November 2017


Arab Film Series - Beyond Spring

Thursday 23.11.2017 7:30 PM | Club

Admission: €5

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

Co-Operation Flyer

Carte Blanche for Mohammad Ali Atassi/Bidayyat

Five Bidayyat short films in Arabic with English subtitles

Bidayyat is dedicated to promoting young Arab talent and film narratives from Syria. The films presented in this programme include documentaries as well as animated, experimental and feature films. They were produced in the period after the breakout of war in Syria by young Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese directors. Their shared goal is to break free from the usual stereotypes and representations.


1- Yaman
Yaman is a young inventor who invents an incredible machine that helps him to survive.

2- The Boy and the Sea
The story did not begin with the image of the Syrian child Elan, transmitted across the world, showing him washed up by the waves on the Turkish coast. And it certainly does not end with it either.

3- Now: End of Season
The Izmir garage is a station on the long migration path of thousands of Syrian refugees who choose the sea route to Europe. Will the journey be delayed?

4- 9 ½
Maha is nine and a half, a Syrian girl, and the only survivor in her family. Alone, with nothing more than a photo of her family, she embarks on a visual journey.

5- Blue
Since I left the refugee camp in Yarmouk and live in Beirut, I have a recurring dream. It takes me back to the Yarmouk camp where death and destruction have crept into every detail…





Unser Gast Mohammad Ali Atassi

is a journalist and documentary film maker. Until 1996, he studied engineering and history in Damascus and at the Sorbonne in Paris. Since 2000 he has written for various Arab and international newspapers about culture and politics. Since 2001 he has produced two short and two full-length documentaries of his own as well as producing other people’s films. His films have been screened at many festivals and he has received awards for his work. His is also the founder and director of Bidayyat for Audio-Visual Arts in Beirut.

Panel guests: Najat Abdul Haq and Christin Lüttich



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.