Is an instrumental agenda for change the only possible form of political and social art? In my text I reflect on the constraints on my own film-making and my genre – documentaries – at the paradoxical conjunction of the political and the poetic. How can presentations in documentary form breach the traditional and conventional tasks of the genre to produce still lifes of sorts? What kind of challenge for the genre's distinctive victim motif is posed by the radical principle of equality that we see at the core of Jacques Rançière's thinking? How can one create participatory productions in which the voices are not those of victims but of fully-fledged agents who are in control of their lives?