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mazefilm film & gender - politics

stagings: Kabul, Film & Production of RepresentationThursday 27 May, 6-8.30pm

The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street, London NW8 8PQ
The Showroom hosts the book launch of
stagings: Kabul, Film & Production of Representation von Sandra Schäfer.

In stagings: Kabul, Film & Production of Representation author, artist and filmmaker Sandra Schäfer brings up the question of media and political images of Afghanistan. City and cinema create stages for the counter-production of representation, and for new definitions and reinterpretations of gender roles and power relations.

The book addresses urban issues beyond ‘the civitas’ but also keeps an eye on cultural production, image politics and media strategies. Highlighted films, international exhibitions and festivals explore the resistive role of gender politics in Afghanistan, with a secondary aim of undermining the instrumentalisation of the ‘women’s question’ for interventionist-political purposes. The book also presents photographs, film stills and related documents from the past forty years.

A rich docu-fictional range is spanned, from a staged demonstration re-enacting historical protests of women against the Taliban regime to real protests against the new Afghan family law. Interviews with Kabul filmmaker and women rights activist Diana Saqeb, award winning filmmaker Siddiq Barmak, and Afghan-Canadian journalist and filmmaker Nelofer Pazira reflect gender issues and current work. Film critic Madeleine Bernstorff examines the film Passing the Rainbow by Sandra Schäfer and Elfe Brandenburger. Portraits of actresses Aiqela Rezaie (Five in the Afternoon by Samira Makhmalbaf) and Hamida Refah (Kite Runner by Marc Foster) and the martial arts film director Saba Sahar provide insight to the landscape of film production in Kabul.

At the book launch Sandra Schäfer will present film clips and photographs, and will discuss questions around the representation of gender on the level of film, political work and daily life in Kabul with the film critic Madeleine Bernstorff and researcher Khadija Abbasi.

Khadija Abbasi has lived for more than 20 years in Iran as an Afghan refugee and is currently based in London. She has worked with both, British and International non-governmental organizations in the area of migration, gender equality and human rights in Afghanistan, Iran and United Kingdom. She is a PhD candidate and her research focuses on how identity is transformed through migration within the Shiite Hazara community that migrated from Afghanistan to Iran. She overlays this with an analysis of gender prespectives.

Madeleine Bernstorff works as a film/video programmer, writer and teacher, preferably in collaborative structures. She is interested in film as aesthetic/political device for social dialogues, as well as in archives as a collective memory of society.

Sandra Schäfer works as an artist, writer and film/video programmer. In her filmic work she is interested in the image as a social process and the production of representation. Sandra Schäfer has previously dealt with themes of representation of gender, urbanity and (post-) colonialism. Schäfer has worked in Kabul and Tehran since 2002. She has been involved in different collaborative projects with cultural producers and activists in Afghanistan, Iran, Spain, Great-Britain and Germany.

stagings. Kabul, Film & Production of Representation was published in the book series metroZones/media, edited by Jochen Becker with Stephan Lanz in the Berlin publishing house b_books.,234