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African Studies Initiative Presents

Departing Images: Citation and Archive in Hakim Belabbes’s Ashlaa’ (In Pieces)

9/29/17, 3:30 PM

About this event

This lecture is an extended reflection on the relationship between cinematic image and writing.  If cinema is the art of the present, in what ways is this mode of presentation overturned from within through certain practices of filmmaking?  Moroccan filmmaker Hakim Belabbes’s 2009 autobiographical film, Ashlaa’, is a provocative site for reflecting on this dynamic through citational and archival strategies mobilized in its composition.  Ashlaa’ came about due to a request or a commission from Belabbes’s sister so that their family could remember their father after his death.  The impulse behind the project was, therefore, genealogical and an effort at memorialization.  However, it remains to be explored whether the film succeeds in achieving either.  The question we will ask ourselves is to what extent the composition of the film undermines genealogy, both familial and cinematic; for, not only is this film about family lineage, it is also about cinema’s entangled relations with this lineage.
Nasrin Qader is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literary Studies as well as Chair of the Department of French and Italian at Northwestern University.  She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Trained as a comparatist, Qader works at the intersections of Francophone African literature, Arabic literature of the Maghreb, Islamic thought and mysticism, and contemporary literary and visual theory.  She has written on the work of Mohammad Barradah, Abdelkébir Khatibi, Abdelfattah Kilito and Tahar ben Jelloun of Morocco; on Yasmina Khadra of Algeria; on Moussa Ouled Ebnou of Mauritania; and on Boubacar Boris Diop of Senegal. 
Event Location
  • Nicholson Hall, Room 135
  • 216 Pillsbury Dr SE
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA