I have just started running the programme at The White Building, London’s new cultural centre, working at the intersection of art, technology and sustainability.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
Lots more coming soon.
Close Encounters: Peripheral Images and Histories of the Present
Spectrum Shorts also includes two short films programmes with recent Middle Eastern works brought together by Omar Kholeif and IFFR programmer Peter van Hoof. The two Close Encounters’ programmes seek to articulate the present with one eye on the future and another inextricably linked to the past. Can an image narrate a history? How do we deal with a history that brims so close to the present that it is impossible to distance one’s self from it?
This forum celebrates the Random Acts series of commissions – including new commissions from FACT for the strand – and opens up a dialogue about the future of television as a shared space that has the potential to bridge new relationships between socially engaged audiences, curators, creative producers, and broadcasters.
Speakers include Chip Lord, artist and one of the co-founders of Ant Farm; New York-based artist Marisa Olson; Tabitha Jackson (Commissioning Editor for Arts, Channel 4); performances by Ronald Fraser-Munroe and Jeremy Bailey, as well as conversations with artists Zineb Sedira and Sarah Wood, producer Jacqui Davies, as well as FACT’s Director Mike Stubbs and Curator, Omar Kholeif.
Download the full schedule and list of speakers from the Downloads section of this page.
Produced by FACT Liverpool and presented across the UK by the Cross Arts Venue (CAV) Network in partnership with Channel 4, Arts Council England and the Liverpool Biennial.
Tickets are £10/£8 (FACT Members & concessions). Lunch not included. Capacity is limited so advance booking is recommended. BOOK HERE.
See information about the 25 films we have commissioned for Channel 4 at the Random Acts project page.
Omar Kholeif is an Egyptian-born, UK-based writer, curator and producer. His current project, “Safar: A Journey Through Popular Arab Cinema” is running from 21 – 27 September at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London.
How did the idea for Safar come about and how did you get involved in it?
I was approached by the Arab British Centre a year and a half ago. We sat down and talked about what it was that we wanted to bring to London and British audiences in order to make a real statement about contemporary Arab cinema. Through lots of discussion and research it transpired that a lot of the Arab cinema that we were receiving in the UK was anchored around very particular social and political concerns and wasn’t necessarily representative of Arab cultural production or the films that were popular locally. What you get with Safar is an experience that we believe is much more representative, but also much more enjoyable. It actually contradicts the confines of what you expect world cinema to be. Traditionally, it’s something that aspires to a high arts concern, but these films are much more dialogue-based, comedic and melodramatic. They’re also epic and enthralling in different ways and actually reveal quite political and dissident things about local culture, by doing it through a form that’s accessible to a broader audience.
Do you think that even though historically Arab cinema hasn’t been shown much in the UK, that is something that’s set to change? Is Arab film coming more to the forefront of cinema in the UK today?
I think so. We’re building audiences slowly, but I think that it can be a red herring and we have to be cautious. What you find is that a lot of events are one-offs, when what you really need is someone to develop an infrastructure in their regular programme so audiences know that this isn’t just some fleeting fad, but actually a cultural form that’s important.
Keep Reading at New Statesman
In the inaugural issue of Portal 9, the first Arabic-English journal about the city, a novelist interviews an architect practicing in Iraq since the 1950s. A researcher in South Sudan analyzes the nation’s search for unity by means of a new capital city. Fiction from Esfahan, reportage from Port-au-Prince, essays from Beirut – urbanists, critics, taxi drivers, historians, and photographers consider “The Imagined.”
Rhizome has collaborated with FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, and the Liverpool Biennial, to develop a new series: Five Videos. Responding to theme of the Biennial — The Unexpected Guest — Rhizome is “hosting” the online programming. Further relating to the theme, Omar Kholeif (FACT) and Joanne McNeil (Rhizome) invited internationally renowned artists to submit five videos considering issues relating to hospitality, which will run each week throughout the duration of Liverpool Biennial 2012. The artists include: Jemima Wyman, Judith Barry, Kristin Lucas, Lucky PDF, Jennifer Chan, Anahita Razmi. Ming Wong, Queer Technologies, Angelo Plessas, and Adham Faramawy.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE
The Arab British Centre, in partnership with the ICA and Dubai International Film Festival, presents Safar, the most ambitious programme of popular Arab film ever seen in the UK.
A truly original programme for British cinema-goers, this week-long series of classic and contemporary cinema takes audiences on a journey of gripping dramas, subversive comedies and exaggerated melodramas, taking in an array of re-mastered cinematic masterpieces and new releases.
With this programme, we explore a fifty-year period of filmmaking that demonstrates the diversity and complexity of Arab cinema. Focusing on Egyptian cultural production (as the historical epicentre of Arab cinema), the programme also includes recent popular hits from Lebanon and Jordan.
The series avoids presenting cultural stereotypes of the conflicted present without shying away from controversy. Instead, Safar: A Journey Through Popular Arab Cinema invites audiences to experience local popular culture and debate film’s effectiveness in conveying social histories.
Including literary adaptations such as The Yacoubian Building and box office smash-hits such as Bosta, as well as films starring cinematic icons such as Adel Imam, a pre-Lawrence of Arabia Omar Sharif, and contemporary stars Nadine Labaki and Khaled Abol Naga.
Book Tickets now on the ICA Website HERE