Basma al-Sharif

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Memories for Forgetfulness Elsewhere | I: Postcards from Afar Ouroboros
Basma al-Sharif

77 Minutes

Repeat: Wednesday, February 16

Ouroboros refers to the symbol of the snake eating its tail, inferring a cycle of death and regeneration. With its experimental narrative—whose central character embarks on a journey to shed his pain, only to experience it anew through an undetermined time-space continuum that is alternatively lush and beautiful, haunting and despairing, fraught with physical and historical ruin and uncertain predicaments—the film adheres to a fragmentary, dreamily desultory, aesthetically immersive structure. It is a heady mix of essayistic musings, stunning landscape studies, and a kaleidoscopic, dislocated love story, in which displacement finds multiple, compelling voices, and the rhythms clash and jostle us out of expectation. With onscreen text that has been translated into Chinook, a North American Indigenous language spoken by fellow artist-filmmaker Sky Hopinka, bookending archival surveillance footage of destruction in Gaza, with an eerie panoptic gaze and sumptuous 16-millimeter footage, with an extended passage in reverse and fictional vignettes that nevertheless blur the boundaries of being and acting, Ouroboros exhumes trauma caused by territorial occupation and steadfastly refuses the idea of stasis.

Basma Alsharif’s Ouroboros is presented within Postcards from Afar, the first of five chapters in Memories for Forgetfulness Elsewhere, an online film program curated by Irmgard Emmelhainz for e-flux Video & Film. The program streams in five thematic group screenings each two weeks long, and will be accompanied by two live discussions.

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

Film, Land & territory, Migration & Immigration
Video Art, Love, Dispossession, Landscape
Return to I. Postcards from Afar

Basma al-Sharif is an artist and filmmaker of Palestinian heritage. Working nomadically between the Middle East, Europe, and North America, al-Sharif explores cyclical political histories. In films and installations that move backward and forward in history, between place and non-place, she confronts the legacy of colonialism and the experience of displacement with satire, doubt, and hope.


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