Memhardstrasse 1, Berlin.
September 13 —October 18, 2008
The film Passing the Rainbow, shot in Kabul by Sandra Schäfer and Elfe Brandenburger in 2007, serves as the starting point for the exhibition stagings. The film presents female Afghan filmmakers and their strategies for subverting the gender norms of Afghan society.
The exhibition was divided in two parts. In the first part, staging democracy, the video installation to act in history and the mobile cinema with a selection of films from Kabul were presented. The films were all made in the year 2007 and dealt in different ways and from different perspectives with the process of democratization since 2002 and the role of Gender in this process.
In the dual channel video installation to act in history, Sandra Schäfer combines rare material from the photo archives of the historian Nancy Hatch Duprée and the Williams Afghan Media Project with her own footage, collected from multiple research trips to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2008. The installation reflects the creative process behind her film Passing the Rainbow that was made in Kabul and the reception of the film in Kabul and Berlin. It also traces the representation of women in Afghanistan through historical images. Each photograph marks a specific gesture, accessory or action that crosses gender relations. I interwove the selection of photos from the 1910s, 20s and 60s with the narrative from the present.
In the second part, staging civil war, in JET’s back room, the exhibition traces an arc to the short film Saya (Shadow) by Nacir Alqas. Finally finished in 1990 in Kabul after a two-year ban, Saya tells the story of a war widow whose new husband refuses to accept her son from her first marriage. The documentary setting and the dramatic work of the lead actress recall the films of Italian neorealism. The film further references the short and changeful history of Afghan Cinema.