Video

Kh

Nahed Mansour

2008, 10:15 minutes, colour, Arabic

TAPECODE 1056.00

Kh is an endurance-based video-performance that considers an Arabic letter with no English phonetic equivalent. To the Western ear, the foreign sound is often read as harsh, threatening, and 'barbaric'- which is why this letter is stereotypically used to mock male Arabs and their speech in Hollywood films and television series.

In contrast to media representations of this guttural letter,
Kh is a private video performance framed as a self-examination. Mansour, an Arab female subject, repetitively attempts to pronounce this letter, thus authenticating her identity. The challenge is put forward to viewers and listeners to reinterpret Orientalist imagery and sounds, thereby invoking colonial language policies that aimed to colonize people (particularly youth) by depriving them of their ability to speak their mother tongue.

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