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REDZONE Showcase Artists

REDZONE Showcase Artists

In collaboration with Norway’s Kirkelig Kulturverksted (KKV), Redzone is a festival that “focuses on freedom of expression through the arts and emphasizes the ability of the arts to dig deeply into the darkness of oblivion and concealment in the history of mankind.” This year’s showcase continues with the theme of freedom of expression, drawing attention to the artists whose art focuses delve into this. Many of the artists in this showcase also highlight the idea of ‘overcoming barriers’ as both a common global theme and one that is especially relevant to the region. An interesting aspect of this showcase is the particular emphasis on the ideas of inclusion and dialogue to conquer the barriers that separate us.

The artists and films participating in the REDZONE showcase of Spring Festival are:

47SOUL [PALESTINE/JORDAN]branding example

REDZONE Showcase | Music

Performance in Tunis

47SOUL is an Electro-Mijwez and Choubi (Shamstep) band formed in Amman Jordan in 2013. Overcoming physical and logistical challenges,they came together to play electronic Palestinian street music. 47SOUL writes and performs to speak about freedom of movement, whether that’s sparking new dance styles or singing about breaking down border checkpoints. The band introduced a new genre of music, ShamStep, which combines Debka, the traditional Palestinian street music and dance, with deep electronic beats mixed with sounds of the Middle East. The electronic and urban influence in their music takes them outside of the ‘world music’ box and places them in the genre of a new generation of international electronic/hip hop acts that are reinventing the old for the future. The members are rooted in Bilad Al-Sham, spanning the divides from Amman to the Galilee, the Golan Heights to Ramallah. They released their debut album, Shamstep, in June 2015 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. Since then, they have toured the world, playing everything from cozy indie venues to big summer festivals, including Glastonbury (UK), WOMAD (UK), Samanaa Mazzektak (EGYPT) and Shubbak (UK). The band is made up of El Far3i (MC, Vocals/MC, percussion), Hamza Arnaout (Vocals, Guitar, Electronics), Walaa Sbeit (Vocals, Percussion) and Ramzy Suleiman (Vocals, Keys, Electronics).

ARTIST LINKS

Website      Facebook        Soundcloud         Youtube       Twitter

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Ferhat Tunç & Ertan Tekin [TURKEY]IMG_0413

REDZONE Showcase | Music

Performance in Beirut

Performance in Tunis

Ferhat Tunç

Kurdish-Turkish musician, Ferhat Tunç, was born in 1964 in Turkey’s eastern region, Dersim. He began playing music at an early age, becoming a prolific player of the bağlama (a traditional stringed musical instrument) and the saz (a traditional stringed musical instrument) His music has been censored in Turkey because of his insistence to sing in Kurdish. Much of his work focuses on issues of oppression, exile, humiliation and persecution. Tunç is a winner of the Freemuse Award for his work. The Freemuse Award is given to an individual or an organization that “has worked for the freedom of musical expression in a remarkable way”. Tunç is considered to be an important voice for the rights of the Kurds.

ARTIST LINKS

Website        Facebook       Twitter       Youtube

Ertan Tekinertan tekin 3

Born in İstanbul, Ertan Tekin was introduced to music at the age of 6.  He learned to play many instruments from his father and specialized in the duduk, mey and zurna. . Much of his music focuses on Kurdish, Armenian and Anatolian traditional music. He released his first album, Demans (Dementia), in 2011. He has worked with various musicians and composed music for television and motion picture.

ARTIST LINKS

Facebook             Soundcloud

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Tania El Khoury [LEBANON]Copy of Headshot (1)

Gardens Speak

REDZONE Showcase | Interactive Sound Installation

Performance in Beirut

Tania El Khoury is a live artist working in London and Beirut. She creates interactive installations and performances in which the audience is an active collaborator. Tania’s work has been shown in five continents in spaces ranging from museums to cable cars. She is the recipient of the Total Theatre Innovation Award and the Arches Brick Award. Tania is currently working on a practice-based PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research and publications focus on interactive Live Art after the Arab uprisings. Tania is associated with Forest Fringe, a community of artists making space for risk and experimentation at the Edinburgh Festival and beyond, and is co-founder of Dictaphone Group, an urban research and site-specific performance collective in Beirut.

