This event is in the past
Wednesday, April 3, 7:30 pm
The Beacon Columbia City (Seattle)
This is an in-person event

The following description comes from the event organizer.

In her cinematic investigation into the Palestinian practice of foraging za’atar (a thyme-like herb) and ’akkoub (a wild artichoke-like plant), artist Jumana Manna reveals the perils involved in the preservation of Arab traditions under Israeli law. Her inventive blend of fiction, documentary and archival footage in FORAGERS coalesces into a warm portrait of a community whose daily activities resist continued repression.

Beginning with archival footage from a ‘70s Israeli TV program in which the popularity of za’atar among Arabs is being discussed, the film shows an Israeli businessman boasting about his decision to start planting and selling za’atar, transforming the herb from a public good typically foraged by Palestinians into an agricultural commodity that profits Israelis. (It is no coincidence the footage is from the same decade that saw a public ban on the collection of za’atar in Israel.) Manna’s film is clear about how business and politics are embroiled in the continued erasure of Palestinian culture to such effect that the “very simple act of going out and collecting wild weeds becomes about a much wider politics of land control and sovereignty.”

For Manna, FORAGERS is the product of her longstanding interest in the “politics of preservation” and her own experience foraging alongside her parents, who appear throughout the film. Her refusal to let Israeli authorities decide “what gets preserved and gets erased” informs her approach to filmmaking, in which the documentation of family customs affirms Palestinian values and traditions against systemic attempts at blotting a people, their land, and their culture from the world’s collective memory.

“Manna channels filmmakers like Trinh T. Minh-ha and Jafar Panahi, expositing in tri-medium measurements, mixing recreation and clandestine archival to seamlessly showcase methods of imposition and the subsequent fortitude of a people. Manna presents a duality of resistance, documenting the continued righteous foraging of these plants while refusing to cooperate with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority by opting for staged sequences. Her undertaking results in an almost mandatory piece of historical text.” - Ben Farber

Event Location

The Beacon

4405 Rainier Ave S. Seattle, WA 98118 Venue website

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