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STREAMS VIA EVENTIVE
(available only to audiences in the US)
Free for all audiences
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Only one of two films produced by trailblazing feminist Algerian author Assia Djebar, this award-winning documentary offers a poetic look at North Africa’s Zerda festival.
Assia Djebar (1936–2015) was one of the most prominent figures in North African literature, publishing a wealth of novels and essays highlighting the role of women in their twinned struggle against colonialism and patriarchy. Djebar took a 10-year-long hiatus from writing midway through this prolific career to produce two documentary films: The Nouba of the Women of Mount Chenoua (1977) and The Zerda or the Songs of Forgetting (1982).
The Zerda or the Songs of Forgetting is a multilayered, poetic essay film that recycles archival newsreels shot in the French colonies of North Africa. Out of these colonial artifacts, Djebar recuperates the history of the Zerda festival—a merrymaking tradition indigenous to North Africa—suggesting that the power and mysticism of this ceremony is obliterated by the voyeurism of the colonial gaze. Submitted to the 1983 Berlin International Film Festival, the documentary won the title for Best Historical Film. The original copy has since vanished, with this sole remaining copy restored and digitized by the Arsenal—Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin. In French and Arabic with English and German subtitles (60 mins., video).
Image courtesy of Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art
Organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts and curated by Ohio State History of Art graduate student Dareen Hussein and Film/Video Curatorial Assistant Layla Muchnik-Benali.
This series was made possible with support from the Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme Fellowship.
FILM/VIDEO PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BY
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Rohauer Collection Foundation
WEXNER CENTER PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BY
Greater Columbus Arts Council
Mary and C. Robert Kidder
L Brands Foundation
American Electric Power Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Bill and Sheila Lambert
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
Arlene and Michael Weiss
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
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Fenwick & West LLP
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Ohio State Energy Partners
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Business Furniture Installations
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The Zerda or the Songs of Forgetting