Copy of jessehunniford-gardenspeak (6 of 8)SYNOPSIS | Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the uprising. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments to the regime. Gardens Speak is an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted it. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

ARTIST LINKS

Website       Vimeo

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Omar Offendum [Syria/USA]Omar_Offendum_001 

REDZONE Showcase | Music

Performance in Beirut

Performance in Tunis

Omar Offendum is a Syrian-American Hip-Hop artist – born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Washington DC and living in Los Angeles. He has been featured on several international news outlets (including: Aljazeera, PBS, LA Times, Rolling Stone, VICE, NY Times, and The European), toured the world to promote his music, helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for various humanitarian relief organizations, lectured at a number of academic institutions, and, most recently, been involved in creating several songs about the popular democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East & North Africa. He is currently working on several new projects while touring to promote his solo release ‘SyrianamericanA‘.

ARTIST LINKS

Website           Facebook          Twitter            Soundcloud         Youtube

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FILM SCREENINGS FROM IRAQ & TUNISIAMohamed Al-Daradji 3

Be it in Iraq, before or after the American invasion, or through an immigrant journey during the Gulf War, or a personal loss in Tunisia, the stories in this year’s Spring Festival film selection vary and yet begin from similar realities, turning every moment into a profound reflection on the complexities of human relations. The common thread in all four films is a reflection on the current rationale for change, questioning the distance (or lack of) between the personal and the political in today’s Arab landscape.  

Abbas Fadhel [IRAQ]

Homeland: Iraq Year Zero (2015)iraq-year-zero-big[1]

REDZONE Showcase | Cinema

Performance in Beirut

Performance in Tunis

SYNOPSIS | This two-part film chronicles of everyday life in Iraq before and after the U.S. invasion.

Part I: BEFORE THE FALL: For several months, the director filmed a group of Iraqis, mostly members of his family, in their expectation of the war. This first part of the film ends with the start of U.S. strikes on Baghdad.

Part II: AFTER THE BATTLE: Americans invades Iraq and the film shows the consequences of this invasion on the everyday life of the characters. The film ends with the violent death of one of the main characters: the nephew of the filmmaker, twelve years old boy Haidar.

About the Director Abbas Fahdel is an Iraqi-French film director, screenwriter and film critic, born in Babylon, Iraq. Based in France, Fahdel returned to Iraq in January 2002 to film his documentary, Back to Babylon (film), in which he asked himself: “What have my childhood friends become? How have their lives changed? What would my life have been like if I hadn’t chosen to build my destiny elsewhere?” The country’s dramatic situation is the background of this introspective investigation. One year later, in February 2003, when a new war seemed imminent, Fahdel returned to Iraq with the intention of filming his family and friends, and the superstitious hope of protecting them against the dangers threatening them. When the war started, he returned to France and lost all contact with his family. Two months later, he again returned to Iraq and discovered a country shaken by violence and the nightmare of dictatorship replaced by chaos, but a country where, nonetheless, everything remains possible. This historical moment is the theme of his second documentary film, We Iraqis. In 2008, he directed the feature film Dawn of the World, a war-drama in which he gives an unexpected account of the multiple impacts of the Gulf Wars and how they have dramatically damaged an area known to be the geographic location of the biblical Garden of Eden. In 2015, he filmed his monumental documentary of 334 minutes, Homeland (Iraq Year Zero), which traces the changing life of Iraqis before and after the American invasion.

