Shirley / Fayrouz

Video, 2010, 6 min

Preview Link on VIMEO

Shirley/Fayrouz explores the phenomenon of Blackface in early Egyptian cinema, and puts it into conversation with the racist history of American cinema. The work consists of a split screen featuring a racially charged scene from a black-and-white Egyptian film titled Dahab (1953) and the first ever inter-racial dance scene in American film history from The Little Colonel (1935).

The featured child actresses Fayrouz and Shirley Temple are both recognized for their tap dance skills, their fame overshadowing some of their more problematic roles and depictions with regards to their relationship to older Black men they performed with. 

Screened at:

La Centrale Gallery
as part of Vertigo/Vitiligo exhibit
Montreal, Canada

Using Format