Electrical Gaza (2015)
HD video, color, sound, 18 minutes
17 June 2016, 7-9pm
(film begins at 7:30pm, followed by a conversation between the filmmaker Rosalind Nashashibi and film curator Vincent Stroep)
18 June until 8 July 2016
Screenings on loop from 11 until 18:00.
It’s a portrait of Gaza as an enchanted realm — an uncertain alternate universe, isolated yet central to global politics. In her 18-minute film Electrical Gaza (2015), Rosalind Nashashibi intercuts images of daily life shot on 16mm film with vivid animated versions of the people, plants, and places presented.
Entering the Gaza Strip through the film strip, Nashashibi begins Electrical Gaza with the customary closing of a clapperboard, which cuts to the closing of the Rafah Border Crossing gate, and then cuts to an animated rendering of the politically-charged partition. From there, the normalized portrayal of Gaza as an enclosed site of interminable conflict and oppression is slowly overwritten: men sing, horses are bathed, a Hamas youth parade passes, commerce ensues, people live lives.
Meanwhile, Nashashibi depicts her own detached presence, as a British woman with Palestinian roots, by focusing on the fixer, drivers, and translator who escorted her, and through the camera’s frequent viewpoint from the backseat of a moving car.
By digitally rotoscoping certain scenes, Gaza is retraced and enters an animated state that either exaggerates the picturesque quality of the shots, or introduces phenomena more menacing than in the initial footage. This nuanced interplay between documentation and fantastic projection is further elaborated by an incongruous soundtrack that mingles sounds from the action onscreen with synthesizers, bells, and opera singing.
Thus, the ‘Electrical’ version of Gaza that Nashashibi constructs through the conflation of film, animation, and sound is at once grounded in reality and precariously dissociated from it, oscillating impossibly between cinematic and political poles. Proffering no clear narrative, a partial and subjective view of Gaza is given that accentuates what is expected or hidden or inaccessible in the representation of a place, as much as what is seen.
A film by Rosalind Nashashibi
Filmed on the Gaza Strip, June 2014
Commissioned by the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum
Director of Photography…Emma Dalesman
Animation Directed by…George Thomson & Lukas Schrank
Animation Produced by…Visitor Studio
Sound Design & Original Music…Tom Drew
Original Music…Chris Evans & Morten Norbye Halvorsen
Re-Recording Mixer…Philippe Ciompi
Colourist…Jason R Moffat
Fixer…Sarhan Abu Kalloub
Sound Recordist…Nafez Al Wehedi
Sponsor Organisation…Palestinians Without Frontiers
Sarhan Abu Kalloub
Asmahan Abu Kalloub and Family
Geert Van Kesteren
WITH THANKS TO
Aseel H.M. Afana
Mohammed Al Hawajreh
Guy Ben Ner
“Fanfare” From “Les Illuminations, Op.18”
Composed by Benjamin Britten, Texts by Arthur Rimbaud
Performed by English Chamber Orchestra
Courtesy of Naxos of America, inc.
© 1940 by Hawkes & Son (London) ltd.
Sound Sync…Ling Lee
Supported by the Henry Moore Foundation
© Rosalind Nashashibi 2015