Socialist Worker

Electrical Gaza—the hope and terror in a siege city

by Eleanor Woyen
Issue No. 2575

Rosalind Nashashibi

Rosalind Nashashibi


If Rosalind Nashashibi doesn’t win the Turner arts prize, then something’s gone wrong.

All of the artists shortlisted, such as Lubaina Himid, Andrea Buttner and Hurvin Anderson, are thought provoking.

But Nashashibi’s film Electrical Gaza stands out way above the rest. It was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum and filmed in the Gaza Strip in June 2014.

Gaza is one of the most densely populated territories on earth and it’s under siege from Israel.

The Israelis were already bombarding Gaza on Nashashibi’s first night there. And after a few days, she got a call from the foreign office asking her and the crew to leave because it was unsafe.

Playing

Nashashibi recalls how having the shoot cut short was very difficult for the crew and the people around them. It was a sign of the violence that they knew was to come.

The film captures the everyday lives of the people in Gaza—children playing, people chatting in the street, taking photos of their friends, families at home.

The scenes are overlaid with images and sound. This puts across a sense of normality, beauty and hope—as well as a feeling of being hemmed in with impending violence.

Towards the end of the film a large, black, animated spot appears over an alleyway scene. The dot steadily grows.

Nashashibi explained this was her way of trying to show the violence that was to come and that was already in the air.

She called the film Electrical Gaza to put across the charge and energy she felt there. It was exciting, but also absolutely dangerous and damaging.

Come and see the exhibition and enjoy looking at all the artwork, but save your focus for Electrical Gaza.

Turner Prize 2017, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull HU1 3RA.

Until 7 January 2018


Russian film week

The Russian Film Week 2017 opens next month in London. A wide range of innovative films are being shown.

Spacewalker

Spacewalker


The opening night will begin with a discussion with director Fedor Bondarchuk and the cast of Attraction.

In this futuristic film, the inhabitants of a Russian city begin to question their identities after an alien ship crash lands.

Many of the films deal with Russia’s Stalinist past and its impact on life today.

Spacewalker looks at Russia’s race to become the first country to put a man in space.

And science fiction thriller Guardians follows Patriot, a group of superheroes during the Cold War.

Russian film week

Various venues in London, 19-26 November. russianfilmweek.org


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