JUMANA MANNAScreenings and Studies

Exhibition
1 Jun – 20 Jul 2024

Wednesday to Saturday
21:00

Opening 
1 June 2024
18:00

Artist talk
20:00

* All films are subtitled in english

Sismógrafo presents Jumana Manna: Screenings and Studies, a retrospective of the Palestinian artist’s film works. From June 1st to July 20th, from Wednesday to Saturday, all the films made by Manna will be screened with a focus on her latest film, Foragers. This exhibition also includes three sessions featuring films by other artists. Jumana Manna: Screenings and Studies include a weekly reading club designed in collaboration with the artist, where discussions will delve into issues of occupation and colonialism of the Palestinian territory and its people, based on her work. As usual, the exhibition will feature a public program, this time with a workshop developed by Landra.

Jumana Manna is a visual artist and filmmaker. Her work explores how power is articulated, focusing on the body, land, and materiality in relation to colonial inheritances and histories of place. Through sculpture, filmmaking, and occasional writing, Manna deals with the paradoxes of preservation practices, particularly within the fields of architecture, agriculture, and law. Her practice considers the tension between the modernist traditions of categorization and conservation and the unruliness of ruination, life and its regeneration. Jumana was raised in Jerusalem and lives in Berlin. 

 

In solidarity with Palestine
Immediate Ceasefire
End the Siege
End the Apartheid

Complete screenings programme

Sat 1 Jun Foragers (19:00, 21:00)     
+ Talk with Jumana Manna (20:00)

Wed 5 Jun  Foragers (64 min)
Thu 6 Jun  Foragers (64 min)
Fri 7 Jun  Foragers (64 min)
Sat 8 Jun  Wild Relatives (64 min)

Wed 12 Jun  Wild Relatives (64 min)
Thu 13 Jun  Clube de Leitura (18:30) + Foragers (64 min)
Fri 14 Jun  Foragers (64 min)
Sat 15 Jun  Jumana's Friends 1  Fertile Memory, Michelle Khleife (89 min)

Wed 19 Jun  Foragers (64 min)
Thu 20 Jun  Clube de Leitura (18:30) + Wild Relatives (64 min)
Fri 21 Jun  Foragers (64 min)
Sat 22 Jun  A Magical Substance Flows Into Me (66 min) + A Sketch of Manners (12 min)

Wed 26 Jun  A Magical Substance Flows Into Me (66 min) + A Sketch of Manners (12 min)
Thu 27 Jun  Clube de Leitura (18:30) + Foragers (64 min)
Fri 28 Jun  Wild Relatives (64 min)
Sat 29 Jun  Jumana's Friends 2
Basma Al-sharif, We Began By Measuring Distance (19 min)
Jumana Manna, The Goodness Regime (21 min)
Basma Al-sharif, The Story of Milk and Honey (10 min)
Jumana Manna, Blessed Blessed Oblivion (21 min)
Basma Al-sharif, Home Movies Gaza (24 min)

Wed 3 Jul Foragers (64 min) 
Thu 4 Jul  Clube de Leitura (18:30) + Foragers (64 min)
Fri 5 Jul  A Magical Substance Flows Into Me (66 min) + A Sketch of Manners (12 min)
Sat 6 Jul  Foragers (64 min)

Wed 10 Jul  Foragers (64 min)
Thu 11 Jul  Clube de Leitura (18:30) + A Magical Substance Flows Into Me (66 min) + A Sketch of Manners (12 min)
Fri 12 Jul  Foragers (64min)
Sat 13 Jul  Jumana's Friends 3
Mahdi Fleifel, I signed the petition (10 min)
Shuruq Harb, White Elephant (11 min) 
Oraib Toukan, Via Dolorosa (21 min)
Oraib Toukan, Offing (20 min)

Wed 17 Jul  The Goodness Regime (21 min) + Blessed Blessed Oblivion (21 min)
Thu 18 Jul  A Magical Substance Flows Into Me (66 min)
Fri 19 Jul  Wild relatives (64 min)

Sat 20 Jul  Foragers (64min)

