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LUCIS Film Screening | MENA Cultures & Global Aesthetics

Akram Zaatari: Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem

Monday 18 May 2020

LUCIS' MENA Cultures and Global Aesthetics team is very proud to present an online live screening of Akram Zaatari's film Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem (2015). Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem takes the photographic archive of a popular photo studio in a medium-sized Lebanese town as a starting point to talk about Saida, a city in South Lebanon, photographic practice, and a technology of image production. 

The live screening will be preceded by a short introduction by visual anthropologist Mark Westmoreland. After the live screening, Akram Zaatari will be in conversation with Mark Westmoreland and Helen Westgeest, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

All are welcome to join the live screening and Q&A on Monday 18 May from 16.00-18.30 (GMT+2). LUCIS will host the event in our Kaltura Live Room, which will be publicly accessible from 15.50 via the link posted below. The introduction and discussion will be recorded and made available online afterwards. Please note that the film itself will no longer be available after 18 May.

In addition to the live screening, the film publicly available from 11 May 2020 at 16.00 (GMT+2). Click here to watch the film. 

Did you miss the live event? Don't worry we have recorded the Q&A with Akram Zaatari. Watch it here

Programme live film screening and Q&A

Access to the LUCIS Kaltura Live Room
Film screening
Q&A with Akram Zaatari

About the director

Akram Zaatari has produced more than fifty films and videos, all sharing an interest in writing histories, pursuing a range of interconnected themes, subjects, and practices related to excavation, political resistance, the lives of former militants, the legacy of an exhausted left, the circulation of images in times of war, and the play of tenses inherent to various letters that have been lost, found, buried, discovered, or otherwise delayed in reaching their destinations. Zaatari has played a critical role in developing the formal, intellectual, and institutional infrastructure of Beirut’s contemporary art scene. As a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, he has made invaluable and uncompromising contributions to the wider discourse on history, preservation and archival practice. Zaatari’s represented Lebanon at the Venice Biennial in 2013 with his film LETTER TO A REFUSING PILOT. His work has been featured at Documenta13 in 2012 and at museums internationally, including solo shows at K21, MACBA, Moderna Museet, MoMA and many others.

About the film

Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem is based on interviews with photographer Hashem el Madani (1928 - 2017), research on Studio Shehrazade, which Madani ran from 1953 until his death, and an archival exploration of the Madani collection now housed at the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. Approaching the photo studio as a site of archaeological excavation, Zaatari’s study of the various tools, equipment, and machines that Madani had assembled over the decades opens a material inquiry into the changing role of studio-based photographic and filmic practices. Along the way, the film animates the modern transformations of people and places in Zaatari’s hometown of Saïda in southern Lebanon, while paying homage to one of its most dedicated chroniclers. 

We will open the LUCIS Kaltura Live Room on Monday 18 May at 15.50 (GMT+2). 

Click here to access the live film screening and Q&A
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