Marwa Arsanios, Have You Ever Killed a Bear or Becoming Jamila, 2013-2014, HD video (color, sound), 26:19 min.

Viola Shafik will speak about the contradictory cinematic representation of women in the context of armed resistance and national liberation in North Africa and the Middle East during the era of decolonization. The era of decolonization, which was also a time of newly emerging nationalisms, became a catalyst for rethinking women’s roles in society and their mass-mediated representations. Women got involved on different levels in armed resistance and were portrayed in popular, official, as well as alternative cinema(s). Drawing on examples spanning Algeria, Palestine and Oman, Shafik will unpack the often contradictory filmic representations of women engaged in anti-colonial struggle.

She will be joined by the artist and scholar Oraib Toukan for a conversation following the talk.

Viola Shafik is a filmmaker, curator and film scholar. She is the author of Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity (1998/2016, AUC Press) and Popular Egyptian Cinema: Gender, Class and Nation (2007, AUC Press). She taught at the American University in Cairo, Zürich University, Humboldt University and Ludwig Maximilians University. She served as the Head of Studies of the Documentary Campus MENA Program, curator and consultant for La Biennale di Venezia, the Berlinale and Dubai Film Festival. She directed documentaries including The Lemon Tree/Shajarat al-laymun (1993), Planting of Girls/Mawsim zaraa al-banat (1999), Jannat `Ali-Ali im Paradies/My Name is not Ali (2011) and Arij - Scent of Revolution (2014).

Oraib Toukan is an artist based in Berlin. She is currently an SNF fellow at EUME, Forum Transregionale Studien. Until fall 2015, she was head of the Arts Division and Media Studies program at Al-Quds Bard College, Palestine, and visiting faculty at the International Academy of Fine Arts, Ramallah. She holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Oxford, Ruskin School of Art and is author of the book Sundry Modernism (Sternberg Press, 2017).