Synopsis

Jumana Manna, Foragers, 2022, 64 min
1, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 19, 21, 27 Jun
3,4, 6, 10, 12, 20 Jul
Foragers depicts the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Palestine/Israel with wry humor and a meditative pace. Shot in the Golan Heights, the Galilee and Jerusalem, it employs fiction, documentary and archival footage to portray the impact of Israeli nature protection laws on these customs. The restrictions prohibit the collection of the artichoke-like ’akkoub and za’atar (thyme), and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds caught collecting these native plants. For Palestinians, these laws constitute an ecological veil for legislation that further alienates them from their land while Israeli state representatives insist on their scientific expertise and duty to protect. Following the plants from the wild to the kitchen, from the chases between the foragers and the nature patrol, to courtroom defenses, Foragers captures the joy and knowledge embodied in these traditions alongside their resilience to the prohibitive law. By reframing the terms and constraints of preservation, the film raises questions around the politics of extinction, namely who determines what is made extinct and what gets to live on.

 

A Magical Substance Flows Into Me
A Magical Substance Flows Into Me

Jumana Manna, Wild Relatives, 2018, 64 min
8, 12, 20, 28 Jun
19 Jul
Deep in the earth beneath the Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to provide a backup should disaster strike. Wild Relatives starts from an event that has sparked media interest worldwide: in 2012 an international agricultural research center was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian Revolution turned war, and began a laborious process of planting their seed collection from the Svalbard back-ups. Following the path of this transaction of seeds between the Arctic and Lebanon, a series of encounters unfold a matrix of human and non-human lives between these two distant spots of the earth. It captures the articulation between this large-scale international initiative and its local implementation in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, carried out primarily by young migrant women. The meditative pace patiently teases out tensions between state and individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, witnessed through the journey of these seeds.

 

A Magical Substance Flows Into Me
A Magical Substance Flows Into Me

Jumana Manna, A Magical Substance Flows Into Me, 2016, 66 min
22, 26 Jun
5, 11, 18 Jul
A magical substance flows into me opens with a crackly voice recording of Dr. Robert Lachmann, an enigmatic Jewish-German ethnomusicologist who emigrated to 1930s Palestine. While attempting to establish an archive and department of Oriental Music at the Hebrew University, Lachmann created a radio program for the Palestine Broadcasting Service called “Oriental Music”, where he would invite members of local communities to perform their vernacular music. Over the course of the film Manna follows in Lachmann’s footsteps and visit Kurdish, Moroccan and Yemenite Jews, Samaritans, members of urban and rural Palestinian communities, Bedouins and Coptic Christians, as they exist today within the geographic space of historical Palestine. Manna engages them in conversation around their music, while lingering over that music’s history as well as its current, sometimes endangered state. Intercutting these encounters with musicians, are a series of vignettes of interactions of the artist with her parents in the bounds of their family home. In a metaphorical excavation of an endlessly contested history, the film’s preoccupations include: the complexities embedded in language, as well as desire and the aural set against the notion of impossibility. Within the hackneyed one-dimensional ideas about Palestine/Israel, this impossibility becomes itself a trope that defines the Palestinian landscape. (-Negar Azimi)

Jumana Manna, A Sketch of Manners, 2013, 12 min
22, 26 Jun
5, 11, 18 Jul
Alfred Roch, member of the Palestinian National League, is a politician with a bohemian panache. In 1942, at the height of WWII, he throws what will turn out to be the last masquerade in Palestine. Inspired by an archival photograph, A Sketch of Manners (Alfred Roch’s Last Masquerade) recreates an unconventional bon vivant aspect of Palestinian urban life before 1948. Posing silently for a group photo, the unmasked and melancholic pierrots accidentally personify the premonition of an uncertain future.

Jumana Manna, Blessed Blessed Oblivion, 2010, 21 min
29 Jun
A portrait of masculine performativity in East Jerusalem, as manifested in gyms, body shops and hair dressing parlors. Inspired by Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1963), the video uses visual collage and the musical soundtrack as ironic commentary. Simultaneously psychologizing the characters and seduced by them, Manna finds herself in a double bind similar to the conflicted desire that animates her protagonist as he drifts from abject rants to declamations of heroic poetry or unashamed self-praise.

