Video still / "Have You Ever Killed a Bear or Becoming Jamila"

Who is afraid of Ideology?


Exhibition and Festival Opening

Guided tour of the exhibition with the artist on October 4th at 5 PM.

Organizing information is an inherently political act. What one chooses to prioritize, reduce or exclude is not simply a way of making stories. It is a way of making a world. Being aware of these choices and the impact that such decision-making entails is a key facet of making documentary films. It endeavours to counter conventions of making documentary films and their concealed modes of persuasion. Marwa Arsanios’ films depict not only the paradoxes its documented subjects live but also the contradictions of trying to capture such complexities on camera.

Who is afraid of ideology? Part I, shot in the mountains of Kurdistan in the early 2017, primarily focuses on the Autonomous Women's Movement in Rojava and its structures of self-governance and knowledge production. This is a guerrilla-led movement that views gender liberation as a coexisting and equal struggle to that of resolving the conflicts of war, feudalism, religious tensions and economic struggle. But despite its core emphasis on ecology and feminism, the autonomous women’s movement is not a liberal project. It is an ideology that has emerged from and is practiced through war. The movement’s most recent participation includes the Syrian Revolution which began in 2011 and remains ongoing.

Have You Ever Killed a Bear or Becoming Jamila is an inquiry into Jamila Bouhired, the Algerian freedom fighter. The research focuses on the different representations of Jamila in the cinema, and on her assimilation and promotion during the 1960’s and 1970’s in the Egyptian magazine Al-Hilal [the crescent] which used to be a major Arab cultural magazine.

Amateurs, Stars and Extras or the Labor of Love looks at the invisible care work through different languages and different groups of people talking about domestic work. In a continuous dialectic between work as a representation and the representation of work and its exploitations, the film has an optimistic take on collectivities and collective political projects.

Falling is not collapsing, falling is extending takes as its starting point for the destruction of the building where the artist grew up, and proceeds into investigating how rubble is used as a material on garbage dumps, mixed with waste, in order to build land extensions to gain land and privatize the seashore of Beirut as a strategic neoliberal capitalist real estate development.

Who is afraid of ideology? Part II looks at different ecofeminist groups including the Autonomous Women's Movement in Rojava and the way they attempt to take care of the land and themselves. Taking this as an example of an alliance between a community of women, nature and animals, Arsanios focuses on different aspects that such alternative economy and world re-building proposes. The film also problematizes the role “naturally” assigned to women, potentially falling back into care work


Another essential component of the exhibition is the Reading Room, presented as a platform for books that expand on the themes addressed in the exhibition. Open throughout the duration of the project, it invites visitors to sit and read as well as to engage in communal reading, hosting spontaneous reading groups.

The activation of the Reading Room will happen on various occasions bringing together various guests discussing particular themes or presenting new publications.

4 October, 3–5 PM
Activation No. 1:
What does Freedom Stand For?, with Jelena Petrović, Marina Gržinić and Anja Zalta

16 October, 5-7 PM
Activation No. 2:
Care as Violence, with Darja Zaviršek, Irena Šumi, Marta Verginella

27 October, 5-7 PM
Activation No. 3:
Video Art Theory, with Slavko Kačunko and Barbara Borčič


Free entrance.

Curated by Teja Reba in collaboration with Marwa Arsanios

Co-production: City of Women, Škuc Gallery, Kunstencentrum Vooruit

Date and time of event: 
Oct 04th 20:00 - Oct 31st 20:00
Place of event: 
Galerija Škuc