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Light In Wartime
Public Program - NYC
Film screening: Artists respond to Gaza

Thursday, July 26, 2018, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Mayday Space
176 St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

This double screening and discussion will explore the landscapes of occupation and creativity under siege.

The coping strategies and creative impulses that sustain those living in Gaza will be considered alongside the fleeting horizons offered by modern technology. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso, Julian Maynard Smith, Matthew Cassel, Mohammad Hamad, and Heather Tenzer and moderated by exhibition curator Rola Khayyat.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP Here.

Still from At Home in Gaza and London, Station House Opera, Artsadmin, Toynbee Studios, London, 2018
At Home in Gaza and London, 2018, approx. 40 min
Co-directors: Julian Maynard Smith and Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso
Produced by Artsadmin

At Home in Gaza and London follows the lives of people living in two locations separated by great political, economic and physical divides. Using a mix of live-streaming and recorded video, a shared performance space is created where artists work together. They occupy each other’s homes, streets, and other social spaces. Sharing their everyday behavior and concerns, they dissolve into each other or become ghostly protagonists in the drama. By using global communication, some of the more hidden realities of home life in Gaza and London are elucidated. At Home in Gaza and London opens a new way for artists to engage with each other in different places across the world, allowing audiences to participate, while eliciting a direct and personal response to the problems of Gaza and its isolation.

Growing Up in the Dark in Gaza, 2017, 8 min.
Director, camera and editor: Matthew Cassel
Assistant Producer: Amjed Tantesh

What's it like to be a 13-year-old growing up in Gaza? For Bilal, it means practicing wheelies, listening for drones in the sky and rushing to finish his homework before his neighborhood electricity runs out and the lights go out. For 70 years, the regional conflict has impacted the lives of generations with blockades, armed clashes, and multiple wars. But for a kid, the conflict becomes more than a daily burden that impacts all aspects of life.

This program is presented in cooperation with the Jewish Voice for Peace - NYC Chapter in conjunction with the exhibition Light in Wartime at apexart.

Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso is co-director of At Home in Gaza and London. She is also a performer, producer, and facilitator with a practice in contemporary work in or about the Middle East. Since 2012, she has been developing intercultural and cross-cultural work with performance artists and playwrights in the UK, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. She creates and performs work within the context of cultural resistance and as an associate artist of Kazzum, leads workshops with young refugees and asylum seekers across the UK. She recently produced and programmed the 2018 AWAN - Arab Women Artists Now Festival in London.

Julian Maynard Smith is the artistic director of Station House Opera with whom he pioneered the use of real-time video streaming to link performance spaces in theatre productions in the early 2000s. From 2009-14 he held a fellowship at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, developing the technology and dramaturgy of Telematic Theatre during which he produced Nowhere (2010-13), The Doors (2014) and The Apartment (2015). In 2014, Station House Opera produced Dissolved, linking the Sophiensaele theatre in Berlin with Beaconsfield Arts in London.

Matthew Cassel is an award-winning filmmaker and multimedia journalist based in the Mediterranean region. For more than a decade he has documented stories of people facing conflict and persecution in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and beyond. He works mainly as a one-person video crew, filming, producing and editing short and long-form documentary content for various publications. Cassel’s 2016 six-part series, “The Journey,” commissioned by Field of Vision and The New Yorker won film of the year at the UN’s Global Migration Festival in 2017. Cassel’s film for Al Jazeera English, “Identity and Exile: an American’s struggle with Zionism” won 2013 News Documentary of the year at the Monte Carlo TV Festival. From 2011-2014, Cassel was a journalist at Al Jazeera English in Doha, Qatar. In 2014 he moved to Istanbul where he helped launch AJ+, a new digital project within the Al Jazeera network. Cassel is co-editor of Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus (Penguin, 2013), a collection of essays on the 2011 uprisings by writers from across the Arab world and received a PEN Award. In 2006, he co-founded Picture Balata, a media school for youth from Balata refugee camp in the West Bank. His work has been published by Al Jazeera English, AJ+, The New Yorker, BBC, VICE, The New York Times, Arte, The Guardian, NBC and others.

Mohammad Hamad is a graduate Student and Adjunct Faculty Instructor in Sociology at York College (York). Hamad received an M.A. in Sociology from the New School in 2015. He is a member of the Harvard College (Harvard) Palestine Solidarity Committee. PSC is an affiliate of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

Heather Tenzer is an award-winning filmmaker and video journalist based in New York City. She produces, directs, and edits documentaries, educational films and other non-fiction work. Her work has earned Telly Awards, CINE Golden Eagle Awards, Freddie Awards, and recognition by the American Library Association. Tenzer is the recipient of a grant from the Jerome Foundation as well as an Individual Artist Grant by the New York State Council on the Arts. She has received grants from the Queens Council on the Arts and social justice foundations. Her film Mensch broadcast on WNET and her films have screened at many festivals including Next Frame, the Jewish Women’s Film Festival, and Humboldt International Film Festival. Tenzer holds an M.A. in Documentary Film from Stanford University and a B.A. from Oberlin College.

ABOUT STATION HOUSE OPERA With past projects ranging from spectacular site-specific works created with concrete blocks to simultaneous performances across continents using live internet streaming, Station House Opera is an internationally renowned performance company with a unique physical and visual style. Founded in 1980, it has produced over 30 productions of widely varying scales and focuses, all rooted in an interest in making work that brings together theatre and the visual arts in a single unified vision. Led by Artistic Director and Co-Founder Julian Maynard Smith, Station House Opera has created projects in a variety of locations all over the world, from New York’s Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage to Dresden’s historic Frauenkirche and Salisbury Cathedral, and has toured the world, from Azerbaijan to Kosovo, China to Brazil, working with over 100 performers in various projects. Station House Opera has pioneered the use of telematics in performance with works such as Life on Paradise and Play on Earth. It links spaces and performances via live streaming, and recently with Dissolved and At Home in Gaza and London merge together people and spaces, has created new encounters and explored questions of identity.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the National Endowment for the Arts, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Kettering Family Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, The Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and administered by LMCC, funds from NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.
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