COMME D'HABITUDE. UNE PIÈCE À ENGAGER
‘As Habitual’ is a set piece, a documentary fiction, about how to adapt oneself to unknown regions without surrendering to them. This movie is situated in Mombassa and Zanzibar, where you can find a material called Khanga that hovers between language and architecture, and in fact turns into a habit. Khanga is a piece of cloth printed with a pattern and a saying, ready to wear or to be displayed, for carrying a baby, protection against the sun or against being seen. Doing this implies, however, that one allows others to read what you want to say. A habit now has become something that you can put on and take back off again. It has incorporated a critical fiction, involving the reader as well. Giving in to its material, the movie is not following a script. Instead it’s edited according to a pattern relying on habits and habituality, of bodies and houses, whose walls are an architecture of layers. Functioning as protection against the sun and being seen they fulfil their international style, but all the same time these walls give a new direction and - like the khangas - turn veiling into a form of perception. The sayings are used as an interface, they function in the movie as a kind of temporary definitions of territories: installing a khanga-shop, burying seaweed on the beach, turning a bicycle into a fruit-shop, patrolling the borders between a tourist hotel and a public beach. In poor Islamic countries, and walls are supposed to protect religion and possessions. The sayings, however involve these veils and walls in a public conversation in which everyone participates.
German version: Wie Gewohnt. Ein Versatzstück