Sheffield Fringe

Marwa Arsanios

Marwa obtained her MFA from Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts, London (2007. She has exhibited in London, Beirut, Athens, Oxford, Lisboa, Santiago de Chile, Rome and Damascus. Her work was shown at Art Dubai in the Bidoun Lounge (Art Park), at the Forum expanded of the Berlinale 2010, at the Homeworks V forum in Beirut, at Tokyo Wonder Site in Tokyo and most recently at the Istanbul Biennale. Her videos were screened in several festivals and events such as the e-flux storefront in New York, and most recently at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

She has been granted the artist’s residency at the Arab Image Foundation for 2009, the research residency at the Tokyo Wonder Site in 2010 and the 3 months residency at the Jan Van Eyck academie for 2011. Marwa is also a part-time lecturer in different Universities. She lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon.

I’ve heard Stories

I’ve heard Stories | Lebanon 2008 | HD | 5 min

This short animation explores various ways to narrate an incident that once took place in the mythical Hotel Carlton. Against images of the deserted hotel today, the artist sketches situations that evoke the rumors that once circulated around the place and the people who inhabited it.

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Have You Ever Killed a Bear? Or Becoming Jamila

Have You Ever Killed a Bear? Or Becoming Jamila | Lebanon 2013-14 | Video | 25 min

A video that uses the history of a magazine – Cairo’s Al-Hilal ‘50s and ‘60s collection – as the starting point for an inquiry into Jamila Bouhired, the Algerian freedom fighter. An actress designated to play her role is showing the magazine’s covers to the camera. From the different representations of Jamila in cinema to her assimilation and promotion through the magazine, the performance attempts to look at the history of socialist projects in Egypt, anti-colonial wars in Algeria, and the way they have promoted and marginalized feminist projects. The clear gender division used to marginalize women from the public sphere was overcome for a short moment during the Algerian war of independence (Jamila becoming its icon). Different voices and film and print material are used to explore this history. What does it mean to play the role of the freedom fighter? What does it mean to become an icon? Between role playing and political projects, how does the constitution of the subject serve certain political purposes?

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