1After320 Film Program

Photographs by Mariam Ghani, Afghan Film Archive Lab
What We Left Unfinished: Mariam Ghani

What we left unfinished is a long-term research, film, and dialogue project centered around five unfinished Afghan feature films shot, but never edited, between 1978 and 1992: years that encompass the Afghan Communist coup d’état, attempted reforms that met bitter rural resistance, a series of internal purges and assassinations, the Soviet invasion and withdrawal, a five-year attempt at national reconciliation, the handover of power to a mujahidin coalition, and finally dissolution into civil war. Ghani’s project is an attempt to use the space of art as a way to discuss and present histories that are still off-limits in present day Afghan politics.

Screening Schedule
5 Aug: A presentation of interviews conducted by Mariam Ghani at the Afghan Film Archives alongside an installation of film posters and photographs of the Afghan Archive Film Lab. This will be followed by select screenings of short films and the Feature: Akhtar Maskara (1980) in September 2015. The films were previously screened at The Guggenheim, New York and is being presented in India for the first time.

11 Sep: Feature: Akhtar Maskara
(Akhtar the Joker, 1980, 90 min., dir. Latif Ahmadi)
A stinging social critique of the gap between rich and poor, old and new Kabulis at the end of the 1970s, and the story of an unusual young man who falls into the cracks in between. Based on the novel by Aham Rahaward Zariab, and commissioned by the Parcham government, the film was shot by beloved director Latif Ahmadi in only 18 days; perhaps because of the literary source material, perhaps because of the compressed production time, it has a quality unlike anything else in Afghan cinema, with sharp cinematography, a twisting plot, and occasional breaks where our unreliable narrator (Faqir Nabi) addresses the camera directly.

Total run time 169 min.

Mariam Ghani is an artist, writer, filmmaker and teacher. Her research-based practice spans video, installation, photography, performance, and text. Her exhibitions and screenings include the Rotterdam, CPH:DOX and transmediale film festivals, the Sharjah and Liverpool Biennials, dOCUMENTA (13) in Kabul and Kassel, MoMA in New York, the National Gallery in DC, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the CCCB in Barcelona. Recent texts have been published by Creative Time Reports, Foreign Policy, Ibraaz, Triple Canopy, and the Manifesta Journal. Recent curatorial projects include the international symposium ‘Radical Archives’, the traveling film program ‘History of Histories’ and the collaborative exhibition ‘Utopian Pulse’. Ghani has collaborated with artist Chitra Ganesh since 2004 as Index of the Disappeared, an experimental archive of post-9/11 detentions, deportations, renditions and redactions; with choreographer Erin Kelly since 2006 on the video series Performed Places; and with media archive collective Pad.ma since 2012 on the Afghan Films online archive. Ghani has been awarded the NYFA and Soros Fellowships, grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters, the Graham Foundation, CEC ArtsLink, NYSCA, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Experimental Television Center, and residencies at LMCC, Eyebeam Atelier, Smack Mellon, the Akademie Schloss Solitude, and NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from NYU and an MFA from SVA. Ghani currently teaches in the Social Practice program at Queens College and is a Visiting Artist at the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Felipe Steinberg, Still from North by Northwest, North by Northwest
Carlos Motta, Still from Nefandus
Latin America: David Ayala Alfonso

Defining Latin America beyond its geography and through the lens of culture is a challenge. The attempt to cast the denomination of a region have been recurrent for centuries, and has been closely related to independent processes and narratives. The idea of a Latin America lives in different versions that respond to an equivalent number of ends. There is a Latin America that lives in the political discourse of power that is in tension with other versions of the concept, particularly those in the context of cultural expression be it cinema, visual arts or music. Artists have thus developed discourses that call on an approach in presenting an idea of Latin America that is empathetic to what takes place within communities through nodes and networks of global exchange. Works in the selection potray a complex articulation of identities, filiations and oppositions that produce audio-visual discourse in the different countries of the region. Personal stories mingle with international connections and hybridizations, cultural contingencies and political utterances in depictions of contemporary Latin America.

Artists include: Felipe Steinberg, Carlos Motta, Laura Huertas Millan, Regina Parra, Claudia Joskowicz, Amanda Gutierrez, Carlos Guzman and Ana Tomimori.

David Ayala Alfonso is a Colombian curator, artist, and researcher. He works as Editor in Chief for em_rgencia, a peer-reviewed journal on contemporary art. His practice is focused on examining social movements, public policies, education, and media consumption through the lens of arts and visual culture. Ayala Alfonso has published writings on Colombian art history, arts education, independent spaces, performance, and artistic interventions in the public realm. He is also an occasional writer and translator for different academic publications. As part of Group 0,29, he has produced various performances and intervention projects in Colombia and Latin America. Recently, he has been awarded the annual Arts Publishing Prize from the cultural office of the City of Bogota and the Fulbright Grant for Colombian Artists to pursue graduate studies in the United States in 2013