The poetics of documentary, performance, and choreography combine to politically interrogate the dead time of bureaucracy for young migrants stuck in the Spanish legal system.
Dialect covers three years of state violence for nine young Moroccan migrants exiled in Kafka-esque limbo in Seville, southern Spain. When underage migrants enter the country illegally and cannot be verified as adults, their custody remains in the hands of the state – subjecting them to a lengthy process of up to three years to gain legal status.
In this state of suspension and liminality, Beltrán engages with the body as a metaphor: using a carefully articulated language between photography, performance and collaboration, the weight of dead time is registered upon the shoulders of these young men, entering into dialogue with their memories, journeys, and the humiliating mundanity of waiting and migration. Alongside video works and choreographed dance, Dialect breaks new documentary ground to shine a critical light on practices of bureaucratic oppression.
Dialect is the winner of the 2022 Aperture Portfolio Prize.