The Scattered Body or A World Unclouded By Dust

The Scattered Body or A World Unclouded By Dust
2023, UK / Vietnam, 16mm, 35mm and HD, sound, colour, 48 min, two screen

‘The Scattered Body or A World Unclouded by Dust’ explores fragmented histories and the invisible work to care for archival objects from a Vietnamese community archive in Hackney to a state film archive in Hanoi. Moving through the archives and their systems of care, the body is both a material and medium to explore the multiple lives of archival objects, the spaces that contain them and the ecstatic labour that sustains them. 

The Scattered Body (George Clark, 2023)


Well Settled, LUX 4 Nov – 16 Dec 2023
Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Hong-Gah Museum, 4 Nov 2023- 28 Jan 2024
Alternating Waves: Imaging the Archive, The Outpost, 24 Nov – 10 Dec 2023
Slow Forward, Indeks, Bandung, Indonesia, Jan 2024


Working with a Vietnamese community archive in Hackney and a state film archive in Hanoi, the film explores the often invisible labour to care for the dispersed history of Vietnam. The film draws inspiration from the short story ‘The Cemetery of Chua Village’ by Vietnamese writer and filmmaker Đoàn Lê that is  told from the perspective of the dead buried in the cemetery as they await a new arrival. Embracing this perspective shift, the film seeks to locate itself away from what can be extracted from an archive to focus instead on how ‘dead’ archival objects themselves exist in the world with their own dreams and desires.

The film developed from a long term collaborative project initiated in 2019 called Handle With Care exploring experimental ways of working with collections and in the spaces that contain them with a growing circle of artistic collaborators and friends. The film charts the establishment of the An Việt Archives, the largest known collection of material documenting the British-Vietnamese communities, build with material salvaged from their former building that was almost lost in 2020. The project brings together artists from UK and Vietnam to explore alternative means of articulating memories from the personal to the collective including musician Bùi Linh Hà, cinematographer Tạ Minh Đức, choreographer Nguyễn Hải Yến and dancers Lâm Duy Phương and James Olivo among others. The Scattered Body reflects on entangled and unfolding histories enmeshed across these spaces through listening and following the processes to care for fragmented and dispersed histories.


Cast: Lâm Duy Phương (Kim), Nguyễn Hải Yến (Red), Bùi Linh Hà, Thu Uyên, James Olivo and Trà My Hickin
Original music by Bùi Linh Hà and Tobias Paramore
Sound recording by Nguyễn Ngọc Hùng, Hoàng Thu Thuỷ, George Clark
Sound mastering by Jol Thoms
Cinematography by Tạ Minh Đức, George Clark
Animation by David McShane
3D scanning by Keren Kuenberg
Translation by Nguyễn Hoàng Thiên Ngân

The film was completed as part of Well Settled project commissioned by An Việt Archives, supported by the British Council as part of the UK/Vietnam Season 2023 and Hackney Archives, LUX, The Outpost, Á Space, Nhà Sàn Collective and the University of Westminster.

Thanks Etienne Joseph, Lydia Julien, Diana Le (Hackney Archives) Madeleine Marshall (National Conservation Services) Jabez Lam, Howard Kwok (Hackney Chinese Community Service) Tamsin Barber, Cường Minh Bá Phạm, Georgina Quach, Toan Vu, Trà My Hickin (An Việt Archives) Trần Duy Hưng,Nguyễn Hoàng Phương Nguyen Hoang Phuong, Hải Anh, Nguyễn Hà KhánhKhanh Nguyen Ha (TPD: Centre for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents) Trương Quế Chi, Nguyễn Phương Linh, Nguyễn Quốc Thành, Vũ Đức Toàn, Tuấn Mami (Nhà Sàn Collective)

Thanks to all the artists who have contributed to this project and for their invaluable support.