For further information please download the respective Forum Expanded sheet (PDF).
When Things Occur is based on Skype conversations with Gaza-based photographers, fixers, and drivers who were behind specific images that were transmitted from screen to screen in the summer of 2014. The film probes the face of mourning and grief – its digital embodiment, transmission, and representation. It asks how the gaze gets channeled within the digital realm, and how empathy travels. Equally, how the documentary signifier – and its abstraction – operate when viewing suffering. What exactly is viewing suffering ‘at a distance’ – and how many meters or kilometers is that? What is the behavior and political economy of the image of war? Who is the ‘local’ in the representation of war? What is the daily routine of those who represent war?
Oraib Toukan, born in 1977 in the USA, is an artist currently working from Oxford, England where she is completing her PhD. Until 2015 she was head of the Arts Division at Bard College at Al Quds University in Palestine. She is visiting faculty at the International Academy of Fine Arts in Ramallah and assistant professor at the University of Oxford’s Ruskin School of Fine Arts. She has participated internationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions.
Production: Oraib Toukan, Ramallah
Cast: Lara Abu Ramadan, Hosam Salem, Khalil Hamra, Walaa Al Ghussein
Format: single-channel video installation, color
Running time: 28 min
Photo: © Oraib Toukan