Toni Serra (aka Abu Ali), France/Morocco 1994, OV, 4 min
The wanderings of a plastic bag in a Tangier street.
Toni Serra (aka Abu Ali) was born in Barcelona in 1960 and divides his time between Duar Msuar, Morocco and Barcelona, Spain. Most of his works explore the borderline between inner experience and the social environment, taking into view phenomena like the increasing loss of control, the manipulation of identities and communities and the role and force of media (such as video games). Abu Ali is also a founding member of OVNI Archives – Observatorio de Video No Identificado.
Bouchra Khalili, Morocco/France 2006, Eng. subtitles, 9 min
An aerial journey over an unspecified major Western city. We see a large television screen that projects advertising images in public space, a heavily urbanized architecture, an occupied coast. At the same time, voices evoke meetings, failed or still to come, cinema as utopia and 'the world as the will to represent'.
Bouchra Khalili is a Moroccan artist, born in Casablanca. She is the program director and a board member of 'La Cinémathèque de Tanger', an artist-run organization established in 2006, the mission of which is to develop film culture in Morocco and to provide Tangier’s public with quality programs that reflect the diversity of film production. As an artist, Bouchra Khalili’s work has been shown extensively internationally, including shows at the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Musée Nationale du Grand Palais (Paris), the Studio Museum and Queens Museum of Art (New York), and the Reina Sofia National Museum (Madrid).
UN ALLER SIMPLE (A ONE-WAY TICKET)
Ammar Bouras, Algeria 2003, OV, 5 min
UN ALLER SIMPLE evokes the idea of movement, while pointing out the impossibility of living in a space without violence. Images are shot from the artist’s car during an endless drive in the capital as well as other regions in the country. The only social link is the phone messages sound in the background. Keeping the link, the attitude and the reflex of a normal life are synonyms of persistence.
Ammar Bouras is a photographer, video maker, experimental filmmaker and plastic artist. His video art is made of live events and archives that weave the postcolonial political and social memory into an acoustic poetic mix. This is also the case in SERMENT(OATH) and UN ALLER SIMPLE, which are kind of journeys into the memory of a wounded Algeria. This journey brings us to the uncertainty of the present in which everyday life is witness to terror and problems that confront the whole postcolonial population.
OH TORMENT (WA WAILAH)
Monira Al Qadiri, Kuwait 2008, OV, 10 min
A series of repetitive choreographies are set to Abdul Wahab Al Rashid’s woeful folk song of love and lament. Complete with over-the-top costumes, props and make-up, OH TORMENT is lodged somewhere between a Shakespearean play and an MTV music video as rich and colorful contemporary visuals are mixed with traditional attire. Al Qadiri scrutinizes gender roles and conventions (be they social, musical or cinematic) by switching the roles of the sexes: thus the filmmaker herself plays the role of the male singer, while all of the female dancers are played by cross-dressing men.
Monira Al Qadiri was born in Senegal in 1983. Influenced by her mother, a notable Kuwaiti artist and writer, she started painting at a young age and developed a special interest in Japanese animation. In 1999 she moved to Tokyo under a national scholarship. Upon graduating in 2005 she completed her first animated film Visual Violence and since then has created various films, animation, and graphic designs.
FACES APPLAUDING ALONE
Ahmad Ghossein, Lebanon 2008, OV, 7 min
Combining video footage filmed in the 1980s and a voice-over of letters between Rachid Ghossein and Mariam Hamadeh (the artist’s family), this short non-fiction video ponders on the time lag between remains and ruins.
Ahmad Ghossein, born 1981 in Beirut, is a filmmaker and video artist. His works have been exhibited, among others, at the MoMA and New Museum in New York, at Kunsthallen in Oslo, Home Works, Beirut, at the Dubai Film Festival and the Forum Expanded at the Berlinale (2012).
SUBTITLES FOR STOLEN PICTURES
Rheim Alkadhi, Iraq/USA 2007, OV, 8 min
Using appropriated news photos from the war in Iraq, this video is comprised of two elements: pictures and subtitles. Image fragments piece together a story of an anonymous civilian whose domestic activities are interrupted by her own death, yet her subtitles mysteriously persist.
Rheim Alkadhi is an artist working in various artistic areas. Born in 1973, she grew up as a bi-national citizen in Iraq and the United States. Her early years in Baghdad left her with the emotional, linguistic and aesthetic dispositions that inform her artistic practice until today. As a result, her work is a visual engagement with war from a psychological perspective, often leaning towards the absurd.
EVERYWHERE WAS THE SAME
Basma Al-Sharif, Lebanon 2007, OV, 12 min
A slideshow of abandoned spaces carries along the story of two girls who mysteriously turn up on the shores of a pre-apocalyptic paradise. Factual texts drawn from the Madrid Peace Accords to the CIA World Factbook are weaved into a fictional narrative that unfolds the story of a massacre.
Basma Al-Sharif, born in 1983 Kuwait, US citizen of Palestinian origin. Her work has been shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally including Manifesta 8 (2010), Toronto International Film Festival (2010), the London Palestine Film Festival, London (2010), the 9th Edition of the Sharjah Biennial (2009) and the Forum Expanded at the Berlinale (2011). She lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon.
TOTAL ECLIPSE (ECLIPSE TOTALE)
Yacine Mohamed Benelhadj, Algeria 2007, Eng. subtitles, 8 min
The film tells the story of two men who fight for no reason. The battle begins in a market overflowing with colorful fruits and vegetables. It continues in increasingly austere and stripped sets, while the physical state of the two belligerents deteriorates visibly.
Yacine Mohamed Belhadj, born in 1981, took a degree in medicine but then followed his interest in scriptwriting and film making. His work TOTAL ECLIPSE was created without any financial means. Belhadj has also written three feature-length films and has been working on a medium-length film entitled Rani Myet.