October 3, 2020 - Artist Cinemas - Take Me Back
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October 3, 2020

Artist Cinemas

(1) Omar Amiralay, Al-Dajaj (The Chickens), 1977. (2) Caroline Monnet, Mobilize, 2015. (3) Deborah Stratman, O’er the Land, 2009. (4) Ibrahim Shaddad, Jagdpartie (Hunting Party), 1964. (5) Mikhail Lylov and Elke Marhöfer, Soils-Habit-Plants, 2018. (6) Kush Badhwar, Blood Earth, 2013.

Take Me Back
Last day repeat screenings

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Join us on e-flux Video & Film for a repeat screening of the films in Take Me Back, a six-part program of films and interviews put together by artist Jumana Manna as the third edition of the online series Artist Cinemas.

Take Me Back has featured films by Omar Amiralay, Kush Badhwar, Mikhail Lylov and Elke Marhöfer, Caroline Monnet, Ibrahim Shaddad, and Deborah Stratman; and interviews with the filmmakers and texts by Shuruq Harb, Shahira Issa, Fawz Kabra, Jumana Manna, and Sahar Qawasmi and Nida Sinnokrot.

For the program's last day, all films featured in the program will be available again for 24 hours from Saturday, October 3 at 12pm EST till Sunday, October 4 at 12pm EST. 

Stay tuned to Artist Cinemas for a new program of films and interviews starting October 17, convened by artist Laure Prouvost.

Artist Cinemas presents Take Me Back

Omar Amiralay, Al-Dajaj (The Chickens), 1977
40 minutes
With an introductory text by Jumana Manna

Caroline Monnet, Mobilize2015
3:34 minutes
With an interview with the filmmaker by Jumana Manna

Deborah Stratman, O’er the Land, 2009
51 minutes
With an interview with the filmmaker by Shuruq Harb

Ibrahim Shaddad, Jagdpartie (Hunting Party), 1964
42 minutes
With an interview with the filmmaker by Shahira Issa

Mikhail Lylov and Elke Marhöfer, Soils-Habit-Plants2018
11:21 minutes
With an interview with the filmmakers by Sahar Qawasmi and Nida Sinnokrot

Kush Badhwar, Blood Earth, 2013
35:22 minutes
With an interview with the filmmaker by Fawz Kabra

About the program
In the weeks before we began mourning and raging over the destruction of one of the last few livable cities of the Middle East, the region, like many others, was experiencing new heights of precaution and paranoia with the second wave of Covid-19 cases. We would cross to the other side of the street to avoid germ-carrying humans, and make ourselves smaller amidst supermarket racks—spaces of potential virus transmission that are also a reminder of the world’s ecological imbalance. We planned for the great escape to quieter and greener landscapes, either temporarily (although we don’t quite understand what that means anymore) or, for some, permanently—as a lifestyle change we had been meaning to make but didn’t yet have the time, guts, or excuse to. The city that before signaled pioneering lifestyles and progress appears today as a symbol of danger and defilement, of overconsumption, overpopulation, claustrophobia, and deferred futures. And the countryside and wilderness are projected as the place of safety and liberty, cleanliness and truth: of original happiness where age-old wisdoms were born and aged, only to suffocate into the amnesia of the city. This dichotomy has been set up since early modernity, sustained with each new historical rupture and economic turn, and now gains new optics with the spread of the pandemic. 

In parallel to the urge to “return,” from early cinema till today filmmakers have been going back to the land, to study and draw inspiration from it—its traditions, its music, its cultural behaviors as a place of authenticity—either to critique ideological representations and claims to the countryside, or to perpetuate its imaginary in the name of the Nation. Sometimes, unwillingly doing both. The films compiled in this program are from different localities, not because we are all the same now, but because the impacts of global capitalism, of which the pandemic is mutant, have created uncannily similar forms of violence and resistance.

Take Me Back is a program convened by Jumana Manna as part of the series Artist Cinemas; with films by Omar Amiralay, Kush Badhwar, Mikhail Lylov and Elke Marhöfer, Caroline Monnet, Ibrahim Shaddad, and Deborah Stratman; and interviews with the filmmakers and texts by Shuruq Harb, Shahira Issa, Fawz Kabra, Jumana Manna, and Sahar Qawasmi and Nida Sinnokrot.

About the series
Artist Cinemas is a new e-flux platform focusing on exploring the moving image as understood by people who make film. It is informed by the vulnerability and enchantment of the artistic process—producing non-linear forms of knowledge and expertise that exist outside of academic or institutional frameworks. It will also acknowledge the circles of friendship and mutual inspiration that bind the artistic community. Over time this platform will trace new contours and produce different understandings of the moving image.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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