On Coloniality and Extractive Archaeology
Program of Screenings and Discussions

17 May – 14 June 2023 | Wednesdays | 6:30 pm

In conjunction with Ali Kaaf’s solo exhibition, I Know the Emptiness of this House, we will be screening a selection of films that examines extractive archaeology through the lens of colonial policies, acts of looting, appropriation, cancellation, and theft throughout history.

The selection of films includes:

Wednesday 17 May: Statues Also Die (1953, Alain Resnais, Chris Marker, and Ghislain Cloquet, 30 min).

The documentary Statues Also Die focuses on the systematic decontextualization of African art under colonialist policies where the pieces lose much of their idiosyncratic expression, in order to appeal to Western audiences. 

Wednesday 24 May: The Night of Counting the Years
(1969, Shadi Abdel Salam, 102 min).

The restored version of the first and only feature-length film by costume and set designer Shadi Abdel Salam, the film titled The Night of Counting the Years takes us back in time to the late 17th century and the true story of an Upper-Egyptian clan that has been stealing and selling mummies discovered at a tomb. 

Wednesday 31 May: Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010, Werner Herzog, 89 min).

We enter The Cave of Forgotten Dreams with acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog to discover the story of the oldest human-painted images.

Wednesday 7 June: Saving Mes Aynak (2014, Brent E. Huffman, 60 min).

In Saving Mes Aynak, We travel with an Afghan archaeologist to what has been discovered from an ancient Buddhist city threatened with imminent demolition to make room for a huge mining project. 

Wednesday 14 June: Jerusalem Pink (2015, Maeve Brennan, 41 min).

In Jerusalem Pink, we explore the role of stone in Palestine in relation to the ongoing architectural restoration of the Dome of the Rock.

Films are screened in their original language with English subtitles. Screenings are private and open to a limited number of attendees upon registration. Each screening will be followed by a discussion session. Further viewing links and reading materials will be shared with the participants. Participants are expected to attend all sessions.