June 2017


Arab Film Series - Beyond Spring

Thursday 08.06.2017 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

Houses Without Doors von Avo Kaprealian

Documentary, Syria/Lebanon, 2016, 60 min., Arabic/Armenian with English subtitles
Guest/panelist: Amir Moosavi


From the balcony of his family’s apartment in Aleppo’s Midan district, Avo Kaprealian began chronicling daily life on the streets, capturing the sense of foreboding rapidly approaching with the violent conflict engulfing the country. Once in a while, the father breaks his silence to reprimand his son for endangering the entire family. In contrast, the mother avails herself to the camera, recounting events and divulging emotion without reserve. Midan’s residents are mainly descendants of survivors of the Armenian genocide, who fled their homes in modern-day Turkey to settle in Aleppo. As the armed conflict hits their street, Kaprealian’s lens turns inward to record the family’s quotidian life and how they cope with shelling, snipers and power cuts. For Armenian-Syrians, whose memory is deeply etched with the tragedy of forced exile, the prospect of leaving their homes and lives behind to escape death echoes like an ancestral trauma being relived. Kaprealian invokes the history of cinema to incarnate his family’s agonising present and transforms an archive of the imaginary into one of lived experience, stitching together ruptures in modern history and providing condolence for grief. (excerpt: Berlinale program, 2016)





Amir Moosavi Amir Moosavi obtained his PhD from New York University's Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (2016). He also holds an MA in Near Eastern Studies from NYU (2007) and a BA in History and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin. His research interests include modern Arabic and Persian literatures, with an emphasis on Iran, Iraq and the Levant, and the cultural history of the modern Middle East. He has taught courses in Middle Eastern and Islamic history as well as Arabic and Persian languages and literatures at NYU, Bard College, and Hunter College. His dissertation focused on Arabic and Persian fiction from the Iran-Iraq War. He is a 2016/17 EUME Fellow of the Volkswagen Stiftung & A.W. Mellon Foundation.


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.