WHO AM I
05:48, 03:21, 02:24, 01:53 I Video I Colour & B&W I Worldwide I Current
Who Am I is a performance installation piece about transitory identity and the multiple realities we occupy in the journey of our experience. It is an ode on self-representation through gesture, movement and mime as the body becomes a metaphor for an ancient symbol no longer recognised. Who Am I is about embracing the liminal spaces of our existence. Fractured identities emerge and recede through shadow, voice and chant and these layers become personal / collective testimonies. Who Am I is an exploration on the shifting gender roles between East and West and its intrinsic connection to space over time. The piece is inspired by the female characters from Mahasweta Devi’s novels as well as Patua narrative scroll songs, frescoes and ritual worship of West Bengal. It is a unique meeting point between tradition and modernity.
Patua Scroll Workshop
Using Patua scroll painting of the sixteenth century as the starting point, Begum will invite participants to reflect on themselves to create personal narratives using the body and the voice.
Stories of Self Workshop
Stories of Self invites you to an interactive workshop on archiving with a focus on text and digital photography. Through informal discussion, experimentation and games, participants will explore what an archive is, the politics surrounding conservation, editorial processes, questions of subjectivity and decisions around self-preservation.
VISIONS OF A TRAVELLER
07:57 | 35mm | B&W I FRANCE, UK | 2013
‘In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave way to a new….’
-DH Lawrence, New Mexico 1922
Visions of a Traveller invites the viewer to take a trip to the New World in search of the explorer DH Lawrence (1928), and his intoxicated delight by the magic of dawn in New Mexico. Succumb, like us, to the poetic magic expressed through the intimate folds of the Latin soul the film immediately summons the intoxication of our navigation that scrolls through the most enchanting landscapes. In the footsteps of D.H. Lawrence, we are immersed in the New World as stages of an inner renaissance. The colourful interweaving of a personal journey whose path becomes the viewers crossing. The trip is allusively an introspective invitation where memories seamlessly glide into precise moments. We are taken into a world where the evocation woven into texts become intoxicating poetry that cultivates modesty; a sensual and fatal figure becomes a myth.
Imagine a European traveler who winds up in the New World somehow by chance….In this universe, greatly influenced by the animistic presence of nature, his life is disrupted by the sudden appearance of disquieting, strange characters and inexplicable phenomenons. Lost in an unknown, wondrous continent, he lets himself be carried away by his curiosity into this eerie land of plenty. Immersed in a world where every bit of nature has a soul, he meets with strange, fabulous circumstances. Spirits are not strange occurrences for Amerindian peoples, whose relationship with nature is ruled by myth and belief. Their cosmogony, unlike the Greeks’, is a vast, disorderly conjunction of small characters, half-real and half-imaginary, combined with the spirits of the landscape, the forest, the valley, the Sun and the Earth. As our traveller moves along in time and space his sensorial universe will be transformed. He will dive into a ubiquitous magical reality.
EPOCHS OF MEMORY
02:11:15 | Colour and B&W | UK, Bangladesh | 2006 – 2014
Epochs of Memory is a collection of experimental shorts by the visual artist and filmmaker, Sunara Begum who makes her own inner experience the centre of her films. Epochs of Memory is a modern folktale centred around a timeless character named, Ara. It is a composite of innocence, rebellion and trauma of childhood that explores the survival and sustenance of self and the acceptance of the ever-changing nature of womanhood as its principle subject. Epochs of Memory attempts to transform lived experience into everyday myth and though the female form represents the source of life and ultimately is symbolic of power, passion and triumph, it is also part of a greater mystery Ara is seeking to unravel on her journey in pursuit of truth. The creation and journey of Ara is the story of a woman born in a timeless moment, a new face of the old world. It is a sacred narrative exploring the contemporary-ancient image where Ara’s movement also marks her freedom.
