Playing with the illusion of a two-layered scenario, Grada Kilomba created a silent film in which the characters move inside a white space while the artist, outside, gives voice to the images and becomes a contemporary 'Griot', complete with post-colonial urgency. "Sometimes, I feel that I live a space of timelessness," the artist narrates, "in a space where past and present seem to coincide."
To explore this coexistence of times, in which the colonial past seems to interrupt the present and the present is sometimes experienced as if we were in the past, Kilomba restages the myth of Echo and Narcissus using the African oral tradition of storytelling. Narcissus becomes a metaphor for a society which has not resolved its colonial history, taking itself and its own image as the only objects of love. How do we break out of this colonial, patriarchal mould?