Could the fantasy world of a child provide a secret passage into the past? This question is the starting point of Sarah Vanagt’s (BE, 1976) research on the “historical imagination” of children. How do children deal with the past, or rather, how do they shape it in their imagination? This issue was already present in her video Little Figures, in which Vanagt had children of immigrants carry out an imaginary conversation between three historical figures, immortalized as statues in Brussels. This results in a blend of personal experiences, imagined story twists and connections, as well as shreds of previously overheard information. It is precisely this twilight zone between knowing and not-knowing that is fascinating – when children fill the gaps in their knowledge and understanding with building bricks from their own fantasy world. The work of Sarah Vanagt offers glimpses of that “in-between space”, as an image of a society in which the surreal and the imaginary keep merging more and more. The tiny world of fairytale is used as a prism to watch at the ‘greater world’.

2003, 15’47”, 35 mm to video, colour & b/w, English, French, Dutch spoken, English subtitles

Sarah Vanagt, Little Figures, 2003  
  • di 26.6.2007 - za 14.7.2007
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