1000 Brussel, België
Sarah Vanagt (1976) studied history at the universities of Antwerp, Sussex and Groningen, and film at the National Film and Television School (UK). Her graduation film AFTER YEARS OF WALKING (2003) looks at the rewriting of Rwandan history after the genocide of 1994. In LITTLE FIGURES (2003), a short experimental documentary film, three immigrant children in Brussels play the role of three historical statues. The documentary film BEGIN BEGAN BEGUN (2005) and the video-installation LES MOUCHOIRS DE KABILA (2005) both focus on the play-world of children growing up in the war-torn border zone between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and look at the way in which children deal with death, the recent wars and elections. The short film FIRST ELECTIONS (2006) is a single-screen version of LES MOUCHOIRS DE KABILA. In 2007 Vanagt first presented POWER CUT at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. The installation consists of short videos and photos made by three Congolese street children, and of voice-recordings by two young soldiers who took part in the recent wars in Congo and Rwanda. The single-channel version of this installation is called SILENT ELECTIONS (2009). In HEAD (2007), the installation Vanagt made for the Young Belgian Painters Award, she combined super 8 footage of the ancient city of Pompei with images of new-born babies. The video installation ASH TREE (2007) is based on Mary Shelly's childhood. A 5-year old girl wanders on a graveyard in London while she spells the letters on the graves. The child's first contact with the alphabet is at once her first contact with death. Since 2006 Vanagt works on a series of photos of special graveyards and monuments in Europe. Vanagt's most recent film, BOULEVARD D'YPRES / IEPERLAAN (2010) is an experimental documentary shot in the street whee she lives in Brussels. She turned an empty store houses into a film studio, and invited her neighbours – a mix of refugees, shopkeepers, newcomers – to come and tell a story, a fairy tale.