Jumana Manna

September 6, 2023 7:00 pm

Join us on 6 September at 7pm for the Beirut Premiere of Jumana Manna’s film 𝘍𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘴 (2022), followed by a discussion between the artist and Lama El Khatib.

𝘍𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘴 depicts the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Occupied Palestine with wry humor and a meditative pace. Shot in the Golan Heights, the Galilee and Jerusalem, it employs fiction, documentary and archival footage to portray the impact of Israeli occupation government’s nature protection laws on these customs. The restrictions prohibit the collection of the artichoke-like ‘akkoub and za’atar (thyme), and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds caught collecting these native plants. For Palestinians, these laws constitute an ecological veil for legislation that further alienates them from their land while Israeli representatives insist on their scientific expertise and duty to protect. Following the plants from the wild to the kitchen, from the chases between the foragers and the nature patrol, to courtroom defenses, 𝘍𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘴 captures the joy and knowledge embodied in these traditions alongside their resilience to the prohibitive law. By reframing the terms and constraints of preservation, the film raises questions around the politics of extinction, namely who determines what is made extinct and what gets to live on.

Jumana Manna is a visual artist and filmmaker. Her work explores how power is articulated, focusing on the body, land and materiality in relation to colonial inheritances and histories of place. Jumana was raised in Jerusalem and lives in Berlin.

Lama El Khatib is a writer and cultural worker. Since 2018 she has worked at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin as a curatorial coordinator, researcher, and producer. Her work draws on abolitionist traditions and is invested in a poetics of ‘the labor of the dead’.

The discussion will be conducted in both English and Arabic.