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Twenty Eight Nights and A Poem

Akram Zaatari

2015 01:44:44 LebanonEnglishColorStereo16:9Film


Founded in 1997, the Arab Image Foundation preserves the legacy and collection of photographer Hashem el Madani and the Sheherazade photo studio.  This film offers a study of the photographer’s studio practice in the mid-20th Century and exploration of the essence of archives today.  Alternating between the Foundation archive and staged interventions in the artist's current studio, the film is a meditation on image making and on age itself.

"Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem (Thamaniat wa ushrun laylan wa bayt min al-sheir), the new feature-length film by artist, curator and filmmaker Akram Zaatari, mingles elements of biography and cultural history, autobiography and taxonomy to form a work that is at once acutely critical and affectionately nostalgic."

– Jim Quilty, The Daily Star Lebanon, February 13th, 2015

"The story of the studio and its role in the community [is] intertwined with close-ups of technological devices — ranging from 8mm film and radios to laptops and smartphones — that bring music, cinema, and home movies into the picture. Simultaneously, they are presented as tools through which individuals both receive culture and broadcast images of their own making."

– Museum of Modern Art, New York, Films from Here: Recent Views from the Arab World 




Written and produced by Akram Zaatari

Camera: Akram Zaatari, Mark Khalifeh, Bassem Fayad

Sound recording: Karine Basha

Assistant Director: Mohammad Talaat

Editing: Jowe Harfouche

Color Grading: Belal Hibri, Rezvisual

Sound Design: Rana Eid, db Studios

Music: Nadim Mishlawi

Produced thanks to: Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, AFAC, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture

About Akram Zaatari

Akram Zaatari is an artist who lives and works in Beirut. He has been exploring Lebanon's postwar condition through collecting testimonies and various documents, notably on the mediation of territorial conflicts and wars through television, and the logic of Resistance in the context of the current geographical division of the Middle East.

Co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation (Beirut), he based his recent work on collecting, studying, and archiving a particular collection on the Middle East, notably studying the work of Lebanese photographer Hashem el Madani (1928-) as a register of social relationships and of photographic practices.

In addition to his work as an artist, Zaatari is also the curator of the Radical Closure box set, which includes his work In This House.

Grand winner of the 17th International Contemporary Art Festival SESC_Videobrasil.

Represented in the Lebanese Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.