Becoming Vera

2008 | 54mins | Colour
By Mieke Bal, Alexandra Loumpet Galitzine & Michelle Williams Gamaker

Genre: Experimental Documentary
French, Bamun and Russian spoken with English subtitles

Three years old, living in three worlds

Between age three and four, Vera Loumpet-Galitzine traverses many landscapes, exploring where she comes from, to come into her own. We follow her to her school and neighbourhood activities in France, Cameroon and Russia.

As Vera dances, sings and runs around these visually engaging landscapes, seemingly easily integrated into her rich fantasy world, we attempt to imagine what they look like to her. What does she see, think, or imagine? As in all Cinema Suitcase works, the film lets the subject hold the story and her images tell it, and the family explain things, rather than having an authoritative outside voice-over do the telling.

Instead of telling a chronological story, we hop around from moment to moment where Vera’s playing becomes learning as a means to becoming Vera. As in all Cinema Suitcase works, the film lets the subject hold the story and her images tell it, and the family explain things, rather than having an authoritative outside voice-over do the telling.

Film festivals
- Pärnu Film Festival, Pärnu, Estonia, July 9, 2009
- Tromsø International Film Festival (TIFF), Tromsø, Norway, January 13, 2009
- Barents Spektakel Festival, Kirkenes, Norway, February 1, 2009

Critical article
Anna-Helena Klumpen, “Identité-mosaïque à l’ère de la mondialisation
Le tour de manège de «Devenir Vera » dans le film ‘Becoming Vera’”
65-88 in: _Praxen der Unrast: Von der Reiselust zur modernen Mobilität;
Se faire mobile: Du gout au voyage à la mobilité moderne_ (Lit Verlag, 2011).

15 euro for the DVD and please add 8 euro for shipping

To acquire a DVD, you can make a donation to my current film project. You then send an e-mail to with the address where you wish the DVD to be sent. Please also include the details of your transfer (bank account no., name and date of transfer).

M.G. Bal
IBAN: NL85ABNA0949591297

Gustav Mahlerlaan 10
1082 PP Amsterdam
The Netherlands

In addition to the festivals mentioned, Becoming Vera has appeared at the following events:
- Université de Lyon 3, Jean Moulin, Salle d’exposition Manufacture des Tabacs, Lyon, France, May 31, 2017
- Rome, Royal Dutch Institute Rome, Interculturality Week, 12 October 2015
- Cine Tonalá, Retrospectiva Fílmica Mieke Bal, 21 January 2015
- Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., USA, March 13th, 2014, with lecture “Resisting Resistance” (in series Art and gender)
- U-Theatre, Studio, University of Utrecht, Postcolonial Initiative, February 21, 2012-02-22
- Exhibition “Exstranjerías”, curated by Néstor García Canclini and Andrea Giunta, MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporanea) México Ciudad, January 28 – July 22, 2012 (with catalogue)
- Bilkent University, Ankara, with workshop, Turkey, 7 December 2011
- Exhibition “Towards the Other,” curated by Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits. Saint Petersburg, Russia, Museum of the History of Saint Petersburg, Peter and Paul Fortress. October 10-29, 2011
- Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria, November 16, 2011
- Exhibition “The Last Frontier / La última frontera: Video works by Mieke Bal, in collaboration with Michelle Williams Gamaker and Others,” Curated by Miguel Ángel Hernández Navarro, February 3 - March 29, 2011 (with catalogue)
- Stockholm University Library, Sweden, November 26, 2009
- “La langue en movement” seminar, Institut Finlandais, Paris, France, March 21, 2009
- “Going the Distance: Video Works in Migratory Aesthetics.” Tampere Art Museum, Tampere, Finland, December 5, 2008 – February 15, 2009
- “Negotiating Borders” conference, cinema BASEN, Kirkenes, Norway, September 13, 2008
- “Culture and Citizenship” conference, CRESC, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, UK, September 3, 2008
- Temple University, Temple Rome Campus, Rome, Italy, June 12, 2008
- Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, May 13, 2008
- Townsend Centre, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA, April 24, 2008
- Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland, March 12, 2008