In the Kingdom of Oil and Millions (Ongoing)
Workshop discussion with art students in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Workshop mindmap with art students in Baku, Azerbaijan
Video still from interview with film historian Aydın Kazımzadə, In the Kingdom of Oil and Millions II
Video still from interview with Dr. Mammadova Gulzar Ibrahim gizi, In the Kingdom of Oil and Millions III
This project is an ongoing exploration of the thematics of Azerbaijan’s first feature film “In the Kingdom of Oil and Millions” (1916) and its web of geopolitical and transnational relations stretching between Azerbaijan, the former Soviet Union and its republics and Europe’s international cinema. “In the Kingdom of Oil and Millions” was produced by the Belgian Pironnet brothers with financial support from the oil magnates of Baku and showed both the everyday life of the Baku millionaires as well as that of the workers in the oilfields. The film disappeared in 1920 after the Bolshevik occupation of Azerbaijan. During a residency at YARAT Contemporary Art Centre in 2016 I researched the 1916 film and held a workshop with art and film students from Baku. The aim was to get an understanding of how “In the Kingdom of Oil and Millions” related to parallel contemporary issues and concepts in and outside of Baku. In 2022, I anew started researching the Pironnet brothers and the history of Belgian interests in Russia and the Caucasus. The video compiles parts of research material and various interviews conducted with Azerbaijani and Belgian historians on the subject.
Research-based video project 2016-24. ARTIM project space, Yarat Contemporary Art Centre & Cinema Salaam, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2016 & K41, Brussels, Belgium, 2022. Solo