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Maraya Archive

 

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The Maraya Video Archive is an ongoing cultural initiative by the Maraya Art Centre, designed to generate a sustainable archive for the art of video-making whether in the form of short films or animation. This project offers an ongoing archive of all video-makers, complete with their biographical history, artistic statements, and accessibility to contact information for the use of furthering researchers, cultural producers and curators, who might wish to include selections of videos as part of their research/exhibition programming.

The archive was initiated by our acknowledged collaboration with curator Aida Eltorie and Finding Projects Association. Inviting all the key cultural video-makers in the Arab region at large to contribute and preserve these films in an archival format, allows us to educate the public on the importance of regional and cultural videography around the world.

List of Artists

SYNOPSIS

Cairo that the capitals long history and vocabulary is full of contrasts between the loaded historical neighborhoods and the rich and the poor and the indiscriminate and inclusion of all this huge city, but all the time to attack from within its people and pollution and will be done through the two Cairo under attack During represent the combination between live video and the third dimension and the world of video games C (Machinma) and in the course of the two technical-based mix that this would be the first part.

SYNOPSIS

In a recent became accepted among Egyptians is the situation and relax away from liability self direction or the direction of home away from duty and not claim the rights and intercepted a discreet step down and making it all tell them what to Gamal Abdel Nasser, Don't Resign

SYNOPSIS

In an animation like technique and movement, buildings in the bourgeois style of the city on the shore of its leisurely lake appear on the screen, take position, fit in predefined outlined spaces, fill the urban space, and build gradually the city. Swans swim almost motionless in front of this scene in calm waters. The spectator enters an "Age of Empire" like construction game and wonders where he has already come across this strangely familiar view. All of a sudden he realizes that the image depicts a well known place in Zurich where he passes every day or even lives. Zurich deconstructed by Ahmed El Shaer reappears anew in its harmoniously woven urban structure and environment.

SYNOPSIS

There are many in the life of the person to the same standards depending on the culture and laws of the surrounding community with all the respect of the religion and customs, concepts, and always find ourselves under examination by either of these standards, or that we reject completely.

Development of these standards?

And is it right to set?

 

Synopsis

In 2003, Assia Lakhlif released one of her first video productions entitled "Bahlam Beek" (Dreaming of You). Displaying an innocuous rendering of a mountainous form similar to the curvatures found on a woman's body, it hosts figures resembling fighting battalions on that curved contour, with the voice of Abdel Halim Hafiz singing in the background his infamous song "Bahlam Beek." The motherland is that beloved dream yearning for the return of the exemplified soldier.

However, a few years later, Lakhlif returns to the conditions of this primary film, and develops it in sequences. The single becomes a three part genre, each video lasting for almost 2:30 minutes. The first part is the aforementioned work "Bahlam Beek." The second part "Arms" is a beautiful ensemble in black and white of what initiates with a man's hand, put stone pieces together, as through insinuating the element of building blocks, developing, creating. The dark fragments then appear once whole, as a machine gun placed on his white bed sheets, awaiting his company. The man finally enters the frame and lays down beside his weapon, his companion.

The last component to the series "Meeting," is that eventual moment where they finally meet. In color, on the yellow sands by the beach. She's draped in black, he's modernly clothed youthful, holding a book that occupies his hands, and embraces his mind, like she. They meet, a moment that's been long awaited for, finally happens.

SYNOPSIS

Talaat Harb Street is one of Downtown Cairo's busiest streets. It constantly exhales an excessive amount of energy resulting from the continuous movement of pedestrians and cars almost 24 hours a day. All this energy has been trapped for years within an extremely frustrating social and political reality until a huge roar shook the streets of Cairo on the 25th of January 2011: "Freedom! Freedom!" About 200 meters away from Tahrir Square, Talaat Harb was one of the most eventful streets during the first weeks of the Egyptian revolution. Protesters coming from different parts of Cairo trying to get into the square come in numbers taking Talaat Harb. It experienced scenes ranging from battles between protesters and the police and other times between protesters and thugs of the regime to scenes of extreme celebration and joy. In awe of these exceptional events that I didn't expect to experience during my lifetime, and torn between the will of being a participant versus being at times a distant watcher trying to capture as many stories as possible, I was filming everyday and everywhere I go scenes of what was happening.

 

Synopsis

A man in an old diving suit trying to have a drink unsuccessfully, oblivious to his surroundings, and lost in his own misery and sense of helplessness.

SYNOPSIS

Improvisation, is the first work produced by Faisal Samra from the Distorted Reality Series. He began by placing a video camera at a fixed point, and then took to improvising performances in front of it using a canvas backdrop. What he would usually use to paint on has changed from the performative surface into a performance act in itself. A reconstruction of theatrical characters instantaneously destroyed from the moment they were born – only to rebuild new ones from their remains. Every performed act, every gesture, has an open beginning (open onto that which has preceded it) and an open ending (open onto that which ensues). The performed act, in this instance, was the folding of the canvas around the artist's head and face to fashion a turban and/or veil. The collection of turbans and veils that he created became like masks, each of which was born from the womb of another.

Distorted Reality is a series of performances recorded using digital photographs, computer graphics and video. The triptychs in Distorted Reality relate separate instances from a series of actions performed by Samra. In a formal sense they are reminiscent of Francis Bacon's legendary triptychs. Each performance is unscripted, with no contrived start or finish, and together they form part of Samra's polemic against what he calls the 'made-up images' of advertising and globalised news media. His desire throughout is to present the viewer with images that are rigorously unmediated I ended up with a long video of improvised acts from which I selected three characters to present in this work.

Each of the three acts exhibits different aesthetics combined through their color and fabric qualities. The symbolic link between turbans, veils, masks and the act of masking: The effect of being engulfed by an encroaching hypo-theatricals (illusory) reality is the truth of our reality.

SYNOPSIS

Transit is an artistic performance based on the human body and the space it shares from within; an emotional act based on the concept of conflict – or contrasted up against the same time, place and space.

It is an act that deals with the idea of restrictions and confiscations of natural human freedoms. It deals with the geographical barriers, made by the occupation, discouraging the idea of communication between Palestinians on a social and cultural level, from within Palestine and outside. It focuses on the actual siege of the Palestinian soul and body, the infertile daily routine on a piece of land enclosed in barbed wire and full of dumb soldiers.

Transit is the idea of the freedom that thousands of Palestinians have fought for, yet they lost their lives, their dreams and music for, they lost their heaven on earth. Every inch of Palestine has had a martyr that fell on its earth, quenching its soil with his/her blood. Transit is the occupation of Palestine, Palestine itself and the whole world. Occupation has many faces; blood, death, soldiers, community, traditions, habits, language, etc.

Each and every one of us carry our own barriers and occupation, and if we don't work to stop it, it will soon stop us from dreaming and eventually from living.

 

Synopsis

Ibrahim Saad had begun the Without Cover project since 2010 in multiple formats, and this video was the first moving image work created as a result of his photo documentaries, and sketches done in the streets and squares of Cairo.

In all Saad's work he seeks to find the ultimate and the beautiful – an ideology of life if it had the potential to be better than the sufferings it has to endure, and he questions how can it become that alternative and beautiful Other. In his video, he experiments with the discarded, the forgotten and the neglected Ultimately he seeks to occupy the resource of the masses, the people and the collective voice of a unified society, who unite to get rid of something that has created fear and disruption their entire lives.

Saad considers himself as part of the masses, and part of that passion to reveal and never conceal the realities faced, and this realization came to life when he occupied a media screen, showing the Egyptian uprisings in one window, and the fall of Sadam Hussein's statue in the other Suggesting that what could happen there could happen here; it was with this power of conviction was change unanticipated and needed. emotions in a childish context. Saad models and remodels himself in his performances, photography and video projects, only to capture the natural innocence sought by human behavior.

 

Synopsis

The project Etiquettes takes place in my research on the moving image and on how things get animated. The price stickers were initially chosen because of their disposal on a roll. Indeed, quite often I use soft surfaces that wrap around an axis to match drawn and painted graphic elements. The rolls remind me somehow the organic body and its process of memory and perception. I use rolls as a support and a reading device. This arrangement is reminiscent of the process at work in mechanical or analog systems such as film or magnetic tape for instance. But rolls also evoke the notion of loop that closes on itself, that sweeps away the starting and ending points of a cycle in the flow of its interpretation. My reflection on the concept of animation and the practice of stop-motion animation caught my eye on this little roll of price stickers found in a bookstore. On the surface of these empty labels, pre-cut and joined together like the frames of images, I imagined the composition of fictional and relational ensemble.

