Nov 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm
With Liwaa Yazji and Jason Fox.
HAUNTED Liwaa Yazji, Syria, 2014, 112 minutes
This screening is supported by CEC Arts Link and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, in conjunction with the exhibition and conference Abounaddara. The Right to the Image, presented at Parsons from October 22 through November 11, 2015.
“When the bombs fell, the first thing we did was run away. It was not until later that we realized we had not looked back. We were not allowed to say goodbye to our home, our memories, our photos and the life that was lived within them. We have become vacant like these spaces; our hastily packed belongings and the forgotten things haunt us.”
An uncertain existence followed the escape and expulsion from Syria that tumbled into a physical and mental nowhere, a non-space between yesterday and tomorrow. Haunted tells of the loss of home and security, of the the meanings that a home has in one’s life.
Haunted received a Special Mention Prize for a First Film at FID Marseille, 2014.
Awarded a Special Mention in (FID Marseille’s) First Film category, Yazji’s film is harrowing but affectionate, struggling to maintain contact on those who remain in their homes amid bombings, depletion of supplies, and mounting and uncertainty and dread. Through Skype conversations and owner-led tours of damaged homes, the film constructs an almost metonymic nostalgia for a lost homeland, invested in devastated apartments and salvaged heirlooms.
Liwaa Yazji was born in Moscow in 1977. She is a graduate of Theater Studies in Damascus/Syria and worked in the fields of theater dramaturgy, playwriting, and screen writing. She acted in Abdullatif Abulhamid’s September Rain (Syria 2009) and was assistant director of Allyth Hajjo and Ammar Alani’s docudrama Windows of the Soul (Syria 2011). In 2012, she published her first play “Here in the Garden” and is currently preparing the second one with the Royal Court. In 2014, her poetry book Peacefully, we leave home was published in Beirut. She wrote the screen play for the TV drama series The Brothers (2013) which was broadcast on Abu Dhabi TV, CBC Egypt, and LBC Lebanon. Haunted (Syria/Germany 2014) is Liwaa’s directorial debut.
Jason Fox is a filmmaker and professor based in New York City. He has taught at Vassar College, Cooper Union and at CUNY Hunter College. As well, he has worked as a documentary programmer in conjunction with The American Museum of Natural History, The Flaherty Seminar, and Maysles Cinema, among others. He also serves on the Board of Organization for Visual Progression, an organization that partners with social justice organizations to provide training on using visual media in their advocacy efforts. He holds an MA from New York University and and MFA from CUNY Hunter College.
The Vera List Center for Art and Politics
Founded in 1992 and named in honor of the late philanthropist, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School is dedicated to serving as a catalyst for the discourse on the role of the arts in society and their relationship to the sociopolitical climate in which they are created. It seeks to achieve this goal by organizing public programs that respond to the pressing social and political issues of our time as they are articulated by the academic community and by visual and performing artists. The center strives to further the university’s educational mission by bringing together scholars and students, the people of New York, and national and international audiences in an exploration of new possibilities for civic engagement. www.veralistcenter.org