An unknown part of us lives in this desert and an unknown part of this desert lives in us

6 Jun 2024

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Thu, 06 Jun
19:00 – 21:00

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The Mosaic Rooms

England, United Kingdom


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Ciné-Sahra presents a screening in response to Samia Henni's exhibition 'Performing Colonial Toxicity' at The Mosaic Rooms.


Ciné-Sahara presents three short films addressing nuclear trials in the Algerian Sahara, the ongoing impact of colonial violence, and current geopolitical developments.

This screening will be followed by a conversation with filmmakers Marcel Mrejen, Arwa Aburawa, and sound artist Sami El-Enany, moderated by curators Abiba Coulibaly and Emma Bouraba.

About the films:

In And still, it Remains, directed by Arwa Aburawa and Turab Shah, inhabitants of the Hoggar mountains give a languid retelling of their community’s genesis via prehistoric cave paintings and decisive migratory trajectories, before addressing one seismic, fatal and enduring event, pondering its aftermath and the delivery of justice.

Director Abdessamad El Montassir in Galb’Echaouf offers a stark survey of an interspecies ecology of repressed memories, in which elders and plants conceal stories and pain anchored in Western Sahara’s territorial conflict.

Memories of an Unborn Sun (UK premiere) by Marcel Mrejen presents a mix of archival and recent footage, examining the material and spiritual condition of Chinese migrant workers ‘exiled in a nightless world’ by the mines of Southern Algeria. Restlessly wandering terrain and sky, it unearths both continuities and lapses in resource extraction within a (neo) colonial context, and the fables and aspirations of the alienated labourers and indigenous poets of the region, in a celestial landscape of contrast and incongruity.

Together, these short films explore how demographic shifts related to internal and external migration, labour demands, and colonial dynamics present contrasting modes of relating to the singular environment of the Sahara, weaving together origin myths, ongoing struggles for independence in the region, and solar and nuclear phenomena.

Ciné-Sahra is a project dedicated to sharing films from the breadth of the Saharan region, exploring the intermediary and often obscured space as a site of social, environmental and narrative pluralism through contemporary, archival, and artists’ film.

This event is a partnership with Nottingham Contemporary.

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