Randa Maroufi. Bab Sebta. Z Gallery

From: Friday, 12 January 2024

To: Sunday, 21 April 2024

Place: Z Gallery


Bab Sebta (Ceuta’s Gate, 2019) by Moroccan-French artist Randa Maroufi (Casablanca, 1987) reconstructs situations at one of the three land border crossings between Morocco and Spain (and between Africa and the European Union), that of Ceuta. Thousands of people depend on crossing this border every day, including an intense traffic of smuggled goods that are sold in the north of Morocco at advantageous prices.

Maroufi follows the routes of some of these people to observe daily life at the border, where Spanish police and customs agents exercise a control that is challenged by the various strategies of the smugglers waiting patiently for their turn to cross.

Borders separating nation-states are generally places that alternate between relatively restricted control and porosity. In the case of Ceuta, Maroufi observes the almost performative nature of the rituals involved in the movement of goods and people from one side to the other, as well as the interactions and negotiations that enable this. How relationships are formed in specific spaces and how people move through these lies at the heart of many of Maroufi’s projects.

Bab Sebta is not a documentary film, but rather a form of interpreting a coded liminal space. Produced in a factory converted into a film studio, Maroufi collaborated with people who come and go between Morocco and the enclave of Ceuta by using two perspectives: an overhead one that refers to a distanced, supposedly objective view of the territory, and frontal shots that allow us to affectively approach the gestures, corporealities and materialities that make up these scenarios.



The Z Gallery is a space that explores new ways of associating film with art. It is neither a film season in a cinema nor a typical exhibition. It is a project that constructs a third space in the museum from which to visualise and analyse works by artists approaching the cinematographic field and filmmakers exploring the exhibition format. It is a programme that was created to think about the moving image in the museum, introducing authors seeking new narrative forms by questioning the conventions, genres and categorisations that have historically defined cinematographic language.

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