Remnance of Madness
(This event has passed)

May 19, 2016 7:00–9:00pm
Organized by: Contemporary Image Collective (CIC)
Venue: Contemporary Image Collective (CIC)
Address: 3rd and 4th Floor, 22 Abd al-Khaliq Tharwat St., Downtown Cairo, Egypt
Admission: Free invitation in the event day
Event Language: French with Arabic and English subtitles

Remnance of Madness
Joris Lachaise

Remnance of Madness is set in Thiaroye, the only specialized hospital for mental treatment in Senegal. The film follows encounters with people in the corridors, cells and offices of Thiaroye as well as outside in the street or their homes. Remnance of Madness attempts to grasp the cultural and social context that shapes life in and around this institution that used to be known for an alternative approach to psychiatry. 

Through a distinct approach to documentary filmmaking, including a camera that moves freely and a non-linear narrative, Lachaise breaks into the characters’ space in a way that exposes the camera and the presence of the filmmaker. He embraces this “subjectivity”, leaving behind the claim of neutrality that documentary filmmaking oftentimes suggests and - by doing so - creates an awareness for the dynamics of representation inherent to this format of filmmaking.

In Remnance of Madness, western psychiatry is set in its post colonial context and coexists with local methods of dealing with psychological and mental difficulties similar to Al Zar or Al Roqya Al Shar’eya (Islamic treatment through Kur’an) traditions practiced in Egypt. The film tries to treat this juxtaposition subtly, without reproducing the duality of heritage versus modernity. 

The film is followed by a discussion on the traditional local treatments of psychological exhaustion and their relation to modern psychiatry and the legacy of documentary ethnographic film makers’ such as Jean Rouch who is an important reference for Lachaise’s work.

Joris Lachaise studied philosophy and investigative journalism and is currently living in Marseille. Remnance of Madness is his second film after convention: black wall/white holes. He has also participated in making a documentary on Iraq’s special court that organized Sadam Hussein’s trail. 

The event is part of Chronic the second chapter of If not for that wall, our long-term project on different forms of imprisonment. The Chronic exhibtion can be visited daily from 12 to 9pm (except Fridays). For more information see