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Ismyrna

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige

Memories for Forgetfulness Elsewhere | Part I: Postcards from Afar Ismyrna
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
2016

50 Minutes

Date
November 24–December 7, 2021

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Joana met the artist and poet Etel Adnan at the end of the 1990s. They quickly grew close, bound by links to a city they had never been to: Smyrna formerly, Izmir today. Joana’s paternal Greek family were forced into exile from Smyrna by the Turkish armies with the end of the Ottoman Empire. Etel’s Greek mother was born in Smyrna, married to a Syrian officer of the Ottoman Army and exiled to Lebanon with the fall of the empire. Etel and Joana lived in an imaginary Smyrna, today Izmir, without ever setting foot there. At present, both find themselves engaged in questions around the transmission of history, and interrogate their attachment to objects, places, the constructions of imaginaries and mythologies without images. Their personal experiences, their stories, serve as a background to the region’s changes and evolution of borders after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, questioning the notion of identity and belonging.

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige's Ismyrna 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.

Category
Film, Colonialism & Imperialism, Borders & Frontiers, Migration & Immigration
Subject
Documentary, Middle East, History, Family
Return to I. Postcards from Afar

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige are filmmakers and artists who question the fabrication of images and representations, the construction of imaginaries, and the writing of contemporary history. They are interested in the traces of the invisible and the absent, in stories kept secret such as the missing people from the Lebanese Civil War, a forgotten space project, geological and archaeological cores, or the strange consequences of internet scams and spams. Their films have been shown and multi-awarded in major international festivals. Their last feature Memory Box premiered in this year's Berlinale competition (2021). Their works are exhibited in numerous museums and art centers including recently the Centre Pompidou and Jeu de Paume (Paris); Haus der Kunst (Munich); the Victoria and Albert Museum, British Museum, and Whitechapel Gallery (London); the Guggenheim Museum (New York): MIT Boston; Sharjah Art Foundation; and Home Works Forum (Beirut); as well as in many biennials including Istanbul, Lyon, Sharjah, Kochi, Gwangju, Yinchuan, Venice, and currently Taipei. In 2017, they were awarded the Marcel Duchamp Prize for the project Unconformities.

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