THE PILGRIM WITHIN
23:51 | Video | B&W | UK, Bangladesh | 2014
The Pilgrim Within weaves sound, music, poetry and archival imagery to tell a personal story. The compositions and long transitional cross fades encapsulate a distinct cinematic language. The film takes on an autobiographical tone, both on the subject of women, the individual and wider society and can be described as a meditation on time. Filled with dramatic angles and innovative editing it investigate the ephemeral ways in which the protagonist’s intuition drives her to an inner realisation. The film is a modern day fable set against a backdrop of a divided continent, it is a powerful story about a woman and her nation. A narrative led film that traces her journey as she reflects on the Indian subcontinent as a symbol of her life, a journey of ascension towards reconciliation. It asks the question, ‘who or what would I be if I was born into a non divided subcontinent?’ The Pilgrim Within is an exploration and presentation of the South Asian spirit world and its relationship with reality. We call this ʻpara-normal realismʼ. Itʼs a story about a character who becomes a witness to the changing times of India. Love, war, circumstance, fractures and tears that tear a nation apart. The Pilgrim Within follows a woman on the cataclysm of colonialism, a continent in chaos and her unique journey to reconciling these moments in her life. Humanity binds her. War tears her nation apart. The Pilgrim Within charts the powerful resilience of the human spirit.
THE WATER’S WILL
09:13 | Video | Colour & B&W | Dhaka, Bangladesh | 2012
The Water’s Will is one woman’s evolution of lamentation and alienation through intimate reflections on life. It explores questions of homeland and the complexities of seeking a place of belonging. The Water’s Will follows a woman’s journey seeking sanctuary in the quest to overcome her feelings of displacement. The narrative is told through the eyes of the artist as she seeks to find the hidden links to her ancestry.
60:00 | Video | Colour | London & Cornwall, UK | 2011
Ara’s Dreams is about dwelling in that place of memories. It is the reflections of two nomadic characters, a dancer and a poet seeking answers to questions. The dancer transcends her lived environment by journeying into her dreams, discovering a strength and inner resolve that can fortify her against the outer reality. The poet reminisces on his life and the cultural journey of a people lived outside the heart of society. He leaves a final hand-print of the nomadic way, a receding gesture and a mark against the tide.
04:58 | 16mm I B&W | London, UK | 2010
A slow and poignant visual meditation of love, timelessness and change. In this dreamlike trilogy shot on 16mm stark black and white, the narrative unfolds through the body’s gesture. The simple narrative is a thread woven among the deeply spiritual images of the body, skin, face and movement. Ara is a visual exploration of one woman and her wider social history. It brings a unique and personal perspective interweaving prayer, chant and expressing the eternal search for solace – an inner sanctuary. The film looks at the symbolic forces between mother, father and daughter in an exploration of motherhood, femininity and cultural identity through a woman’s evolution of displacement and alienation. We are taken on a journey through prayer and recitation, remembrance, sorrow and loss.
07:14 | 16mm | Colour | London, UK | 2009
Ara’s Sojourn is an intimate personal reflection on Ara, a fictional character who explores her journey through dance, visuals and texts of memory from her past. She emerges and recedes through various locations of an urban city searching for her inner voice through movement. She seeks a place of belonging, the illusive place that is home. We begin to see her quest for freedom of expression in a world where she feels she does not belong. We see how she is herself viewed by the outside world and see her lived environment as an adopted reality.
10:17 | 8mm | B&W | London, UK I 2008
Ara’s World is an exploration of Ara’s consciousness, contextualised within her personal social environment. It asks questions regarding the nature of relationships between Ara and family and between Ara and her wider society. Issues surrounding religion, race and gender emerge from this discourse.
07:54 | 16mm | Colour | London & Cornwall |UK I 2007
Menantol is a dream reflection of a solitary figure following his muse in form of a mysterious woman. This shrouded woman becomes the elements that he must traverse and overcome in order to find his inner voice. He looks for the place of resolve, the circle of stones – Menantol
TRAVELLING, LIGHT & MEMORY
04:25 | Video | Colour | London, UK | 2006
Travelling, Light & Memory is a playful piece about movement, migration and memory through the sonic world of a child who recalls through chant memories of past. For this piece I was particularly interested in how children confront displacement of identity, circumstances of being exiled and how they find a place of comfort through recollection, repetition and song.
03:24 | 35mm I Colour I London, UK | 2006
Questions is an exploration of absence and intimacy. In it, photographs of family are examined, a family that never formed, separated as it was by divergent trajectories. Surface inspection articulates the need to know more, and to understand the significance of genetic reflection. Through the interpretation of moving image, the past is made present. In this piece, questions around perception, reality and lived experience. The audio is a series of statements and questions looking at how we define and perceive one another even before we get to speak.