Against All Odds/Présent Composé


Visual essay by Yasmina Reggad & ismaël
Published in: Pas de Deux: 5 x 2 x 2, Mediterranean dialogues, argobooks, 2014

Ismaël had wanted to be a film director since an early age. Facing the lack of access to equipment, writing appeared to be the only way for him to enter cinema. Throughout the years, Ismaël has compulsively written many screenplays. He seriously intended to turn two of them into feature films, but failed in one case before and in the other too soon after he’d starting shooting. Moreover, this routine immersion into the writing of stories was interrupted when his inspiration ran dry during the three years he spent in Toulouse, France. While he was there, Ismaël was faced with the fact that he was unable to write a story that took place anywhere outside his home country, Tunisia….

tunisia, film, cinema, memory


ismaël (Mohamed Ismail Louati) is a filmmaker, visual artist and writer. He is the author, editor, producer and director of approximately twenty films, art videos and audio-visual works including Leila’s Blues (premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Director’s Fortnight 2018) and Babylon (Grand Prix at FID Marseille and Universities Award at DOC Lisboa 2012). He is currently producing 373, Pasteur street, a short essay; shooting The Syrians, a documentary about Syrians in the Lebanon (funded by the Dubai Film Festival, Tunisian-French coproduction Fund, Kamal Lazaar Foundation, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, …) and developing his first narrative feature A woman (funded by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture in 2018). He has also co-founded several filmmaker’s, artist’s and poets’ collectives and associations as well as curating contemporary art exhibitions. His artistic and theoretical work revolves around the questioning of the image and its political shaping in a globalized world.

Yasmina Reggad

Yasmina Reggad is an independent curator, writer and performance artist based in Brussels, Belgium. She holds an MA in Medieval History from the Sorbonne University. She co-funded and is currently the curator of aria, the artist residency in Algiers. She previously worked at the Delfina Foundation and Art Dubai Projects. Reggad is the co-curator of the French Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale, represented by artist Zineb Sedira. Her research and projects focus on the politics of futurity, investigate alternative systems of knowledge and artistic modes of production, and explore performative methodologies inspired by dance and performance notations.