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Ouroboros + We Began by Measuring Distance

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Basma al-Sharif is a multimedia artist of Palestinian origin, raised between the Middle East, Europe, and North America. She came to filmmaking by way of photography, and it is this artistic displacement that informs her critical engagement of the displacement she felt as Palestinian-American. Her work largely explores nomadism, both in style engagement traversing between different modes of communication, as well as thematically. Although not all of her work directly addresses the Palestinian question, one can perhaps understand it to be one of the bedrocks of her artistic thinking, since so much of her work addresses the instability of presence and absence, the limits of language and representability, and the necessity of memory in the face of the official forgetting that characterizes systems of domination.

Her first feature film, Ouroboros (after the alchemist symbol for death and regeneration), pays homage to the Gaza Strip by imagining a world where Palestine is free. It mostly follows one man who seems to traverse time and space between five different landscapes, coded as an immigrant but not necessarily belonging anywhere in particular. Transcending ideas of the eternal return, al-Sharif’s protagonist doesn’t have a beginning or an end; like the mythical creature, Ouroboros too disengages from linear notions of time, history, memory, space.

Ouroboros is followed by a screening of We Began By Measuring Distance: an experimental short that engages with the politics of distance; between Gaza and Jerusalem, between pasts and futures. Measuring distance as a way to memorialize, to prompt us to ask ourselves, again and again, what are the units that piece together a history.

Basma al-Sharif

2017 / 2009

74 min / 19 min

Arabic dialogue, English subtitles

filmklubb film filmvisning kino studentersamfundet student


Aldersgrense 18 år


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