What motivated my purchase is primarily the diversion of this purely utilitarian element, for using it as a material for manufacturing an imaginary and animated narrative. Of course these stickers virtually refer to the price, they are normally used to "support" them. The reference to the economic factor in the consumer society, the market exchange market, but also the reference to digital media where each value is encrypted and becomes a standard tool; all of these factors necessarily seep into the content of this project. Yet, I place the economical reference in this project as a background of my approach. The choice of placing the animated drawing, which its content is trivial and mysterious, on the surface of the price tickets was affirmed by the need to fill that roll with figures and animate them in a sequence. The small size of the stickers allowed me to project my imagination into a miniature space, confined and secret. That's why the character, a little girl, seems locked in her flat boxes, playing in empty spaces and narrowly fluctuates in the void, a void that seems shared by others that smother her. To the animation drawn on the stickers is added a stop-motion animation of a real landscape, the one of a beach in Tunisia. The two images are overlaid with a transparent surface. The camera captures both of the stickers and the beach spaces.

The beach is located in the background of the plastic surface where the stickers are glued. Changes in light, the crossing of pedestrians in the area of the camera shooting then, shows a fragmented sort of documentary moment. The film describes a kind of window in the window, or screen in the screen, showing the visual and filmic coexistence of formal and narrative dimensions which are radically different, but that are captured together in a same space and time. These two dimensions, two animations, are rudimentary staged so that on one hand the physical presence in the real place during the shooting is kept visible, and on the other hand the gesture of pasting and taking off each sticker for each new image is guessed.

 

Synopsis

In 2009, as a Palestinian born in Libya, living in Cairo, USA, Iraq, Holland and Malta, finding refuge in multiple lands that would house my well-being. Seeing the status of my family, their lives and conditions as foreigners to a land they have always resided in. I realized that I no longer could accept the displacement in which governments and municipal systems have always labeled and misguided. We were no longer moving forward, and I realized that change was needed.

Since then, it became clear to me that I needed to find ways to push that desire of change, and social commitment to build the awareness that would tolerate other displaced cultures as one of their own, and it lead to the making of a music piece I had done that same year called "Change is Needed."

The Revolution happened, and it became clear to me more and more hearing my piece and listening to the speech, on how things were already spoken way before it ever happened, implementing the idea that change is needed. The speech I had used in this work, was spoken by a man in the early 1960s that shook me. He was the CEO of Xerox corporation, addressing his employees in a orientation program, motivating them to be ready for change. When living the irony of a speech given in the second half of the twentieth century by a photocopying corporation, that is completely applicable to the conditions placed in the contemporary dilemma in the Middle East whereby change was needed. Then the revolution happened, and it became obvious for me to document my observations towards this alteration.

The revolution video became a diary starting with the events that unravelled infront of my house, my family, and in my neighborhood during the 18 days of the uprisings until the end.

I started the video "Lesson", with a dedication of one flower I had made out of the project I was working on during that time called "Nirvanty" from the In Search of Eden series. Each day out of the 18-day uprising, a flower was given to the martyrs killed during those 18 days.

The news reported various disruptions, without giving answers to the causes, or the direction. We all knew the protestors were peaceful and the resistance was government-instigated disturbances against its own citizens. The news had reported during the first couple of days of the uprisings, that President Qaddafi was sending his "warm support and love" to President Mubarak, and that the Libyan people stand by Mubarak.

President Obama, Prime Minister Berlusconi, President Sarkozy were all showing their support and concerns to the Egyptian government, while the Egyptians themselves were enraged by every speech given by Mubarak, that failed to deliver his resignation and regrets to the Egyptian people for all the turmoil his regime had caused over the past 30 years.

"Lesson" is a documented and episodic seminar granted to a classroom filled with generations that are keen to learn, keen to adopt and develop for a greater interest, an interest that occupy selfless policies for the people. The strength occupied by the Egyptian people during those 18 days, is what truly observes an Egyptian national, however, was the lesson in fact learned?

 

Synopsis

In 2009, as a Palestinian born in Libya, living in Cairo, USA, Iraq, Holland and Malta, finding refuge in multiple lands that would house my well-being. Seeing the status of my family, their lives and conditions as foreigners to a land they have always resided in. I realized that I no longer could accept the displacement in which governments and municipal systems have always labeled and misguided. We were no longer moving forward, and I realized that change was needed.

