AFK | Screenings

The image is not going to speak for itself

Oraib Toukan , Mohanad Yaqubi
Curated by: wave~form~projects
Blue-tinged close-up of a pair of feet wearing white flats, slightly tip-toeing on concrete.
Outdoor courtyard with a crowd of people witnessing a trio of people featuring a salute to the Palestinian flag—green, red and white—set atop a flagpole.

Via Dolorosa

Oraib Toukan
GERMANY, JORDAN | 2021 | 16MM > DIGITAL | 21 MIN | English and Arabic

Footage shot by the late photographer and cinematographer, Hani Jawharieh, is slowed down, studied, and re-assembled with material from where it was found. Piles of film reels discarded by former Soviet cultural centers in Amman, Jordan are accompanied with commentary by literary and film scholar Nadia Yaqub. Via Dolorosa (a Latin name, often translated in Arabic as “way of suffering”) is itself a processional route that Jawharieh filmed in his birth city of Jerusalem.

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April 14, 2024
3:00PM 4:30PM EDT
Innis Town Hall

2 Sussex Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5

Sidewalk-level entrance, elevator and ramp available, door width 32 inches, no automatic doors. No accessible parking on-site. Four wheelchair accessible seats in the cinema. 15 step-free seats in row 9. Accessible gender-neutral washroom located on the 2nd and 3rd floor.

For a map of Innis Town Hall, click here

COVID-19 Policy

Images Festival is committed to providing an accessible festival and continues to work to reduce barriers to participation at our events. This year, we are implementing a COVID-19 policy to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for all, and to prioritize the participation of people who are disability-identified, immunocompromised, or part of an otherwise vulnerable group.

The following guidelines will be in place: Self-Assessment: We ask that staff and participants screen themselves for COVID-19 before visiting the exhibition.

The image is not going to speak for itself explores the possibilities of processing archival footage in the hands of two filmmakers as they read, navigate, and probe our understanding of historic events. Both films in this program use archival footage by radical Palestinian and international filmmakers who formed the Palestine Film Unit; a collective cinematic movement starting in the late 1960s and lasting up to the early 1980s. Strategies employed by filmmakers Oraib Toukan and Mohanad Yaqubi highlight careful acts of assembly that question the contemporary lens through which we view these historical documents and thus our responsibility in the act of witnessing and decoding. 

Via Dolorosa, featuring footage by cinematographer Hani Jawharieh and commentary by film scholar Nadia Yaqub, follows a processional route in the city of Jerusalem. The filmmaker unpacks a violent encounter by slicing, granulating, and narrating the image to chart its impact on the viewer, both visually and viscerally. Yaqub’s detailed commentary gives historical context to the reels and questions what is revealed and concealed in those images. By contrast, Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory compiles a reel of salvaged and restored cinematic and documentary scenes, shifting from dream to reality, fiction to propaganda. Assembled from newsreels, journalistic photography, and militant footage, the film charts a people’s history of an intergenerational Palestinian revolutionary and pedagogical project, poignantly casting us back in time to underscore the elasticity of the present. The filmmaker's presence is felt as creator and spectator, bringing us into a portal of possibilities for collective witnessing. By piecing together a filmic Palestinian narrative, Off Frame asserts the right of Palestininians to construct their own image, their own hopes and desires. 

Borrowing the words of Nadia Yaqub in Via Dolorosa, The image is not going to speak for itself embraces the inherent tensions in archival images, seen and read through the ruptures of the current moment. The program asks what is possible of archives as sites for the activation of a different relationality. By reminding us of the capaciousness of the archive, the films conjure the ways bodily mobilization can counter the catastrophic image, generating imminent energy for the revolutionary moment. 

This screening is co-presented with re:assemblage collective

Active listeners from HELD Agency will be present for this screening.

Oraib Toukan

Oraib Toukan is an artist, writer, and educator. She is author of the book Sundry Modernism (Sternberg Press, 2017), and the films Offing (2021), and When Things Occur (2017) among others. She holds a PhD in Fine Arts from Oxford University, Ruskin School of Art (2019).

Mohanad Yaqubi

Mohanad Yaqubi is a filmmaker, producer, and one of the founders of the Ramallah-based production house, Idiom Films. He is also one of the founders of the research and curatorial collective Subversive Films, which focuses on militant film practice. Since 2017, he is a resident researcher at The School of the Art (KASK) in Ghent, Belgium.