Nora Philippe


Infinite Lives, Finite Footage: Girls, 2015-2045

Since 2015 I have been filming ten young women from very diverse backgrounds who studied at Barnard College and are actively reshaping politics, feminism, sorority, and gender boundaries. I now have hundreds of hours of footage, from formal interviews to vérité sequences at parties, trips back home, protests, and the 2017 Women’s March. The film project establishes them as cinematic characters as they search and construct their own selves, while also documenting a particular state of feminist praxis in the early 21st century. I intend to follow some of these women until they are in their fifties, from 2015 to 2045. The fellowship at the Institute will enable me to start editing the first film and to imagine the following episodes.

A filmmaker, curator, and writer, Nora Philippe has directed Like Dolls, I’ll Rise (2018), which was selected in over thirty festivals in fifteen countries, Job Center, Please Hang On (2014), and The Ensorcery of James Ensor (2011). Pursuing her work on “archives ordinaires,” material culture, and the intimate, she curated the Black Dolls exhibition at La maison rouge in Paris in 2018, and is currently writing an essay on the history of African-American dolls in the United-States for Les Éditions de la Découverte. A graduate of the École normale supérieure of Lyon in Art History and History of Color, she co-edited A Black Doll Like Me (2018), Inventing Ancient Greek Painting (2012), and is the author of Dear Job Center (2015). Nora Philippe has also produced over ten creative documentaries with her independent production company Les films de l’air and curates an annual original film series for La maison française at Columbia University. She teaches filmmaking at the École des arts décoratifs de Paris.

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