Artist in Focus: Marwa Arsanios
Marwa Arsanios has built a distinctive body of work spanning installation, performance and moving image over the last decade. In her incisive interrogations of gendered labour, non-human ecologies and the histories of collectivism she uses research and collaboration to confound documentary’s formal conventions. Arsanios will present her moving image work in two screenings curated by BFMAF Programming Fellow Tendai John Mutambu.
From research to writing, through performance and film, this seminar led by BFMAF 2019 Artist in Profile Marwa Arsanios follows the different stages of building a work—from the act of reading and writing to performing a text out loud to an audience and in front of the camera.
This programme brings together Marwa Arsanios’ new work Amateurs, Stars and Extras or the labor of love with her earlier, much-lauded film Have You Ever Killed a Bear or Becoming Jamila.
Q&A with filmmaker Marwa Arsanios
Marwa Arsanios’ Who Is Afraid of Ideology? focuses on ecology, feminism, social organization, nation-building, war and economic struggle. In its formal construction, the film lays bare some of the documentary form’s devices to create a record of shared living and organising— voiced by those within, and in proximity to, the communities documented. Arsanios presents us with two radical women’s movements and their means of survival as a possible solution to the degradation of the commons and the destruction of the earth.
Q&A with Marwa Arsanios
Christian Ghazi’s incendiary, avant-garde masterpiece A Hundred Faces for a Single Day ends with the send-off, “I don’t care when or how I will die, as long as there are armed men who will continue the march, shaking the earth with their uproar so that the world won’t sleep heavily over the bodies of the laborious, miserable and oppressed men.” Through this fiction-documentary hybrid film, Ghazi forged a strong critique of bourgeois society in Beirut during Lebanon’s Golden Age (which would end in 1975 with a gruelling and protracted civil war). An essay on labour, class, social relations and resistance, Ghazi considered the film his “manifesto on cinema”, a powerful and polemical work that reaches back to the early decades of film experimentation while pioneering radical techniques in multivalent sound, disjunctive montage and an embedded perspectives on direct action.
Selected by Artist in Profile Marwa Arsanios, who will introduce the film