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Diana Allan: image in the aftermath

June 22, 2011 8:00 pm

In conjunction with the exhibition image in the aftermath, which includes work from the nakba archive, Beirut art center is proud to screen two films by Diana Allan, founder of the nakba archive.

Still life 25′, 2007
Still life is the first sequence in a triptych of portraits that explores the mediations of memory among three generations of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon. It considers how a series of photos brought to Lebanon by Said Otruk, an elderly Palestinian fisherman from acre, mediate both his present experience and recollections of his life in Palestine before 1948. We see how the “reality” represented in these images has become conflated with them; said repeatedly misremembers the number of his fishing boat and his age when he left, and when he describes photos of acre’s waterfront as capturing the “golden age”, he seems to be gesturing as much at the splendid figure of his own youth as at the halcyon days of pre-48 Palestine. Rather than being an expository narrative, still life examines the dislocations of memory, the effects of aging and forgetfulness, and the recollection of youthful vitality.

Terrace of the sea
Arabic with English subtitles, 57′, 2010
Terrace of the sea was shot in 2008 in Jal El Bahar, a Palestinian Bedouin gathering established in 1948 on the outskirts of tyre. Structured around a collection of family photographs taken over three generations, the film engages the historical experience of the community by focusing on their precarious relationship with the physical environment in which they are living. The film is a meditation on the distances between memory, photography, and film and explores the relationships between past and present, land and the sea and between seeing and being seen.