THE SEA IS HISTORY (work in progress)

A materialist and animist critique, made in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, of the monumentalisation of European colonial history.

The Sea is History, made in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is a free adaptation of the poem by Derek Walcott. The film is a materialist and animist critique of the monumentalisation of European colonial history, reading the past instead as something intimately entangled within the present - as a living and mutational thing made up of the living and the dead. It is in this sense that the film suggests a way beyond the boundary évent that could be called the Plantationocene (brought on with the onset of modernity and the system of globalised capitalism that started with the colonisation of the Americas in 1492, with Columbus arriving in Ayiti; latter day Dominican Republic) - and towards a possible "Chthulucenic" future of créolised assemblages as a politics of re-narrativising death within life.

Furthermore, The Sea is History experiments with a form of animistic cinema as a materalist theory of subjectivity - both through the way in which the images are made with a camera mounted on a mobile body - directly expressing an embodied point of view - and the way in which the montage of these images, sounds and spaces works outwards from the site of projection and into the sight of the bodies taking part in the process of experiencing the work - a mutual mutation should take place - cinema as a collective assemblage of enunciation - subjectivity shared and created through contagious forces.

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Director: Louis Henderson
Cinematography: Louis Henderson
Editor: Louis Henderson


Year: 2016
Length: 25 min
Language:  Kreol, English
Country: Haiti

Courtney Henry & Jeffrey Van Sciver will be performing a pas de duex from Alonzo King's work "Biophony" which premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in April 2015. This work was a collaboration with natural soundscape artist Bernie Krause and composer Richard Blackford, who worked with King to compose a ballet score from several rare habitats around the globe, both marine and terrestrial. The duet being performed this evening is titled "Mare Nostrum" and is the third movement of eight. Beginning with a surface geophony of ocean waves, the aquatic sonic journey slowly draws use below the surface where we hear the combined vocalizations of humpback whales interleaved with numerous species of fish. Costume Design by Robert Rosenwasser


Louis Henderson is a filmmaker whose works investigate the connections between colonialism, technology, capitalism and history. Henderson graduated from London College of Communication with a first class BA honours in 2007, from Le Fresnoy – studio national des arts contemporains with a special mention of the jury in 2013, and in 2016 completed a Superior Diploma in Research in Art from the European School of Visual Arts. His research seeks to formulate an archaeological method within film practice reflecting on animistic materialism. Henderson has shown his work at places such as; Rotterdam International Film Festival, CPH:DOX, New York Film Festival, The Kiev Biennial 2015, The Centre Pompidou, Louisiana museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern and Tate Britain. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Video Artist at the 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA, and a European Short Film Award - New Horizons International Film Festival, Wroclaw, Poland. His work is distributed by Lux (UK) and Video Data Bank (USA).