On exile, elsewhere within here

José Carlos Teixeira

2017 United States DOC 70 '

As a quiet meditation, ON EXILE, elsewhere within here is an unconventional documentary film that reflects on the refugee experience, expanding on issues of migration, displacement, and otherness. It follows and reflects on the moving stories of 14 refugees from Middle Eastern and African Muslim communities resettled in the USA (from Syria, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia), developing intimate psychological portraits, and embedding them in a political and anthropological context. Concerned with the ethics of ethnographic encounter and representation, the film asks: how to represent without patronizing or speaking on the behalf of others? As opposed to a dominant discourse which denies refugees personal and political agency, this film attempts to listen and to restore their voices by placing emphasis on the role of empathy and intersubjectivity. ON EXILE, elsewhere within here reframes assumptions of home and belonging, delves into the challenges of language and translation, and reflects on the complex adjustment to another culture by those who, forcibly displaced, seek safety and a new beginning. As the American art critic Steven Litt puts it, this is “a remarkably beautiful document that peels away layers of clichet and stereotypes to reveal the radiant humanity of Teixeira’s subjects, who come from countries torn by civil war or the fight against the Islamic State.”

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José Carlos Teixeira (b. 1977, Portugal) is a visual artist, researcher and filmmaker. His work has been shown internationally in venues such as the Hammer Museum, LACE (Los Angeles), Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena), Museum of the City of New York, Residency Unlimited (NY), SPACES, MOCA (Cleveland), Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts (Princeton), Württembergischer Kunstverein (Stuttgart), Rosalux, DAZ (Berlin), 104 Cent Quatre (Paris), National Center for Contemporary Art (Moscow), M. K. Ciurlionis National Museum (Kaunas), Hélio Oiticica Art Center (Rio de Janeiro), S. P. Cultural Center (São Paulo), Oriente Foundation (Macau), Gulbenkian Foundation, Carmona e Costa Foundation, Carpe Diem (Lisbon), FBAUP Museum, and Soares dos Reis Museum (Porto), to name a few. Recent solo shows at MAAT Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon), and MMOCA Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.Teixeira circulates his work mostly in the art world, but has also shown it in festivals such as the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Currents: Santa Fe International New Media Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, Silverlake Film Festival, LA Freewaves, Arthouse Asia, Respect Film Festival, among others.He was awarded the FUSO Festival Jury Prize 2011, and the 2005 EDP New Artists Prize nomination. In addition, Teixeira was a filmmaker-in-residence at the presitigious Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany), MacDowell Colony, and the Headlands Center for the Arts, in the United States.He holds a master’s degree from UCLA, and currently teaches at UW-Madison (USA).