Queer East Festival 2024
17 — 28 April
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Singapore, 2021

Artists' Moving Image,
Directed by
Khairullah Rahim
Running time
2 min mins

Shapeshifter(s) is an experimental short film by Khairullah Rahim which looks into the tactics of being, specifically in considering the interconnecting e/affects between objects, bodies and community. The film features a monologue inspired by the frequent mass extermination of pigeons that takes place in broad daylight. These operations were reportedly led by licensed specialist pest control contractors with approval from relevant authorities. The pigeon appears intermittently across the film which was shot entirely in Boon Lay, a working class neighbourhood in Singapore. The neighbourhood is also notably infamous for reporting high(er) numbers in organised crime activities as highlighted by the local press. While many associate light closely with notions of safety, there are also lights which illuminate more intensely on some than others. There is an uncanny parallel between the policing of pigeons and marginalised folks, whose bodies are constantly navigating and code-switching in between desire, shame and restraint under surveillance in a hostile environment.

Director Bio

Khairullah Rahim works across objects, installation, painting and the moving image. Informed by his upbringing in an ethnic minority, working class family, his work looks into strategies of resourcefulness in environments under surveillance. Themes and topics which are of interest to him include, everyday survival, desire, shame, labour and ambition.

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