Olivier Marboeuf

Olivier Marboeuf lives and works in Rennes, FR


Who has the right to live in Europe? Who is allowed to live a decent and dignified life—a good life—in Europe? And who gets to decide? Who do we want to hear? Fugitive voices are beginning to speak. From the South of the North, from the East of the West(1), from unknown places they speak and de-speak,(2) recounting the quotidian violence that constantly threatens lives that do not matter. They speak and de-speak about resistance, care, and transmission—about anger too—and they invent tools and ways to stay alive. They talk about extreme attention, paranoia. And joy too. But they are not there to bear witness. There is enough testimony, enough police. They make up stories because they never sleep. They plant a garden on the toxic soil of Fortress Europe. Each sound work, through the ruses of language and storytelling, shares a fragment of a living manifesto, its legal or speculative strategies imagined by hybrid groups of activists, militants, residents, artists, authors, archivists, researchers, lawyers, and other legal specialists, but none of the participants command authority over any other. They make up another kind of night for cacophonic forms of life. And we dive into the multilingualism of an assembly guided by a storyteller and its own poetic form. But those voices do not exist; they speak from their nonexistence to us. Call them what you want: call them breaths.

Olivier Marboeuf

(1) “The South of the North and the West of the East” is the title of Chapter 10 of Walter Mignolo’s The Politics of Decolonial Investigations (Durham, 2021).

(2) This is my English translation of the Haitian Creole term déparlant, which means “delusional,” “delirious,” or “ranting” and refers to the dual operation of daring to speak for an emancipatory cinema (cinéma déparlant) while necessarily scrambling the meaning of this speech. See my essay “Towards a De-Speaking Cinema [1] (A Caribbean Hypothesis),” The Living Journal (Open City Documentary Festival, 2021), online at: opencitylondon.com/non-fiction/issue-3-space/towards-a-de-speaking-cinema1-acaribbean-hypothesis/ (last accessed April 7, 2022).


Not Fully Human, Not Human at All, 2021, Kadist, Paris (FR)

6th Ghetto Biennale, 2019, Port-au-Prince (HT)

5th Ghetto Biennale, 2017, Port-au-Prince (HT)

Fragments of Repair, 2017, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (NL)