HGB ceremony hall
The framework of Orientalism, popularized by Edward Said's seminal critique in 1978, has been widely taken up as a historic and persisting paradigm of representation or rather mis-representation and approached through attempts at corrective counter portrayals.
Decades into the launch of the global war on terror and its persisting inheritances, it is obvious that the structures of seeing and recording have become further entangled in a web of carceral and penal technologies. The politics of representation and the impetus towards self-representation as strategy encounter deepened limits within cycles of visual and military capture.
(How) can we think of Orientalism as not only an amalgam of aesthetic and epistemic frameworks but also as a relation of material violence and extraction, past and present? What forms of artistic and theoretical practices can produce or intervene into a site of struggle beyond the questions of who is represented and how?
This program offers a space for the study of Orientalism and Orientalist modalities as visual and aural infrastructures of today's intensifying military, carceral, and racial regimes. In different formats, practioners share possibilities of discursive and aesthetic resistance at the site of the image's capture.
Films on display / HGB Festsaal / 4 PM - 8 PM
Via Dolorosa (21min) Oraib Toukan
Footage shot by the late photographer and cinematographer, Hani Jawharieh, slowed down, studied, and re-assembled with material from where it was found-piles of film reels discarded by former Soviet cultural centers in Amman, Jordan, accompanied with commentary by literary and film scholar Nadia Yaqub. Via Dolorosa (Latin for the Arabic 'Way of Suffering') is itself a processional reute that Jawharieh filmed in his birth city of Jerusalem.
Have You Ever Killed a Bear? or Becoming Jamila (25min) Marwa Arsanios
Have You Ever Killed a Bear? or Becoming Jamila (2014) is a video made after a performance whose starting point is an inquiry into Algerian freedom fighter Jamila Bouhired. The research focuses on the different representations of Jamila in cinema, as weil as on her assimilation and promotion in the Egyptian cultural magazine AI-Hilal (The Crescent) during the 1960s and '70s. The video also attempts to look at the history of Egyptian socialist projects and the Algerian anti-colonial wars, and the way they have promoted and marginalized feminist projects through the figure of Jamila. lndeed, the clear gender division used to marginalize warnen in the public sphere was overcome for a short moment during the Algerian war of independence-Jamila becoming its icon. But what does it mean to become an icon, and to play the role of the freedom fighter? Between role playing and political projects, where does the agency of subject constitution sit?
Imaging at the Site of Struggle
4PM-6PM Beirut/ 5PM-7PM Leipzig
Round Table/Conversation with Marwa Arsanios and Oraib Toukan, moderated by Lama El Khatib
This roundtable invites the two artists to approach the framework of Orientalism expanded as a question of image-making, the possibilities of its critiques and the limits of its paradigms. The focus is on drawing strategies, approaches, and methodologies from their own practices.
Marwa Arsanios is an artist, filmmaker and researcher whose work can take the form of installation, performance and moving image. She reconsiders the political development of the second half of the twentieth century from a contemporary perspective, focusing on gender relations, collectivism, urbanism and industrialization. Her research work includes many disciplines and is deployed in numerous collaborative projects.
Oraib Toukan is an artist and scholar. She holds a PhD in Fine Arts from Oxford University, Ruskin School of Art. In her artistic research practice, Toukan engages with our relationship to mediated images of violence, particularly exploring the fine line between looking and turning away. Toukan works with photography, film, text, and language, utilizing postproduction as a means to explore the complexity of representing encounters with violence.
Lama El Khatib is a writer and cultural worker. Since 2018 she has worked at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin as a curatorial coordinator, researcher, and producer. Her work draws on abolitionist traditions and is invested in a poetics of ‘the labor of the dead’.
For documentation purposes, we will be recording the event and capturing photographs. We appreciate your understanding! If you prefer not to be included, please let us know on-site, and we will make the necessary arrangements.
„On the Image and its Capture" is curated by Lama El Khatib as part of the collaboration of the MA program Cultures of the Curatorial (Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig) with the MA Art History and Curating program at the American University of Beirut funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) with Funds from the Federal Foreign Office (AA).