Past events

DocLab Live: Immersive Showcase 22 Nov 2016 at 20:00

Immersive storytelling is going through an unprecedented evolution. But where does the hype end and do new art forms take shape?

Industry Session: Putting Your Audience in the Story 22 Nov 2016 at 12:00

Virtual reality pioneer Zillah Watson tells you all about storytelling in emerging consumer technology.

Industry Talk: The (Un)defined Business of Interactive 22 Nov 2016 at 15:00

With over 10 years of digital non-fiction art production behind us, this talk explores future developments of interactive storytelling and how to fund it.

more events

Imperial Courts

A serene photo and video portrait of the predominantly African American residents of a housing project in South Los Angeles.

Imperial Courts is the name of a social housing project in the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles. The majority of its residents are black Americans. In 1993, just a year after the Rodney King riots raged there, Dutch photographer Dana Lixenberg went to Imperial Courts to take a series of black-and-white portraits. Fifteen years later, she went back to photograph the local people again, and she has been returning yearly ever since. This web documentary takes you into “the projects” to encounter the residents through Lixenberg’s lens. The portraits she took over the course of many years are linked to one another, allowing the user to, for example, browse from an old photo of Tanya K. to far more recent pictures of her, her grandson and her now-adult sons. Her son Floss is a poet, and he pops up again in one of the videos in the section titled “Stories.” Here you can thumb through several pictorial narratives, subdivided into subjects such as “Spoken Word,” “Growing Up in the Courts” and “R.I.P.,” to which residents contribute their own images as well. Lixenberg maintains a distance by always shooting in the public space – the uniform, blue-green low-rise buildings are a recurring motif in her tightly-framed shots, in which a lingering tension is always palpable.

Selected for IDFA 2015 and eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling and the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction.

Presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.

Project details

Year of development :2015
Created by:Dana Lixenberg & Eefje Blankevoort
With:Sara Kolster

Available formats