WWW.VIDEOSLINK.ORG. A project created by lead artist Marisa Morán Jahn, media ethnographer Paul Falzone, Anjum Asharia and others.
Commercially pirated Hollywood actions, Nollywood dramas, Bollywood musicals, cartoons and porn reach millions of Ugandans every month. VJs (or “video jockeys”—think interpreters + carney barkers + stand-up comedians) play a unique linchpin in this media ecology: they liberally translate these films into the local language. In 2012, Jahn began collaborating with Paul Falzone, a tactical media organizer in East Africa, and three VJs to insert artwork onto commercially pirated DVDs, into the blackmarket, and into bibanda (public video halls where bootlegs are shown). Each artwork shares a theme of diaspora, displacement and mis/translation to foreground how meaning is both lost and gained in each successive copy. Viewers’ commentary overlays the film which visually accumulates as layers of meaning.