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Black Code/Code Noir

Louis Henderson

France,, 2015
20 minutes, 50 seconds, Colour/B&W, Stereo, 16:9
Original format: HD video
Available formats: SD Video / HD Video / DVD / BluRay / HD Digital file / DCP

BlackCode/CodeNoir unites temporally and geographically disparate elements into a critical reflection on two recent events: the murders of Michael Brown and Kajieme Powell by police officers in USA 2014. Archaeologically, the film argues that behind this present situation is a sedimented history of slavery preserved by the Black Code laws of the colonies in the Americas. These codes have transformed into the algorithms that configure police Big Data and the necropolitical control of African Americans today. Yet how can we read in this present? How can we unwrite the sorcery of this code as a hack? Through a historical détournement the film suggests the Haitian Revolution as the first instance of a hacking of the Black Code and thus as a past symbol for a future hope.