the style of a payada, a sung duel of improvised décimas.

*décima campesina is a form of folk song in which an improvised verse is sung (or ‘called-out’) and responded to in like-rhyming, improvised verse.