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RCA Film Night Series: Desire & Simulacra

17 October 2017 | 6.30pm

Battersea, Gorvy Lecture Theatre

Films by artists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) presented by Sophie Hoyle.

 A selection of artist’s moving-image from the Middle East and North Africa, including activist, feminist, queer, refugee and diaspora narratives from Egypt, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

Lamia Joreige Nights and Days (2007) (17mins)

Sarah Abu Abdullah The Turbulence Between Sea and Blood (2016) (5mins)

Roy Dib Mondial 2010 (2014) (30min)

Inas Halabi Mnemosyne (2016) (13 mins)

 Mosireen Collective Prayer of Fear (4min 25secs)

Lamia Joreige Nights and Days (2007) 17mins (Lebanon)
A film made by the artist during the invasion of south Lebanon by Israel in 2006. Music by Charbel Haber ‘Summer Drone’, made from recordings during Israeli military attacks in Lebanon. Nights and Days uses notes written and filmed during summer 2006 as a personal account of the experience of war. The first part, which resembles—yet is not—a diary of war, oscillates between day and night-shots and features a soundtrack expressing the idea of time passing, awaiting, interrogations and fears experienced in such an unusual time. The second part is a journey to south Lebanon which was devastated during that war. It alternates between peaceful landscapes and ruins and destruction accompanied only by music, as no words could express this devastation. Nights and Days questions the relation between image and sound and also reflects on notions of 'beauty' and 'horror'. Most of the images show 'beautiful' urban or natural landscapes, where only a detail betrays the presence of war and its violence. Born in Lebanon in 1972, Lamia Joreige is a visual artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Beirut. She uses archival documents and fictitious elements to reflect on the relation between individual stories and collective History. She explores the possibilities of representation of the Lebanese wars and their aftermath, and Beirut, a city at the center of her imagery. Her work is essentially on Time, the recordings of its trace and its effects on us.

Sarah Abu Abdullah The Turbulence Between Sea and Blood (2016) (5mins) (Saudi Arabia)
Sarah Abu Abdallah works primarily with video and film as a medium. She grew up in Qatif, Saudi Arabia and graduated with an MA in Digital Media from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Recent exhibitions include The White Building, [space], London, Arab Contemporary in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, Migrating Forms in NYC, the Serpentine Galleries 89plus Marathon in London, the 11th Sharjah Biennial in 2013, and Rhizoma in the 55th Venice biennale 2013. She contributed to Arts and Culture in the Transformative Times festival by ArteEast, NYC, and the Moving Image panel on Video + Film in Palazzo Grassi, Venice.

Roy Dib, Mondial 2010 (2014) 30min (Lebanon)

Mondial 2010 connects the interpersonal to the geopolitical, by exploring the everyday aspects and tensions of a romantic relationship between two men as they cross from Lebanon into Palestine.These states are officially at war with one another makes a trip for a Lebanese citizen to Israel (or Palestinian Territories) impossible, and homosexuality is criminalised within the state of Lebanon, but despite this there has been and is a queer community. The film won the Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival in Southern Summer School at BAK: Open Weekend 2014. Best First Film at the Lebanese Film Festival, Inntravel Award at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Best Short Film at Queer Lisboa International Film Festival, Sicilia Queer FilmFest Award, and the Uppsala Grand Prix at Uppsala International Short Film Festival. Roy Dib is an artist and an art critic that works and lives in Beirut. His work focuses on the subjective constructions of space. His first video Under A Rainbow (2011) was shown at Video Works – Ashkal Alwan (2011), Palais de Tokyo (2012), Rotterdam International Film Festival (2013), Senatsreservenspeicher Berlin Gallery (2013) and Parallel Vienna (2013). He participated in the Home Workspace Program (2011- 2012) by Ashkal Alwan in Beirut, where he produced a video installation entitled Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear that was later presented in the 18th edition of Videobrasil (2013), EcransMed Film festival in Montreal (2014), Delfina Foundation (2014).

Inas Halabi Mnemosyne (2016) (13 mins)
The title Mnemosyne is borrowed from the Titan goddess of memory and the ‘inventress of language and words.’ The starting point for the project is a scar on the forehead of the artist’s grandfather. The scar was a result of a bullet shot in his direction by an Israeli soldier in the late 1940’s. Focusing on the sagas of myth and the construction of memory, the project considers how one can play the role of a historian when the primary source is no longer there. ‘We do not remember. We rewrite memory much as history is rewritten’ . As such, recollection becomes an act of transformation rather than 1 reproduction. Inas Halabi (b. 1988, Palestine) is an artist living and working between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Her practice includes video installations, sculpture and interventions in archival material to explore historical and political narratives related to collective memory, myth-making, national identity and various hierarchies of power. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths College in London (MFA) and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem(BA). In 2016, Halabi was awarded the Young Artist of the Year Award sponsored by the A.M. Qattan Foundation for her short film Mnemosyne. She currently lectures at Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. 

Mosireen Collective, Prayer of Fear (5mins) (2014) (Egypt)
N.B This film contains footage that may be distressing for some viewers.
Mosireen Collective is a media activist collective facilitating the screening and archiving of ‘citizen journalism’, as well as producing new moving-image works such as Prayer of Fear. The footage documents the everyday realities of contemporary Egypt since the Egyptian revolution of 2011 amid the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, from political protests in public squares to the ongoing violence committed by the Egyptian army and police. All this footage is made available in an online database as well as Youtube and Vimeo channels, and freely available for non-profit use though Creative Commons distribution. Please find more videos available online at: Prayer of Fear is a poem by Mahmoud Ezzat.