How can family memories inform solidarity? How can avant-garde voices engaging the past contribute to activism today? How can private archives queer public histories? How do yesterday’s photographs become tomorrow’s pictures? FOGGY is a screening of recent short films that stage hybrid acts of montage, juxtaposition, re-enactment and dialogue, exploring the theme of solidarity as we make our way together through the fog. Length: 72 minutes.
Portrait of a proud Palestinian drag queen
Defiant Palestinian queen confronts border guards at Ben Gurion airport
Tribute to her radical mother’s activism and solidarity
Stop motion conversation with a beloved grandmother
A return to the Nakba of 1948, reframed by and reread through a single photograph
A study in what’s not said: all the gaps in Nasser’s 1967 legendary resignation speech.
In collaboration with actor Myriam Ali-Ahmad, a radical staging of doubts & debates
Mediating layers of love, loss, forced migration, and finally, catharsis
Noor Gatih is an Iraqi-Canadian photographer and filmmaker from Toronto. Her work often reflects on the relationship between identity and ethnicity and how the two disconnect at times.
In the past year she focused on the concept of origins by trying to learn more about her Mandaean roots (an ethnic minority group in Iraq). Through the medium of visual-storytelling she is able to reconnect with her family’s heritage. In 2021 she has worked on writing and directing two short films, Pit-Stop and Visions of Basra.
Amy Gottlieb (1953 – 2023) was a Toronto-based artist and educator. Born and raised in New York City, she moved to Canada in 1972. Her work explores family histories, the intersection of personal and historical memory and the relationship between cognitive and body memories. Her 1997 award-winning video In Living Memory screened at over 25 festivals across North America and on television. “Tempest in a Teapot,” a 1987 video about Amy’s mother and her radical political activities screened at five festivals around Toronto and was exhibited as an installation at A Space Gallery in Toronto, complete with wallpaper created from her mother’s FBI files. Her 2010 photo-based work, FBI Family speaks to the social and political textures of state surveillance, both historic and contemporary. These photomontages are densely layered images combining her mother’s FBI surveillance files with archival family photos. Gottlieb teached photography and art at a Toronto high school. She was a social justice activist since shedding her red diapers, active in anti-racist, feminist, anti-colonial and LGBTQ struggles.
Essa Grayeb, born in 1984, works and lives in Jerusalem as a visual artist working primarily with photography, video and installation. Some of Essa’s works are made from objects, footage and sounds that already exist, which he appropriates and manipulates. In his works, he touches upon notions of representation, absence and loss. His work often originates from an examination of his personal narratives within collective history and memory, while often weaving in and out of reality and fiction. He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree (BFA) in photography in 2019 and is currently studying for a master of fine arts degree (MFA) at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.
Considered the finest experimental filmmaker – or in his words – “fringe filmmaker” of his generation, the prolific and mercurial Hoolboom has made over 50 films and videos since 1980. (Exact numbers vary as Hoolboom notoriously prunes and reshapes his filmography: cutting some films, merging others and completely removing others from circulation.) He has also played a major curatorial and critical role in the Canadian avant-garde film community, working as the fringe film officer at the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre from 1988 to 1990, where he started the now defunct magazine The Independent Eye. In 1989, with Jonathan Pollard, Barbara Sternberg, Philip Hoffman and Gary Popovich, he formed the artist-run exhibition group Pleasure Dome, devoted to fringe film and video. He has also collaborated with some of the foremost experimental film- and videomakers in Canada: Kika Thorne (Two, 1990), Steve Sanguedolce (Mexico, 1992), Ann Marie Fleming (Man, 1991; The New Man, 1992) and Shawn Chapelle (Shooting Blanks, 1995).
Hadi Moussally was born in Lebanon in 1987. By age 18, he decides to go study film direction in France where he acquires a first master’s degree in “Fiction Cinema” from Paris-Est Marne la Vallée University. Moussally then chooses to take on a complementary masters in “Documentary and Anthropological Cinema” from Paris X Nanterre University, in the course of Jean Rouch. In that respect, Hadi Moussally acquainted himself with reality-cinema. The anthropological and documentary approach accustoms him with the sense of keen observation of his subjects and alerts him to the importance of instantaneous shooting; whereas his fictional background gives him the urge of creating sensual, esthetically pleasing imagery universes.
From 2012, Hadi Moussally shifts towards the world of fashion and directs several experimental films some of which received various distinctions in festivals. In 2014 he made his first documentary on the end of his grandmother’s life, and in 2016 a docu-portrait on a senior model. In 2018 he completed an experimental project on albinism “Positive” whose photos have been exhibited at the UNESCO, the City Hall of Paris and Beirut Art Fair as well. In 2015 he founded the production unit H7O7 whose main objective is to enable the making and promotion of films and photos with “hybrid” vocation where is privileged the mixture of genres between experimental, documentary, fashion and fiction. His films have been awarded worldwide and have received more than 25 awards and 200 selections in international festivals. In 2020, he founded the collective “Hybrid Wave” with around 30 hybrid artists from around the world
A Palestinian-Jordanian-Canadian, freelance photojournalist and independent film maker Annie Sakkab is based in Jordan and Canada. As a visual storyteller, Annie is drawn to explore the customs, lifestyles, and values that characterize her subjects. Annie seeks long-form narrative with a focus on women’s issues and social justice. With her work, she raises questions of identity and awareness of the experiences of exile, uprooting, and displacement among marginalized groups. Her long term project, ‘A Familiar Stranger,’ challenges contemporary western views and constructs of Middle Eastern women, and raises larger questions of how we perceive repression and freedom.
Her work is published in Canadian and International media including The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Netflix, British Journal of Photography, The Walrus, Bloomberg News, and NBC News. She also worked as Photo Editor for the Globe and Mail and Video Producer, Filmmaker, and Photographer for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Danish Refugee Council (DRC).
Born in Ashkelon on the East Mediterranean, Shamriz dropped out of the army at nineteen and began making hi8 films and experimenting with algorithm-manipulated music and collective art publications. After living a decade in Berlin, they are now based in California.
Shamriz’s oeuvre includes feature-length independent/experimental narrative films, many short experimental fiction films, and essay and documentary films. Their work was featured at the Berlinale (2010,13,15), Locarno IFF, Sarajevo IFF, MoMA’s New Directors / New Films, BAFICI, Frameline, MixNYC, Torino IFF, Outfest Los Angeles, and exhibited at KW Berlin, MMCA Korea, NGV Australia, among many other venues and festivals. They won awards at Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage (2013,14,15), and received retrospectives by the Thessaloniki International Festival (2012), Ars Independent Katowice (2012), SteakCinema Seoul (2021), and the Berlin Art Film Festival (2015) among others.
Elias Wakeem is a gender queer artist and activist, who mixes languages, changes characters and plays different identities, using grotesque body forms that help him create a scene, which challenges the boundaries existing in his society.
They use in particular, installation and performance art events, that present the mixture of their various characters and personas, while examining the reaction of the audience to their personal story.
Whether in a gallery or outside it, Elias knows the limits and tries to re-arrange them. Either by, expanding them or by tightening them, in order to open up their audience and encourage them to re-act or even act, on their own. With the purpose of learning from the mutual experience each of us have. For Elias, the term “Otherness”, expresses enrichment and not alienation. From the other, that is different, we can always learn something new. The other brings a new challenge, at the same time he can actually provide support, resulting in a universal magical energy.
Madam Tayoush is the “Other” major character that Elias plays, and she is one magnificent drag queen performer and entertainer, who is full of glam and life. She’s here to bring joy and realness, in front of her audience. She carries a message of empathy and love through self-fulfilment and artivism.