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MOOZ – on moving images and audiovisual arts

Them People

Them People
Nausheen Javed
2020, 05:37,  S/W, Ton

2020, 05:37,  S/W, Ton

Director, Writer, Editor and Narrator: Nausheen Javed (Gojagaaji) 
Animation: Rajesh Thakare, Nausheen Javed
Sound Design: Troy Vasanth

Production: Academy of Media Arts Cologne and Nausheen Javed

World premiere: Oberhausen Short Film Festival 2020

Them People

 “Them People came here yesterday.”
A family is being introduced to us : the father, the child and the mother, in that order. The father looking through a slightly ajar door, judging their new “neighbours”. The mother is cleaning the house. The child mimics the father and smiles in conform. The mother cleans the house and cloths, thoroughly. The child is being fed and cared for. The amount of food is disproportionate for such a small child. The mother closes the curtains, shuts the world out. The child attempts to feed a bird, violently. Yet he means well, this is how he’s being cared for. We keep hearing a voice, making judgements. In our minds, this child is being fed with these words, with these ideas, as us too are being fed with: “Them people make love in the parks, or in their bedrooms in the dark. Who knows what agreements they have. Them people wipe their windows wrong. Them people need to put some curtains on. Them people have their wrong scars...“

Cleaning again. We watch the parents watch TV : a headless person smashing their fist, as we hear “Them People” over and over. The father caressing the child as the choir of “Them People” gets louder. A group of faceless children behind what seems to be desks at a school, looking up, looking down and chanting “Them People”. Even between another child and our protagonist there is some tension, as one of them is becoming “the other”. Hence it’s not just at home. It’s at school, it’s on TV and at every corner of this world. Everywhere lies the intolerance, the hatred of Them People.

Our child protagonist comes home to his loving mother, hugged by her, being fed again. We watch in a split screen “them people” doing the same. We are confronted with how similar they look, how almost identical they are. Two mothers feeding their children, as if looking at a mirror. The voice cannot tolerate this, These People cannot tolerate this : “Them people shadows overlapped ours. Them people do not belong in our nail in the ground.”

The family, the school, the TV are all placeholders, a metaphor for a constructed society based on othering others. The child is small, he is innocent. Yet towards the end of the film he, after a childish game of hide and seek, innocently kills an animal, in an attempt to feed it, exactly how the parents feed him. In an attempt of love and care, only how he learnt it. It is saddening, it is horrifying. Our small child “is unable to differentiate between love, hate and fear.” As Nausheen puts herself.

 “Them People”, this beautiful short animation film with a carefully crafted poem of the artist, creator and animator Nausheen Javed is essentially about the growing intolerance of “the other”. About alienating ourselves in alienating the other. About the violence it bears. About xenophobia on an abstract scale and how it’s (literally) feeding itself to a society. The artist’s voice speaks to us what These People think and judge about Them People. It reminds us how ridiculous and harmful it is when we make these little judgments, these small assumptions. The form of the animation is making a point, as we see the smudge of the last frames. As if all these phrases, all this hatred we are being fed with, from a very young age, is leaving its trail, a smudge. We should be aware of it, otherwise horrible things happen to Everyone. Since there is no “Them People” or “These People”, but it’s all a violent made-up construction.

“Horror Horror, them people are scattered all around.”

Text :Pariya Bakhshi

Nausheen Javed graduated in Fine Arts from New Delhi. She pursued her Masters in Animation Film Design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. ‘Her Long Nails’ in 2014 August was her first film, made for her final graduation at National Institute of Design. She worked as a Broadcast Designer Star Network for an year, where she received few media awards for the animated promos and TV channels she designed.

She moved to Germany in 2016 for further studies in Arts at Academy of Media Arts Cologne. “Them People” completed on 1st February 2019, is her diplom film, which premiered in Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen 2020.

She now is based in New York as a multidisciplinary designer, UX/UI Designer, Graphic Designer and an alumna of New York University Tandon School of Engineering with a Master of Science in Integrated Digital Media

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MOOZ—on  moving images and audiovisual arts—is a virtual place for artistic projects of the Academy of Media Arts, known also far beyond the KHM. The platform for close-up views of projects and productions of different time periods, works with the principle of reflection: MOOZ mirrors the complex sequences and formats, and reflects back into the virtual spaces what has not yet been perceived or what has just been produced. MOOZ also changes perspective: It's not just about looking at and in the predominantly short, audiovisual forms and discoveries about vlog, found footage, essay film, documentary and performative formats, abstract and experimental, installative arrangements, but with which lens, which focus, which zoom the moving image works look back on the equally different and polyphonic world of the users.

The reflection principle of MOOZ can also be understood programmatically: because each project is reflected by a different voice who thinks with the artistic work, directs a specific focus on it and stimulates the viewer to make their own projections.


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