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Screening Online: July 14-17


This selection of films draws from ArteEast’s ArteArchive to explore the notion of absence–that which is erased, missing or forgotten–as a central theme in the works of  Lebanese filmmakers Marwa Arsanios, Ahmad Ghossein, and Ghassan Halwani

Both Marwa Arsanios and Ghassan Halwani use animation as a means to render that which is invisible visible, while Halwani also uses a process of omission and unlayering, both literal and metaphorical, to uncover the buried faces and names of those who went missing during the Lebanese Civil War.  Contrary to Halwani’s use of omission, Ahmad Ghossein applies a process of insertion, reintroducing the cut-out silhouette of his father into family photographs, as a means to mark the very present absence of his father during Ghossein’s childhood years.  From erasure, to omission and insertion, these works employ different creative devices to render that which is absent present.



I’ve Heard 3 Stories, Marwa Arsanios, Lebanon, 2009,  12 mins

Arabic with English Subtitles

My Father Is Still A Communist, Ahmad Ghossein, Lebanon, 2011, 32 mins

Arabic with English Subtitles

Erased,___Ascent of the Invisible, Ghassan Halwani, Lebanon, 2018, 76 mins

Arabic with English Subtitles

PRESENT ABSENCE is presented as part of the ArteEast legacy program Unpacking the ArteArchive, preserving and presenting over 17 years of film and video programming by ArteEast.


Image Credit: Erased,___Ascent of the Invisible, by Ghassan Halwani