Jumana Manna, The Goodness Regime, 2013,21 min
29 Jun
An experimental documentary exploring the myths and images that have enabled an understanding of Norway as a nation of peace and benevolence. The binding element is a series of enactments by children that recount the myths, historical events and cultural personas that have propelled the image of Norway as a peace nation. These are weaved together with archival footage, political speeches and voiceovers from Hollywood films. In a satirical deconstruction of the Goodness Regime that permeates Norwegian society, Manna and Storihle explore the moral dilemmas embedded within the history of one of the wealthiest nations on earth.

Michelle Khleife, Fertile Memory, 1981, 89 min
15 Jun
Fertile Memory is the feature debut of pioneering director Michel Khleifi. Lyrically blending both documentary and narrative elements, Khleifi skillfully and lovingly crafts a portrait of two Palestinian women whose individual struggles both define and transcend the politics that have torn apart their homes and their lives. “Both Sahar and Romia are trapped by the society in which they live, but they experience this stuckness differently. Sahar possesses the words, the other doesn’t. Romia exists, but without defining herself as an individual. Both are frustrated by history, the intellectual one perhaps doubly so for her awareness of this frustration, of the loneliness imposed on her by her situation as a divorcée. Romia accepts her solitude after becoming a widow without bitterness, because she has decided that there is no other way. One character’s words corner those of the other, and I insisted on the film to work in that way, so that the viewer reacts to it, takes active part in the film, becomes an accomplice.”

Basma Al-sharif, We Began By Measuring Distance, 2009, 19 min
29 Jun
Long still frames, text, language, and sound are weaved together to unfold the narrative of an anonymous group who fill their time by measuring distance. Innocent measurements transition into political ones, examining how image and sound communicate history. We Began by Measuring Distance explores an ultimate disenchantment with facts when the visual fails to communicate the tragic.

Basma Al-sharif, The Story of Milk and Honey, 2011, 10 min
29 Jun
Narrated by an anonymous voice, the details of attempting to write a love story in Beirut, Lebanon are told through a delicate weaving of fact and fiction. A tale of defeat transforms into a multi-layered journey exploring how we collect information, perceive facts and recreate history to serve our own desires.

Basma Al-sharif, Home Movies Gaza, 2013, 24 min
29 Jun
Home Movies Gaza introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a mircrocosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity.

Mahdi Fleifel, I signed the petition, 2018, 11 min
13 Jul
Immediately after a Palestinian man signs an online petition, he is thrown into a panic-inducing spiral of self-doubt. Over the course of a conversation with an understanding friend, he analyses, deconstructs and interprets the meaning of his choice to publicly support the cultural boycott of Israel.

Shuruq Harb, White Elephant, 2018, 12 min 
13 Jul
Using images shared on the Internet by Israeli soldiers during the Gulf War, the first Intifada or trance music gatherings, Shuruq Harb composes the portrait of a Palestinian teenager in the 1990s, in the mirror of Israeli pop culture.

Oraib Toukan, Via Dolorosa, 2021, 21 min
13 Jul
Uncovering the early cinematography of a Palestinian revolutionary, an artist considers what it means to bear witness to suffering across time and space.

Oraib Toukan, Offing, 2021, 29 min
13 Jul
What narratives escape the frame of war? How do struggle and desire coexist in the frame of war, and how do those undergoing the unfathomable stress of war, in turn, consume media? Offing was produced in the aftermath of the 2021 Israeli onslaught on Palestinians residing in the Israeli-besieged Gaza strip. It engages the personal stories of Gaza-based artist Salman Nawati, against footage shot by Toukan that focuses on the tender and the mundane as acts of life. But also, on the inadequacy of representing suffering.

A Magical Substance Flows Into Me
A Magical Substance Flows Into Me

Exhibition
1 Jun – 20 Jul 2024

Wednesday to Saturday
21:00

Opening 
1 June 2024
18:00

Artist talk
20:00

* All films are subtitled in english