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Saturday, 08 May 2021 04:30 GMT

UAE- Carrying the Palestinian message to the West


(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) To tell the true Palestinian story to European audiences, organisers of 'Reel Palestine' film festival will host their first international pop-up in Italy next month.

The organisers aim to break the wall and show the true experiences of life under occupation from the perspective of artists and filmmakers from Palestine and its international diaspora away from media portrayal. The two-day artistic film screenings, on April 14-15, are in conjunction with the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative in Milan. Dana Al Sadek, co-founder of Reel Palestine who led the development of the programme for the pop-up, said the aim of the two-day screenings is to raise awareness about the Palestinian story and allow audiences to see moments under occupation through the eyes of artists.

"The initiative allows Palestinians with no connection to their homeland to understand their heritage and traditions better, while giving a chance for artists to express these feelings and imagery through artistically-executed films," said Al Sadek, a Palestinian American based in the UAE.

Launched in 2014, Reel Palestine shows a selection of alternative Palestinian films in the UAE every year. The non-profit organisation was set up by a group of friends with the purpose of showing Palestinian culture and tenacity through films, submerging the viewers in the beautiful, difficult, emotional and inspirational moments that occur under occupation. For the international pop-up, the films were chosen on an artistic basis dominated by imagery rather than narrative. "We focused more on the artistic execution to display, through creative imagery, the Palestinian experience.

"The films document the artists' response to occupation and their understanding of the homeland's concept," said Al Sadek.

This selection of the three feature films explores notions of place, space and origins through poetic, metaphorical and experimental visual gestures. The film 'Electrical Gaza', for example, combines documentary footage of the director's trip to Gaza with playful intervals of animation.

By juxtaposing the mediated encounters that characterise the journey - paying bribes, navigating the city via a personal tour guide, and engaging with locals through a translator - with fanciful moments of fiction, Palestinian London-based director Rosalind Nashashibi examines the tropes commonly associated with Gaza and the futility of such attempts to capture a place.

Compromising nine short films, the feature Suspended Time: A Program of Short Films reflects upon the 25-year period that followed the signing of the 1993 Oslo Acco-rds between Israel and Palestine. The diverse array of films creates a fragmented jigsaw puzzle of geography, disparity, migration and physical and emotional experiences. The pop up is co-presented by Reel Palestine, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Milan.


Sherouk Zakaria "Born and raised in UAE, Sherouk Zakaria is a Senior Correspondent at Khaleej Times. Joined since May 2016, she covers Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), special events and humanitarian issues. Her choice of journalism as a career stems from her passion of telling people's stories and writing to inspire or make a difference. In her free time, she's an occasional theater and film actress. Sherouk received her BA in Mass Communications from the American University in Sharjah in 2013. Before joining Khaleej Times, she was a senior lifestyle/entertainment editor for a magazine in Dubai."

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