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Ouroboros

Basma Alsharif

Memories for Forgetfulness Elsewhere | Part I: Postcards from Afar Ouroboros
Basma Alsharif
2017

77 Minutes

Date
November 24–December 7, 2021

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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.

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

Basma ALsharif is an artist who developed her practice nomadically and works between cinema and installation focusing on the human condition in relation to shifting political landscapes. She is based between Cairo and Berlin.

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