Around Town: The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture “Cultural Week in New York 2015″

Twenty Eight Nights and a Poem by Akram Zaatari
Thursday, September 24, 2015
4:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Post Tags: AFAC. Categories: Discussion and Screening.

AFAC Cultural Week in New York, 20-26 September 2015

The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC), with the support of the Ford Foundation, proudly launches “AFAC Cultural Week in New York 2015″ from September 20-26. As part of the week, a series of AFAC-funded narrative films, documentaries and shorts will be screened at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the work of two leading photographers will be exhibited at Brooklyn’s Photoville festival

, and AFAC grantees will present their projects at Aperture and Artists Space.

The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture supports independent cultural production in the Arab region, promotes cultural exchange and encourages patronage and philanthropy for arts and culture.

View the full program of the AFAC Cultural Week

MOMA Ticket information

(All Film Screenings will be followed by a 20 minute Q&A Session)

THURSDAY | SEPT. 24, 2015

And on Different Note (24 min) Mohammad Shawky Hassan | Short Experimental | Egypt |2015
Out on the Street (71 min) Philip Rizk and Jasmina Metwaly | Documentary | Egypt |2015

The Valley (135 min), Ghassan Salhab | Feature Film | Lebanon | 2014

FRIDAY | SEPT. 25, 2015
Challat of Tunis (89 min) Kaother Ben Hania | Documentary | Tunisia | 2013

Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem
 (105 min)  Akram Zaatari | Documentary | Lebanon | 2015

SATURDAY | SEPT. 26, 2015
Nation Estate (9 min) Larissa Sansour | Short Narrative | Palestine | 2011
The Sea is Behind
 (88 min) Hicham Lasri | Feature Film | Morocco | 2015

Silvered Water (92 min) Ossama Mohammad | Documentary | Syria | 2014

SUNDAY | SEPT. 27, 2015
Challat of Tunis 
(89 min)
Kaother Ben Hania | Documentary | Tunisia | 2013

And on Different Note (24 min) Mohammad Shawky Hassan|Short Experimental| Egypt |2015
Out on the Street (71 min) Philip Rizk and Jasmina Metwaly|Documentary| Egypt |2015

The Valley (135 min), Ghassan Salhab | Feature Film | Lebanon | 2014

MONDAY | SEPT. 28, 2015, 4:00pm

Silvered Water (92 min) Ossama Mohammad | Documentary | Syria | 2014


Nation Estate (9 min) Larissa Sansour | Short Narrative | Palestine | 2011
The Sea is Behind
 (88 min) Hicham Lasri | Feature Film | Morocco | 2015

Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem (105 min)  Akram Zaatari | Documentary | Lebanon | 2015

Silvered Water
Ossama Mohammad|Documentary|Syria|2014
In Syria, every day, YouTubers film then die; others kill then film. In Paris, driven by my inexhaustible love for Syria, I find that I can only film the sky and edit the footage posted on YouTube. From within the tension between my estrangement in France and the revolution, an encounter happened. A young Kurdish woman from Homs began to chat with me, asking: “If your camera were here, in Homs, what would you be filming?” Silvered Water is the story of that encounter.

Out On the Street
Philip Rizk and Jasmina Metwaly|Documentary|Egypt|2015
Out on the Street is a film about a group of workers from one of Egypt’s working class neighborhoods, Helwan. In the film ten working-class men participate in an acting workshop. Through the rehearsals, stories emerge of factory injustice, police brutality, courts that fabricate criminal charges, and countless tales of corruption and exploitation by their capitalist employers. On a rooftop studio overlooking the heart of Cairo – presented as a space between fact and fiction – the participants move in and out of character as they shape the performance that engages their daily realities. Out in the Street interweaves scenes from the workshop, fictional performances, and mobile phone footage shot by a worker intended as evidence for the courts to stop the destruction of his workplace. This hybrid approach aims to engage a collective imaginary, situating the participants and spectators within a broader social struggle.

Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem
Akram Zaatari |Documentary|Lebanon|2015
Partly a study of a photographer’s studio practice (Hashem el Madani) in the mid twentieth century and
partly an exploration of the essence of archives today, this film tries to understand how this mode of producing images functioned in the lives of communities it served, how it ceased
 to exist, and what it had led to. It is a reflection on making images, on an industry of image making, on age and on the life that remains and continues to grow in an archive.

And on a Different Note

Mohammad Shawky Hassan|Short Experimental|Egypt|2015
Today in this house nothing happens, nor does it in the homes of others. The chronology of events is obscured, subversive noise is obliterated, elucidation impossible and language futile. All that remains is a soundscape perpetually occupied by self-proclaimed patriots, and scattered spaces carved by the rhythm of everyday life, all conspiring to maintain the status quo while hiding the humming background noise of the world. And on a Different Note is a navigation of an attempt to carve out a personal space amid an inescapable sonic shield created primarily by prime time political talk shows with their indistinguishable, absurd, and at times undecipherable rhetoric/ noises. Equally repulsive and addictive, these noises travel across geographies gradually constituting an integral part of a self-created map of exile.

The Valley 
Ghassan Salhab | Feature Film | Lebanon | 2014
Following a car accident on a lone mountain road, a middle-aged man loses his memory. Drenched in blood, he continues to walk along the deserted path. Further down the road, he encounters people with engine trouble and helps them get their car running again. They are reluctant to leave him stranded, so they take him home to their large estate in the Bekaa valley, a place where production is not only agricultural, and a place he may never leave again.

Challat of Tunis 
(89 min)
Kaother Ben Hania | Documentary | Tunisia | 2013
In this eccentric, disturbing mockumentary, director Kaouther Ben Hania sets out to solve a mystery, speak truth to power and expose a culture of misogyny. Her film is inspired by a decade-old crime in Tunisia: an unknown man performed drive-by slashings of 11 women. The story springs from Hania’s attempt to portray the attacker on camera: in the course of auditions for the part, she meets Jallel, who proudly proclaims himself to be the slasher. What follows is a portrait of a preening, sexist creep and the culture of male entitlement that supports him. This includes the maker of a video game based on the slasher, with players aiming a motorcyclist through the street and gaining points for cutting unveiled females; a spurious device for determining a woman’s virginity by testing her urine; and Jallel’s purchase of a blow-up doll—the ideal partner for him.

The Sea is Behind
 (88 min)
Hicham Lasri | Feature Film | Morocco | 2015
The Sea is Behind takes place in another world, one that is black and white and grimy, following a man named Tarik who dresses as a woman and dances for weddings, an old Moroccan tradition called H’dya. The film, however, presents much more than the story of Tarik, offering a dystopian and dramatic insight into social and political realities in the Arab world. We watch the protagonist go through life with indifference, which as the story slowly unfolds, becomes disturbing.



• Exhibit: September 10-20 | PHOTOGRAPHY
Brooklyn Photoville Festival

Nathalie Naccache, “Our Limbo”
Omar Imam, “Live Love Refugee” at the Brooklyn Photoville Festival

Exhibit of works by two AFAC-Magnum Foundation Grantees at the Brooklyn Photoville Festival, in collaboration with the Magnum Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund

• Book Launch: September 22 | LITERARY PROJECTS
“Azrael’s Suicide” by Arthur Yak

Book launch of “Azrael’s Suicide”, accompanied by reading and discussion with Sudanese novelist, Arthur Yak.


About AFAC

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) is the Arab region’s preferred resource for independent artists and cultural practitioners. Founded in 2007, AFAC is a unique grant-making institution that is accessible, transparent and professional. AFAC supports as broad and diversified a scope of critical thinkers, artists and social entrepreneurs of the Arab region as possible, with an emphasis on quality, creativity and relevance.


About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Through its office in Cairo, the foundation has been on the ground in the Middle East and North Africa since the early 1950s. The foundation’s support to arts and culture in the Arab region has enhanced the development of a new generation of 21st-century arts spaces and arts leadership that reflect the cultural richness and diversity of the region.