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  7. Knowledge Ties #6: Haile Gerima’s Bush Mama in Arabic

Knowledge Ties #6: Haile Gerima’s Bush Mama in Arabic

Knowledge Ties #6: Haile Gerima’s Bush Mama in Arabic
Haile Gerima, USA 1979, 97 Min.

English with Arabic subtitles

Bush Mama is an exceptional film by Haile Gerima, deeply influenced by his Ethiopian storyteller grandmother. Gerima was a cinema student in Los Angeles in the 1970s and his film became part of what would retrospectively be labeled the L.A. Rebellion movement. Set in the neighborhood of Watts, which is famous for the 1965 Watts riots, the film’s protagonist Dorothee has to fight many demons: not only a white supremacist society, but also her partner, Vietnam veteran T.C., imprisoned on false charges, who lovingly but poorly continues to try and influence her decisions from inside prison. All while Dorothee is pregnant and taking care of her first daughter Luann. Despite the challenges of a society seeking her submission, Dorothee develops a political consciousness of her own.

In Sinema Transtopia Bush Mama will be screened for the first time with Arabic subtitles in Palestinian dialect. The subtitles were translated by Maisan Hamdan and Ibrahim Mahfouz in the process of Basma al-Sharif and Philip Rizk’s research project This World is Strange. We welcome English and Arabic-speaking audiences to attend the screening and look forward to the exchange that will ensue.

Philip Rizk is a Berlin based filmmaker & artist from Cairo. In his films, he experiments with methods of performance, found footage and montage with the purpose of “making the habitual strange.” Thequestion “how do we prepare ourselves for what is to come?” traverses Rizk’s projects. He is a fellow at the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme.

Maisan Hamdan (born in Isifya village, Mount Carmel, Palestine) is a writer, cook, and activist based in Berlin. She studied media and communications at Emek Yezrael College and Arabic language and literature as well as East Asian Studies at the University of Haifa. She co-founded and coordinates “Urfod [Refuse], Your people will protect you”, a movement against the compulsory military service for Palestinian Druze youth, as well as SAOT Festival in Berlin.

Ibrahim Mahfouzis a writer and researcher from Cairo. His texts have appeared on numerous platforms, including Journal of Palestine Studies and Jadaliyya, and have been performed at Haus der Kulturen der Welt.