Michael Christopher Brown’s aim was to photographically document the revolution in Libya. However, he soon had doubts about its feasibility. How should a photographer document riots and stay independent in a world overwhelmed by contradictory impressions? Brown’s response is radical and personal: he used his iPhone as a visual notebook, and documented his thoughts by means of an audio recorder.
The documentation shows the contradictions of the Libyan revolution. For instance, the video installation depicts a group of revolutionary fighters in ambush, but also laughing faces at a parade. The jittery recordings with cell-phone quality contribute to the authenticity of the videos. Thanks to Michael Christopher Brown’s impressive comments off-stage, the documentation succeeds in maintaining the structure and the flavor of a personal diary.
“Libyan Sugar” was produced in close cooperation with the Magnum Photos candidate Michael Christopher Brown and the producer Liza Faktor of SCREEN. Prismago was responsible for the cut. The main challenge was to filter the appropriate iPhone snapshots from the large amount of footage, and to develop the actual story from a selection of videos without losing the structure and sense of a diary.