March 2017


Arab Film Series - Beyond Spring

Thursday 30.03.2017 8:00 PM | Saal

Admission: €5

Organizer: Werkstatt der Kulturen/ Mayadin al Tahrir e.V. / EUME
Curation: Viola Shafik

Co-Operation Flyer

Arab Film Series - Beyond Spring

"In This Land Lay Graves of Mine" by Reine Mitri

Documentary, Lebanon 2015, 110 minutes, Arabic with English subtitles

Guests/discussion: Rabih El-Khoury and Khaled Saghieh



Selling her land in a “Christian village” to a Muslim has taken the director of the film on a journey into present-day territorial and demographic fears between Lebanon’s communities. These fears perpetuate past traumas generated from massacres and forced displacements, which were perpetrated on sectarian basis during the civil war. Since the war ended in 1990, land transactions are completing what the war has not achieved: dividing the country into sectarian enclaves.

By intimately interweaving her own memory with the narratives of displacements of the protagonists, the film reveals a dark present where an exploding landscape reflects the communities’ reciprocal fears, hatred and intolerance, as the Middle East region is witnessing new forced displacements of minorities and ethnic cleansing.

After the film there will be a discussion with: Rabih El-Khoury and Khaled Saghieh.




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Rabih El-Khoury holds a BA in Journalism from the Lebanese American University in Beirut and has a Masters degree in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University in London.

He has been working with the Metropolis Association, which manages Metropolis Art Cinema, the only art house cinema in Lebanon, since its inception in 2006 as administrator and then as Managing Director. He has also worked for the cultural association Beirut DC for the promotion of Arab Cinema, as visibility coordinator for its EU-funded project Med-Screen and as general coordinator for its Arab film festival The Cinema Days of Beirut since 2006. He has also organized more than 15 Arab film weeks in the Arab World and Europe. Rabih El-Khoury is currently the Programme Manager of Talents Beirut and is a member of the administrative board of the Metropolis Association. He is as well programmer for The Cinema Days of Beirut and Alfilm, the Arab Film Festival in Berlin.

Khaled Saghieh began his career as a journalist in 1998 at the Lebanese daily al-Safir. Until 2011, he was the deputy editor-in- chief of the daily al-Akhbar. Between 2012 and 2015, Saghieh worked as editor-in- chief of the news department at the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI). He also earned an MA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

In his book project entitled Of the Left and Other Demons, Saghieh retraces his trajectory as a journalist navigating both a turbulent region and a mutating political tradition. At the intersection of autobiography and historiography, the book makes visible the fault lines of the contemporary Arab and Lebanese left and attempts to identify the prospects of leftist ideologies of emancipation.

Beyond Spring - Arab FILM SERIES


In 2010, the Tunisian protest movement triggered a wave of upheavals across the Middle East and North Africa that became known as “the Arab Spring”. However, there is also a history to tell beyond “Spring”.

Since 2014, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has been highlighting films from several Arab countries as part of the Arab Film Series, with this specific selection of films curated by Viola Shafik. It aims at exploring some major social and political issues in the region and further our understanding of various dynamics in regards to class, gender and politics in general, as well as explore topics concerning confessionalism, social justice and the question of Palestine.

The screenings will be accompanied by moderated panels with academic experts from the Berlin-based research program Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe (EUME) at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin.





Viola Shafik, PhD is a filmmaker, curator and film scholar. She has authored among others Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity, AUC-Press, Cairo, 1998 and Popular Egyptian Cinema: Gender, Class and Nation, AUC-Press, 2007. She has lectured at the American University in Cairo and Zürich University and is in the selection committee of the Rawi Screenwriters Lab and the Berlinale World Cinema Fund. She has directed several documentaries, most notably Ali im Paradies/My Name is not Ali (2011) and Arij - Scent of Revolution (2014).

She currently teaches at Humboldt University Berlin, as well as at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich.

An event in cooperation with Mayadin al Tahrir e.V. and EUME (Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe).




The facilities of the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN are accessible to wheelchair users. Please call us in advance on +49 (0)30 60 97 70-0 to ensure proper access support.