Since then, it became clear to me that I needed to find ways to push that desire of change, and social commitment to build the awareness that would tolerate other displaced cultures as one of their own, and it lead to the making of a music piece I had done that same year called "Change is Needed."

The Revolution happened, and it became clear to me more and more hearing my piece and listening to the speech, on how things were already spoken way before it ever happened, implementing the idea that change is needed. The speech I had used in this work, was spoken by a man in the early 1960s that shook me. He was the CEO of Xerox corporation, addressing his employees in a orientation program, motivating them to be ready for change. When living the irony of a speech given in the second half of the twentieth century by a photocopying corporation, that is completely applicable to the conditions placed in the contemporary dilemma in the Middle East whereby change was needed. Then the revolution happened, and it became obvious for me to document my observations towards this alteration.

The revolution video became a diary starting with the events that unravelled infront of my house, my family, and in my neighborhood during the 18 days of the uprisings until the end.

I started the video "Lesson", with a dedication of one flower I had made out of the project I was working on during that time called "Nirvanty" from the In Search of Eden series. Each day out of the 18-day uprising, a flower was given to the martyrs killed during those 18 days.

The news reported various disruptions, without giving answers to the causes, or the direction. We all knew the protestors were peaceful and the resistance was government-instigated disturbances against its own citizens. The news had reported during the first couple of days of the uprisings, that President Qaddafi was sending his "warm support and love" to President Mubarak, and that the Libyan people stand by Mubarak.

President Obama, Prime Minister Berlusconi, President Sarkozy were all showing their support and concerns to the Egyptian government, while the Egyptians themselves were enraged by every speech given by Mubarak, that failed to deliver his resignation and regrets to the Egyptian people for all the turmoil his regime had caused over the past 30 years.

"Lesson" is a documented and episodic seminar granted to a classroom filled with generations that are keen to learn, keen to adopt and develop for a greater interest, an interest that occupy selfless policies for the people. The strength occupied by the Egyptian people during those 18 days, is what truly observes an Egyptian national, however, was the lesson in fact learned?

 

Synopsis

Directing his work through a found image, Khaled Barakeh recaptures a work done in 2002 by his professor Michael Baers at the Funen Art Academy, where he finds an installation of a ping pong table, and painted on one side of the table is Palestine, while the other hosts the flag of Israel. Michael Baers explained that this work was his reflection of the Arab Israeli conflict, however Barakeh felt the importance to show the view of a man living in the heart of the region for the majority of his upbringing as an Insider's view to the hidden realities of what the West had projected towards the East. Using a manipulative and chronological movement with names of Barakeh's fathers, does he retrace his personal history to that of the family, and slowly do you witness the table tennis layout covered with the Palestinian flag from one end to another, become slowly and almost wholly occupied by the flag of Israel.

SYNOPSIS

A Space Exodus quirkily sets up an adapted stretch of Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey in a Middle Eastern political context. The recognizable music scores of the 1968 science fiction film are changed to arabesque chords matching the surreal visuals of Sansour's film. The film follows the director herself onto a phantasmagoric journey through the universe echoing Stanley Kubrick's thematic concerns for human evolution, progress and technology. However, in her film, Sansour posits the idea of a first Palestinian into space, and, referencing Armstrong's moon landing, she interprets this theoretical gesture as "a small step for a Palestinian, a giant leap for mankind". The film offers a naively hopeful and optimistic vision for a Palestinian future contrasting sharply with all the elements that are currently eating away at the very idea of a viable Palestinian state. In A Space Exodus, Sansour does finally reach the moon, although her contact with Palestine's capital is cut off.

This five-minute short is packed with highly produced visual imagery. The arabesque elements ranging from the space suit to the music are merged within a dreamy galactic setting and elaborate special effects. A great deal of attention is paid to every detail of the film to create a never before seen case of thrillingly magical Palestinian displacement.

 

Synopsis

A Chamber of Public Secrets Production

Mobile Zones documents the tense border situation between Israel and Lebanon just months before the full escalation of events took place in summer 2006. Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour and the Lebanese artist Khaled Ramadan set out to meet on the border both from their respective Palestine and Lebanon. They each face difficulties, either by Israeli checkpoints in occupied Palestine or by crossing through Hezbollah territories in Lebanon.

The film is about a simple phone with an impossible signal. The film was shut at Mutilla, Israel and near Fatima's gate, Lebanon in spring 2006.