10 Years of Movement
Arab Films on
During the North Africa and West Asia (NAWA) rebellions of 2010/11, millions took to the streets of Tunis, Cairo, Sanaa, Daraa, Algiers, Rabat, and elsewhere. They demanded freedom and social justice, shook the political status quo and, in some places, toppled long-established autocratic regimes. Ten years have passed since then. Awareness of the devastating human losses and grief over “missed opportunities” have come to the fore. But also, the realization that resistance and revolution always find a way to persevere, to continue sending out impulses, even if only in private spheres or faraway places. Indeed, during the last two years, a so-called second wave of NAWA protests began in Sudan, Lebanon and Algeria. Some of these revolts also have links to much earlier protest movements in the region. To mark the tenth anniversary of the NAWA rebellions of 2010/11, this film series seeks to engage us in reflecting on and scrutinizing the genesis and extent of the protests, past, and present.
The series “10 Years of Movement. Arab Films on (post) Revolutions” comprises eight films from eight countries: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and Tunisia. All of the films reflect in some way on the legacies of and prospects for continuing political struggles for justice on different levels. Transcending the binary discourse of success and failure as a mode of interpretation, the film series focuses more than anything else on subjective experiences of political struggle and possibility. Whether documentary or fiction, the films in the series feature unusual narration and aesthetics that invite an affective and reflexive appraisal of the revolutionary events, their pre-and post-shocks, as well as hopes and defeats. The personal turns out to be fundamentally political, as the films’ engagement with gender relations shows, whether in Egypt or Algeria, Tunisia or Sudan. The films also explore the limits and possibilities of collective action, whether through creative Palestinian responses in Israel or grassroots Amazigh resistance in Morocco. And through a film from Syria, the scope and limits of media representation in times of crisis are thoroughly probed and challenged.
As with the film series “Beyond Spring,” which ran at the Werkstatt der Kulturen in Berlin from 2015 to 2019, the films included in this tenth-anniversary series and the discussions and debates that will follow them with filmmakers, academics, and activists from the region, striving to take into account the complex intertwining of socio-economic conditions, historical contexts, and gender-specific experiences.
The program is curated by Iskandar Abdalla and Viola Shafik