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Affective Archives: An Evening of Experimental Palestinian Film

  • Columbia University Davis Auditorium, Columbia University 530 W 120th St, New York, NY 10027 United States (map)

Discussion Moderated by Prof. Gil Hochberg
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

Interrupted Biographies
Mirna Bamieh

The film is a visitation to incidents in Bamieh's family history, that occurred in Beirut, Jerusalem and other parts of the world. Where the ever-shifting film consists of footage from a home-video tape that was filmed in Beirut in 1996. It is an attempt to highlight an almost forgotten period of history, through personal narrative. 

The White Elephant 
Shuruq Harb 

An experimental video loosely based on the adventures of a Palestinian teenager coming to grips with her angst within the political climate of the Oslo Accords in Palestine in the 1990s. Narrating a story of lies amongst thieves, the confessional and at times darkly humorous video projects a confrontational gaze onto the landscape through acts that transgress political boundaries and explore personal desires.

A Magical Substance Flows Into Me 
Jumana Manna

The film weaves through musical traditions of a multitude of communities living in and around Jerusalem. It takes as its starting point German-Jewish ethnomusicologist Robert Lachmann’s field recordings of ‘Oriental’ groups in Palestine in the 1930s and his Oriental Music radio series made for the Palestinian Broadcasting Service; established under the British Mandate (1920-1948). Responding to Lachmann’s project, Manna revisits the communities that he studied–including Kurdish, Moroccan, and Yemenite Jews, Samaritans, members of urban and rural Palestinian communities, Bedouins and Coptic Christians–replaying his recordings and making new recordings of her own. These exchanges take place in their homes, offices, recording studios, and places of worship, and are interspersed with scenes from her own family home in East Jerusalem. Weaving from one site to another, the intertwinement of heritage and identities are presented, along with the imagining of a multifaceted Palestine.