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Cinema Politica: Voices of Palestine

Mar 6, 2014, 6pm-8pm

The Graduate Program in Film and Cinema Politica present Voices From Palestine, a screening and panel discussion focusing on Palestinian narratives in film, as well as local movements to end Israel apartheid, such as the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) global campaign.

These topics will be presented by Huda Alsarraj (a member of York University's Students Against Israeli Apartheid) alongside Palestinian filmmaker Serene Husni. Amina Nur from SAIA moderates the panel.

Zinco - dir. Serene Husni (2013, 21 min)
Zinco is a portrait of Al Talbieh (Zizya), a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan established in the wake of the June War of 1967. Decades later, the camp has become less of a temporary solution and more of a permanent “zone.” By retracing the development of the camp, from the canvas that once made up refugee tents to freshly painted cement roofs, the film looks for visual manifestations of Palestinian displacement, taking the slowly changing construction material of Palestinian refugee shelters as a signifier for exile. (“Zinco” is an Arabic slang word that refers to the corrugated tin rooftops that still cover most of the camp’s habitats today.) The film relies on anecdotes and personal narratives in telling the story of the camp, and explores new ways of representing oppressed peoples and histories.

Art and Apathy - dir. Jessica Habie (2008, 16 min)
Art and Apathy documents the complexity of life in Israel and Palestine as experienced by local artists. Despite the unending cycles of ideological and physical violence propagated by the mainstream media and politicians, the artists featured choose to produce work that provokes dialogue. Through their eyes, the film examines several political and social elements that are often oversimplified in international media. Defining terms such as the Green Line, the Right of Return, Palestine 48, Intifada, Zionism and other key concepts, it presents audiences with the political ideologies and historic identities that structure life in the Middle East. Focusing on artists whose work inspires alternative persepctives, the film ventures into intimate spaces and accesses visionary voices who have transcended the political rhetoric.

A Day in Palestine - dir. Mary Ellen Davis (2007, 6 min)
Deceptively beautiful, this Super-8 Kodachrome collection of vignettes of everyday life for Palestinians under occupation has a dreamlike quality, but the reality is anything but. A man picks olives against an azure sky. Grandmothers plead with expressionless soldiers as excavators wait on the hills behind them. Children and the elderly struggle to climb the brutal concrete wall that divides their homes, schools, mosques and workplaces as the film builds to a powerful indictment against oppression.

Admission is free.

Serene Husni is a filmmaker and multimedia journalist. Before moving to Toronto to join Ryerson’s MFA Documentary Media program, she was based in Amman, Jordan, where she was a founding member of Aramram Web television. Husni is keen on exploring how media forms affect storytelling. Before producing video content for the web, she worked in television, radio and print.

Amina Nur is a second-year international studies major at Glendon. She is an active member of the student group Students Against Israeli Apartheid and an advocate for student rights and freedom of expression on campus.

Huda Al Sarraj is a third-year student of social work at York University. She is a Syrian-Canadian activist, a board member of the York Federation of Students, and a passionate advocate for student rights and for justice and human rights in Syria and Palestine.

Cinema Politica York University is a social and culture awareness group. It seeks to be inclusive and to provide a forum for discussion of issues which can be controversial and challenging. Members do not believe they have the answers, but seek to create a space to discuss choice, perspective and ideologies, on issues such as the environment, war, labour, sex and gender.

Location:Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Bulding, York University
Sponsor:Cinema Politica & Graduate Program in Film, York University
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