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What have I been up to since my previous participation in the Berlinale Forum, with A Magical Substance Flows Into Me? After completing a film, I like to go back to working with materials, to the physical and more immediate process of sculpting and assembling installations. This is what I do aside from making films and occasionally writing and lecturing. Last year, I worked with photographic prints on wood, ceramics and a collage for “The Post Herbarium”, a 3-dimensional still life that took as a starting point a 19th century collection of dried plants gathered from the fields and hills of “Greater Syria” and Sinai by an American missionary and scientist called George Post. This research into botany and plant taxonomies got me thinking about the complicated experience of encountering something so beautiful that carries with it histories of colonial violence. From herbariums, I moved to seed banks, the topic of the film I’m showing this year, Wild Relatives. I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the history of plant taxonomies, the Green Revolution (industrialization of farming) and talking to Lebanese and Syrian farmers in the Bekaa. I’ve travelled often to install my artworks in various museums and institutions in Europe, the Middle East and the US. Otherwise, I’ve started doing yoga and continue to swim regularly. I got closer to some friends, further away from others. And continue to be in love.

Jumana Manna showed A Magical Substance Flows Into Me at the Forum in 2016. Her new film is Wild Relatives.

Funded by:

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