DIRECTOR LINKS

  Trailer                   Website

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Hisham Zaman [IRAQ]Letter to the King movie poster

Letter to the King  (2014)

REDZONE Showcase | Cinema

Performance in Beirut

Performance in Tunis

SYNOPSIS | A group of refugees are on a bus bound for Oslo, visiting the capital city in a land promising new beginnings. But for five people, it’s a day to rectify their past and justify a new future. We follow them as they each explore their possibilities – a secret love, a new life, a white lie, fulfilling a dream and avenging the death of a husband.  Their stories are bound together by a letter to the King of Norway, written by eighty-two year old Mirza.

About the Director Hisham Zaman (b. 1975), graduated from The Norwegian Film School at Lillehammer in 2004. His short film The Bridge (2003), made in collaboration with fellow students and privately financed, won The Norwegian Playwright’s Association’s Award for Best Screenplay at the Norwegian Short Film Festival in 2003. His diploma film The Roof (2004) was invited to, and screened at, several international film festivals. Arguably his breakthrough film, Bawke (2005) became a hit on the international festival circuit and has received more than 40 national and international awards. In 2007 he directed another noteworthy short film; the comedic drama Winterland (2007), a warm and humorous diaspora-story about a Kurdish refugee settled in godforsaken spot in Northern Norway. In 2013 Hisham Zaman is releasing his debut feature film “Before Snowfall” – A road movie that becomes an odyssey from East to West for young Siyar, a village boy from Iraqi-Kurdistan.

DIRECTOR LINKS

Trailer           Website

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Mohamed Al Daradji [IRAQ]English poster

In the Sands of Babylon (2013)

REDZONE Showcase | Cinema

Performance in Beirut

Performance in Tunis

 

SYNOPSIS | 1991 Gulf War: Ibrahim an Iraqi soldier has escaped from Kuwait as the army retreats. He now faces the dangerous journey home with only one path: across the southern desert, the no-man’s-land between Saddam’s Regime and the American intervention. With no place to hide, he is soon captured by the Republican Guard and cast into Saddam’s infamous prisons, suspected of being a traitor. But as Ibrahim’s fate seems written, the Iraqi people are uprising beyond the prison walls, instilling hope in those held captive, that the freedom they long for beckons. 

2013: In search of answers about the past, the Director of the film confronts three survivors of the uprising. A photographer with a painful secret, a farmer who hides his scars to forget, and an ex-prisoner whose humanity was savagely taken from him. By unravelling the courageous and tragic secrets of these survivors, the Director seeks to reveal the truth behind Ibrahim’s journey. Through the past and the present, fiction and reality, he revisits a fateful climax in the killing fields of Babylon.

Will the uprising end the heinous crimes of Saddam Hussein and finally set them all free?

About the Director Mohamed Al-Daradji is a critically acclaimed and multi-award winning filmmaker. Born in Baghdad, he studied film in Hilversum (Netherlands) before travelling to the UK to complete two master’s degrees in cinematography and directing at the Northern Film School in Leeds. In 2005 he co-founded the multi-award winning Human Film, a UK & Netherlands based feature film Production Company. In 2003, Mohamed began production on his first feature film, Ahlaam; an insight into the chaos and confusion of a war-torn Iraq, which went on to receive over 23 awards. The success of Ahlaam resulted in a documentary film, Iraq: War, Love, God & Madness (2008). The film was made entirely from behind the scenes footage, showing the trials and trauma of filming in the chaos of Baghdad. As a Sundance fellow, Mohamed embarked on his second feature film, Son of Babylon (2010), which went on to screen at Sundance and Berlin, receiving the Amnesty and Peace Prize, followed by a BIFA, Netpac and 30 more awards globally. It was Iraq’s official entry for the 2011 Academy Awards. In 2010 Mohamed received named Variety’s Middle Eastern Filmmaker of the year when his documentary In My Mother’s Arms premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the Asia Pacific Screen Academy Award for best Documentary. In 2013 he began work on his 5th feature In The Sands of Babylon; a companion piece to the critically acclaimed Son of Babylon. The film Premiered at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, winning the award for best narrative feature from the Arab world.

DIRECTOR LINKS

 Trailer                    Website               Facebook

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