The power goes off and the screen goes black: one of those innumerable moments of darkness when the buried memories from decades of conflict suddenly resurface. In the streets of Goma, children play at being news correspondents: Congo is preparing for its first democratic elections since 1960. Using a variety of sources, Sarah Vanagt collects elements from personal stories in a region torn apart by hatred and violence. Images and sound recordings taken by the children of Goma, TV news-clips and young soldiers’ accounts serve as her visual and audio material. Silent Elections is a documentary film on the memory and imagination of young Congolese on the eve of potential political change in their country.
This short film formed part of the program for the Hors Piste at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Sarah Vanagt was born in 1976. She studied history at the universities of Antwerp, Groningen and Brighton and then documentary film at the London National Film and Television School. Her films and installations have been shown at numerous festivals and exhibitions in the Netherlands, the USA and the UK. Sarah Vanagt lives and works in Brussels. —frauenfilmfestival.eu