So Much I Want To Say

Mona Hatoum

UK, 1983
5 minutes, B&W, mono
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

When MONA HATOUM was 23, she came to England on a visit and stayed on when the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon prevented her returning. While the conflict was raging during the seventies and eighties, she feared for her family’s safety and rarely saw them. For long periods it was impossible to phone them, or even to be sure they would receive her letters. Meanwhile she was living in London, effectively an exile. Her video, So much I want to say, was made during this time. A series of still images unfolds (one every eight seconds), revealing the face of a woman (the artist) filling the screen. Two male hands repeatedly gag the woman and obscure parts of her face, sometimes covering it completely. On the sound-track, repeated over and over again, are the words “so much I want to say” spoken by a female (the artist’s) voice.