Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani: Selected Films

Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani: Selected Films

Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani, Appropriation Takes You on a Weird Ride (still), 2020. Courtesy of the artists and VG Bild Kunst Bonn.

Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani: Selected Films
Screening and conversation

Admission starts at $5

June 24, 2023, 5pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Saturday, June 24 at 5pm for a screening of notable works by artist duo Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani, featuring Sayonara Hashima (2009), Freedom of Movement (2018), and Appropriation Takes You on a Weird Ride (2020), followed by an in-person conversation with the artists.

From the haunting remnants of Sayonara Hashima, an exploration of the abandoned coal mining island of Hashima in Japan, to the vibrant energy of Freedom of Movement, which investigates the dynamics of migration and urban space, to the journey through cultural collision in Appropriation Takes You on a Weird Ride, the works of Fischer and el Sani invite viewers to examine the intersection of past, present, and future, negotiating themes of memory, space, and the intricacies of human experience.

The screening is made possible with the support of Villa Aurora, Los Angeles.


Sayonara Hashima (2009, 17 minutes)
Sayonara Hashima takes as its subject Hashima, an island off the coast of Japan with a fascinating history. Entirely manmade, the concrete island served as a coal-mining operation that, at its peak of operation, housed some 5000 inhabitants, at the time the most densely populated place on earth. Abandoned in 1974, when its mineral resources had been exhausted, the island has since taken on a ghostly, mythic status in the national imagination, aided by its appearance in Battle Royale II (2003), a Japanese adventure/science-fiction film. Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani explore the changing roles of the island throughout its history, capturing the accounts not only of former inhabitants but also the current impressions of high-school students of a place they know only indirectly through representations. As with many of Fischer and el Sani’s previous projects, Sayonara Hashima asks how memory operates, and how a site wears its history, both physically and metaphorically.

Freedom of Movement (2018, 29 minutes)
Evoking the 1960 Olympic marathon in Rome, in which the Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila conquered the African continent’s first gold medal, running barefoot and becoming a sporting legend and a symbol of an Africa that was freeing itself of colonialism, Fischer and el Sani recontextualise a new race involving refugees and immigrants staking a claim to their “freedom of movement” amidst Rome’s controversial rationalist architecture. Fischer and el Sani examine the complexity of the ideological, political, and architectural implications of Bikila‘s 1960s Olympic gold medal run, and how they reverberate today.

Appropriation Takes You on a Weird Ride (2020, 20 minutes)
Appropriation Takes You on a Weird Ride investigates the strange German enthusiasm for Native Americans in relation to contemporary racism and its deep colonial roots. This fascination, especially with regard to the construction of a german identity, has a rather frightening than impressive chronology: It begins with the first-century Germanic Cherusci chieftan Arminius and stretches to the adventure novels of Karl May and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows in the 1800s, through the ethnographic exhibitions (Völkerschauen) in zoos and circuses and the founding of “Indian clubs” at the turn of the twentieth century, onward to the appropriation of Indigenous identities by Nazi ideologists, up until the present day, when new right-wing groups have developed an unsettling identification with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.       
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.                
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Indigenous Issues & Indigeneity, Architecture, Colonialism & Imperialism
Germany, Japan, Memory, History

The Berlin-based artists and filmmakers Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani have been collaborating on their interventional and situationist art practice since 1995. They reflect the rise and fall of modernity, and the intense relationship between our contemporary society and utopian projects that have driven the evolution of our history from the past to the future. Their work is a permanent pursuit of and negotiation with the transition of time. They have been awarded e.g. as Rome Prize Fellows at German Academy Villa Massimo, Stedelijk Museums in Amsterdam, Villa Kamogawa – Goethe Institute Kyoto, Tiger Short Award Winner, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Candidate for the European Film Award. International exhibitions they have participated in include 1st, 4th and 7th Gwangju Biennale, 1st Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Manifesta 4, Frankfurt, 13th Sydney Biennale, 10th Istanbul Biennial, 7th and 8th Media City Seoul Biennale, 2nd Aichi Triennale, Nagoya, Manifesta 13, Marseille, Sharjah Biennial 15 and Solo exhibitions at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Berlinische Galerie – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Berlin, K21 – Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Maxxi Museum of the XXI Century Arts, Rome.

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