Screening 1 | Militant Cinema
La lumière collective, 7080 Rue Alexandra #506, Montréal, QC H2S 3J5
Palestine Solidarity Fundraiser Screening
Curated by FMS members Farah Atoui and Sanaz Sohrabi, the screening series offers a framework for exploring the Political Aesthetic through the medium of the moving image. The program is equally interested in filmmakers’ defiant artistic processes and in the practices of dissent that these filmmakers record on film, with a focus on creative interventions that aesthetically and politically resist displacement. The films and videos presented here address different conditions and forms of expulsion across multiple geographies–from Palestine, Lebanon, and Iran to the Western Sahara, Guinea-Bissau, and India, to Canada and the US. These works are also committed to resisting displacement by creating spaces and places that function as refuge. Whether imaginary or material, temporary or persistent, shifting or grounded, these sanctuaries take up space in ways that disrupt the force and violence of displacement as the outcome of colonization, state-formation, capital accumulation, and border consolidation. These sanctuaries also forge new places of encounter, exchange, and inhabitation that energize and expand political imaginaries.
The series takes place from October 2023 to May 2024.
Screening 1 | October 30, 2023 | Militant Cinema
La lumière collective | 6:30-8:30pm
This screening focuses on militant cinema’s role in the creation and circulation of revolutionary and anticolonial imaginaries and emancipatory politics, and on how this cinema persists in the form of contemporary and lively archives that resist visual displacement.
The programming of the screening series Militant Cinema was finalized prior to Israel’s genocidal besiegement of Gaza which has occurred as yet another episode in the ongoing colonial occupation of Palestine over the past 75 years. We had envisioned this series to contribute to critical and creative usage of film as an emancipatory tool against colonial mindset and aggression: to shed light on how archival erasures can and has orchestrated ethnic cleansing, land dispossession, and fabricated historical amnesia; facilitating the apartheid military state of Israel’s unlawful and criminal activities over the past 75 years.
The screening series of Militant Cinema now is happening in a state of historical catastrophe and the images that have been used in the programmed films are eerily echoing their past specters. We aim to use this program as a platform to further contextualize the current genocidal war inflicted against Gazans and other Palestinians in land and in the diaspora, within the larger historical events that these films in the program have brought forward in the light of their disappearance from collective memory and public knowledge.
Conakry (2013), Filipa Cesar, 10’45
Staged at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Conakry is a sequence shot on 16mm film that travels through time, space and media to revisit one film reel from the Guinean archive. This particular reel documents an exhibition curated by Amílcar Cabral at the Palais du Peuple in 1972 in Conakry, Guinea, reporting on the state of the war against Portuguese rule. César invited the Portuguese writer Grada Kilomba and the American radio activist Diana McCarty to reflect on these images and their history.
Via Dolorosa (2021), Oraib Tukan, 21’
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 route that Jawharieh filmed in his birth city of Jerusalem.
Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory (2016), Mohanad Yaqubi, 65’
Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory is a meditation on the Palestinian people’s struggle to produce an image and self-representation on their own terms in the 1960s and 1970s, with the establishment of the Palestine Film Unit as part of the PLO. Unearthing films stored in archives across the world after an unprecedented research and access, the film begins with popular representations of modern Palestine and traces the works of militant filmmakers in reclaiming image and narrative through revolutionary and militant cinema. In resurrecting a forgotten memory of struggle, Off Frame reanimates what is within the frame, but also weaves a critical reflection by looking for what is outside it, or what is off frame.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with Muhammad Nour ElKhairy (filmmaker and video artist) and Fadi AbuNe’meh (PhD candidate in Film and Moving Images studies), moderated by Sanaz Sohrabi and Farah Atoui.
While this event is free, we suggest donating the equivalent of a ticket price (or more if you can) at the door. All the money raised will be sent to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. Otherwise please consider donating directly to these organizations, whether you are attending or not: Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, UNRWA, Medical Aid for Palestinians.
This event is one of multiple solidarity fundraiser screenings organized by a coalition of cultural organizations and collectives—including Regards palestiniens, Hors champ, Dhakira Collective, Zoom out, Cinéma Beaubien, Cinéma du parc, Cinéma du musée, Cinema Politica— that are coming together in solidarity with Palestine and palestinians’ struggle for liberation.
ABOUT THE AXIS
The Political Aesthetic: Resisting Displacement, Displacing Resistance
The Political Aesthetic screening series explores how political action is performed by taking up space and place through artistic actions. Aesthetic and imaginative practices bring an entangled web of forgotten histories, memories, and geographies in relation to one another, mediated through new forms of encounter and arrangement. We focus on art’s capacity to reveal things-in-relation through formal experimentation, performative actions, and public interventions. We are focused both on the violence of the force of displacement, and the potency of displacement as a strategy of dissent, creating temporary and shifting spaces of inhabitation and intimacy, moving things out of the way to make room for new (and potentially liberatory) forces.
Find more info on this screening series here.