COLLAPSE (2009)

A Film by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
Collapse brings together imaginary and actual moments of resistance and loss, an act of excavation that illuminates the deep disruptions that have shaped not only Palestinian lived experience and memory but shared histories of struggle.

A literal and poetic displacement resonates throughout the work, in part a meditation on a contemporary Palestinian landscape ruptured by a breakdown of community, memory and narrative. Moments of recurrent potential and failure of resistance are repeated to critically reconstruct past fragments and uncover the suspension of the future in the present. This feeling of continual suspension and relapse, progress and deadly repetition is played out exploring the overlap between personal trajectories and multiple historical narratives. It is in the ambiguities between absence and presence, nostalgia and an altogether frustrating sense of deja-vu, that the installation explores an anxious and obsessive state of being, trapped in the transition between past, present, reality and fiction.

*Collapse was produced with the support of the Delfina Foundation.

12 (2015)

A Film by Mohamed Berro
On sunday the 12th of September 1993, 11 bodies were found dead in an apartment in Ghobeiry in the southern suburbs of Beirut. This remains the sole case of mass suicide ever to be recorded in the modern history of Lebanon.

MY FATHER IS STILL A COMMUNIST - INTIMATE SECRETS TO BE PUBLISHED (2011)

A Film by Ahmad Ghossein
“All that is left of my parents’ relationship is a large number of audio-cassettes, sent as love letters during the time of civil war in Lebanon. When I was a child I created imaginative stories about my father as war hero fighting with the communists.”

A JOURNEY (2006)

A Film by Lamia Joreige
“A Journey follows my grandmother Tati Rose, as her personal story meets the collective History of the Middle East. Born in Jerusalem in 1910, she moved to Beirut in 1930 to get married. Her family, including her sister Aunt Marie, was forced into exile and left Yaffa in 1948 to take refuge in Lebanon.
Alternating documents, Super 8mm films, photographs, interviews, landscapes and voice over, I trigger a reflection on history and the conflicts in the region, as well as a reflection on time, disappearance and loss. From the Middle-East in the 30’s, when all the frontiers were open, to the occupation of Palestine, to the Lebanese civil war, during which Tati Rose son was kidnapped, until her suggested death, I interrogate both my mother and Tati Rose, raising questions about my own political choices, and revealing the complex relationship between three women of different generations. Only fragments appear from Tati Rose’s fight against loss and death. The camera witnesses those moments in which Tati and her sister slowly lose track of reality. The images of her during the last weeks of her life are distant.”

LA ROSE DE PERSONNE (2000)

A Film by Ghassan Salhab
A Nothing
we were, are now, and ever
shall be, blooming:
the Nothing-, the
No-One’s-Rose.

(Paul Celan)

E MUET (2013)

A Film by Corine Shawi
“Nanou’s first true love story comes to an abrupt end. Rajwa treads carefully into a monogamous relationship. From 2008 to 2013, I accompanied them through their stories of passion and anguish, carrying with them their determination to arrive at the heart of things: to enter the hidden crevices of love, to uncover truth, all for the ever-elusive goal of understanding the essence of their own complex personalities. I entered their world to find answers to my own questions, to use their lives as my lens into discovering new forms of love.”

MEMORIES OF A PRIVATE EYE (2015)

A Film by Rania Stephan
“In this chapter of Memories for a Private Eye, I tried to explore my personal archive by invoking a fictional detective to help me unfold deep and traumatic memories.

The images, which come from different sources, weave together into a labyrinthine maze to create a blueprint of memory itself. The film spirals around a lost image, the only moving image of my dead mother. How is absence lived? What remains of love, war and death with the passing of time? These are the questions that are delicately displayed for contemplation in this film.”

THE LAMENTATIONS SERIES: THE NINTH NIGHT AND DAY (2005)

A Film by Jalal Toufic
While the ten-day ceremony ‘Āshūrā’ is a commemoration of the slaughter of the grandson of the prophet Muhammad and his relatives and companions at Karbalā’ in 680, it is also an invocation of the occulted Twelfth Imam, the Mahdī, in the hope of hurrying his exoteric earthly return. But how would the one invoked, who is (imaginally) present albeit occulted, perceive the ceremony? He would not perceive it the way we see it but in more temporal detail. While the first part of the video appears to be a documentation of the ceremony as it might be perceived by an all too human audience member, the second part of the video, which happens across a lapse of consciousness if not of being (indicated by the cut to black on the sound of the participants’ hands striking their chests), and where time is dilated, implies that the essential spectator of the ceremony is the one to whom it is addressed, the Mahdī. While the participants’ self-flagellation is excessive, it is even more so when perceived by its essential addressee, the Mahdī, who has keen (ḥadīd) perception. The video’s subtitle subtly implies another excess since its “night and day” refers not only to (something that continues for) one day and one night, the ninth, but also to something that goes on all the time (“night and day: all the time” [Oxford Dictionary of English, 3rd edition, 2016]).

KARAOKE (2015)

A Film by Raed Yassin
Karaoke begins as a story about childhood rivalries and a mother’s innocent mistake, causing pre-pubescent dreams of becoming a child star to be devastated and crushed – silently and without incident. Until one day, when those feelings of resentment suddenly rise back to the surface upon watching a wandering VHS tape, on which the scene of a star-studded concert takes place. Alongside this grainy colorful footage, the details of that dreaded day begin to reveal themselves, while the hips of a belly dancer shakes, or an angelic voice woos an applauding audience. Gradually, the narrative transforms from an adorable episode from infancy, to a deeply personal and tragic portrayal of memory, loss, and the towering figure that is the mother.

DEAR VICTORIA (2011)

A Film by Cynthia Zaven

“Dear Victoria explores belonging and estrangement through archive material on 8mm films shot by my grandmother during her trip to Armenia in 1969. 

I took the same journey in 2005, without knowing I would later find her silent footage. Charged with political and historical significance, these images bore a generational bridge to an unknown space and past. This project is an attempt to understand belongingness and questions the poetics of home movies by intervening with sound and music and parsing images captured by a family member 40 years ago.”