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Simia: Stratagem for Undestining

Film still from Assem Hendawi’s "Simia: Stratagem for Undestining". A round, low room in red light. In the center a glowing fireball, around it flying objects (stones, chairs), a hand and insects.
© Assem Hendawi
  • Director

    Assem Hendawi

  • Egypt / 2022
    26 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language


Speculation as a method for worldmaking: SIMIA: STRATAGEM FOR UNDESTINING was created in conversation with the fictitious artificial intelligence program Project Simiyaa, which aims to create a planned economy and manage infrastructural commons across Africa and the Middle East.

Production Sarah Zidan. Production company Sarah Zidan (Kairo, Egypt). Director Assem Hendawi. Screenplay Assem Hendawi. Editing Donia Shohdy. Sound design Donia Shohdy. Sound Donia Shohdy. Production design Mostafa El-Baroody. Assistant director Mostafa El-Baroody. Production manager Sarah Zidan.

Assem Hendawi is an artist and researcher who works with videos, computer-based media, and text whose works act as spaces for worldmaking. His work questions historical and sociopolitical events around planetary computation, critical posthumanities, and the way in which technology constructs subjectivity. Through heuristics that extend from the abstract and philosophical to the imaginary and the absurd, Hendawi explores the manipulations that accompany late capitalism’s technologies as the site of rewriting narratives, identities, and traditions.

Films: 2022: Everything Under Heaven (17 min.), Simia: Stratagem for Undestining.

Bonus Material

  • Film still from Assem Hendawi’s "Simia: Stratagem for Undestining".  A dark room with a colage-like, mottled background. In the center, a closed fist lets sand trickle into a round, luminous vessel.


    Valie Djordjević talked to Assem Hendawi about robots telling dad jokes and why Samuel Beckett is the ultimate a human ChatGPT

Program Schedule

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur