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Art Film in the Arab world

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Malmö Konsthall presents a selection of films from young, internationally active artists, whose works reflect on and contribute to the artistic and political discourse in the Arab world and its diaspora. Rather than highlight trends or similarities among the artists working in the Middle East and North Africa mirrors show the difficulty of classifying the “Arab world”. The films address a variety of issues and concerns that relate to today’s geographical and political realities.

What these artists share is an outward perspective, they take up current issues based on local and global stories and aesthetic innovation that has made their works attracted attention worldwide. The exhibition is divided into three parts. Participating artists Bouchra Khalili (MO / FR), Maha Maamoun (EC), the Nicene Kossentini (TU), Adelita Husni-Bey (IT / LY) and Ali Cherri (LE).

Ali Cherri extract stories from the region’s geological, political and cultural history to reflect on possible futures for Lebanon and the world at large. In the video work The Disquiet (Oron) based Cherri from the many fault lines that run through the country. He imagines the area as an array of seismic and social devastation and explores the relationship between the various disaster types. A similar approach underlies the forecourt Conversation (Garden Elementary), where the artist Bouchra Khalili inserts a historic event in contemporary events and thus evokes new meanings from the past. By staging historical revolutionary moment with today’s critical state fund provides Khalili new strategies and resistance discourses. With the option concept in focus examines Adelita Husni-Bey in fact PostcardsFromEurope the Desert Island (Postcard from the deserted island) how a new political system would look like, if it were possible to start from zero. As with Khalili use Husni-Bey artistic investigation and collective processes to imagine new models of social organization.

The installation Heaven or Hell (Heaven or Hell) looks Nicene Kossentini back, both on the iconic avant-garde art and the revolt which recently swept across the Arab world. The abstract movement and the collected sound interwoven to create both a meditation on the present as a staging of the past metaphors, where the art sound, structures and icons are compared to the revolution. Maha Mamouns video works in 2026 emerges as a complement – a vision of a future Egypt looking towards opportunities in the distant future, but remains heavily circumscribed by the present’s imagined limits.

Curators: Diana Baldon, Rachael Rakes

Opening Friday 2.10 pm. 11-17.
Included in Malmo Arab Film Festival – MAFF.

PART I / 3:10 to 1:11 in 2015

Bouchra Khalili: Garden Conversation
2014, Dubai
16 minutes

Garden Conversation is a staging of a mythical meeting between Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Abd el-Karim, the exiled hero of the Rif war (1921-1926).
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MAHA maamoun: 2026
2010 Egypt
9 minutes

The piece is based on a passage from the novel The Egyptian Revolution of 2053 by Mahmoud Uthman and refers to a scene from Chris Marker’s iconic film La Jetée of 1962.
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Nicene KOSSENTINI: Heaven or Hell
2012, Tunisia
5 minutes

Heaven or Hell is a video installation inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s experimental film Anemic Cinema from the 1926th
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PART II / 4:11 to 6:12 in 2015

Adelita Husni Bey: Postcards from the Desert Island
2011-2012, France
22 minutes

Postcards from the Desert Island documenting a workshop that the artist gave to students from École Vitruve, an experimental, self-directed primary school in Paris.
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MAHA maamoun: 2026
2010 Egypt
9 minutes
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Nicene KOSSENTINI: Heaven or Hell
2012, Tunisia
5 minutes
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PART III / 12.9 2015 – 10.1 2016

ALI CHERRI: The Disquiet
2013 Lebanon
20 minutes

In The Disquiet explored Lebanon’s geological situation – my sometimes unspoken parallel disaster in the country’s recent history – in search of signs of an impending disaster.
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MAHA maamoun: 2026
2010 Egypt
9 minutes
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Nicene KOSSENTINI: Heaven or Hell
2012, Tunisia
5 minutes
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Press images