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Curated by Nat Muller
                                                      Screening Online on 
Part 1: March 23 – April 2
Part 2: April 13 – 20
In person screening: LAB111
March 28 at 20:00 CET
Arie Biemondstraat 111 1054 PD Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tickets here

Filmmakers Jumana Emil Abboud, Giovanni Giaretta, Anika Schwarzlose and Brian D McKenna will be present for a Q&A session after the in-person screening.

Featuring works by Jumana Emil Abboud, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Ginou Choueiri, Marie-Rose Osta, Basim Magdy, Ghassan Salhab, Muhannad Shono, Giovanni Giaretta, Anika Schwarzlose and Brian D McKenna.

This two-part program puts the weird, dark, supernatural, and fantastical at center stage. It looks at how these often-underexplored modes of the strange narrate complex historical, geopolitical, and socio-cultural realities, while opening an imaginary world of speculation and possibility. Through the enchanted otherworldliness of the spirit world, expanding universes, understated dread, and the coming to life of that what should remain petrified, these films not only mash up conceptions of time and space, but also blur the boundaries between human and nonhuman, life and nonlife. 

The works in the program travel through colonial pasts, extractivist presents, and improbable futures, rendering time and geography fluid and haunted. Landscapes, in the form of forests, waterways, deserts and mountains, become animate. While there is always a suggestion of looming catastrophe and implied violence lurking underneath, there is also an immense sense of potential. A grain of sand slumbers in the mountain’s belly, patiently waiting to transform into something else.  

By drawing on folklore, mythology, science, and the intricate entanglements between deep geological time and human historical time, these artists and filmmakers address topical issues such as dispossession, migration, protracted political, and resource extraction. Here dead matter morphs into live matter, ghosts slip into reverie, disquiet awakens desire, and fabulation destabilizes rigid belief systems.

A GRAIN OF SAND IN THE MOUNTAIN’S BELLY is co-presented by ArteEast, LI-MA and ReCNTR. This screening is part of the legacy program Unpacking the ArteArchive, which preserves and presents 20 years of film and video programming by ArteEast. Part 1 of this program is screened online on from 23 March – 2 April and Part 2 from 13 – 23 April. The program will also be screened in-person at Lab111 (Amsterdam) on March 28 followed by a post-screening discussion. For more information, visit and recntr.n

Nat Muller, PhD, is a curator, writer and researcher specializing in contemporary art from South West Asia, science fiction, and the Anthropocene. She has curated exhibitions and other projects internationally at venues such as Eye FilmMuseum, Amsterdam; The Mosaic Rooms, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; ifa Gallery, Berlin; Delfina Foundation, London; Qalandiya International, Ramallah; AUB Galleries, Beirut; Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah; International Film Festival, Rotterdam; International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen. Her writing has been published in art publications such as Ocula, ArtAsiaPacific and Hyperallergic, exhibition catalogs, and academic journals such as Science Fiction Studies and SFRA Review. She curated the Danish pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, showing Larissa Sansour’s contribution Heirloom.

Image credit: Marie-Rose Osta, Then Came Dark