Larissa Sansour Trilogy
In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain (2016) completes Larissa Sansour's science fiction trilogy along with A Space Exodus (2008) and Nation Estate (2012). Under the common themes of loss, belonging, heritage and national identity, the three films each explore different aspects of the political turmoil in the Middle East. While A Space Exodus envisions the final uprootedness of the Palestinian experience and takes the current political predicament to its extra-terrestrial extreme by landing the first Palestinian on the moon, Nation Estate reveals a sinister account of an entire population restricted to a single skyscraper, with each Palestinian city confined to a single floor. In the trilogy's final instalment, In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain, a narrative resistance leader engages in archaeological warfare in a desperate attempt to secure the future of her people. Using the language of sci-fi and glossy production, Sansour's trilogy presents a dystopian vision of a Middle East on the brink of the apocalypse.
'Central to my practice is the tug and pull between fiction and reality in a Middle Eastern context. In several pieces over the past years, I have been exploring not only the sci-fi genre, but also the comic book superhero. Both forms have an inherent ability to communicate the most fundamental ambitions of a people or a civilization in a way that is naturally inspired by, but never hampered or restricted by a non-fictional reality.
Also, despite its high production value and glossy imagery, sci-fi tends to allow for a specific kind of almost nostalgia framing of the topic at hand. Even the slickest sci-fi almost invariably carries within it a sense of retro, ideas of the future tend to appear standard and cliché at the same time as they come across as visionary.
In the case of Palestine, there is an eternal sense of forecasting statehood, independence and the end of occupation. The ambitious ideas that we hope to achieve have long since become so repetitive that the odd mix of nostalgia and accomplishment that the sci-fi genre often embodies lends it itself well to the topic.'
– Larissa Sansour