Foragers depicts the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Palestine/Israel with wry humor and a meditative pace. Filmed in the Golan Heights, Galilee and Jerusalem, it employs fiction, documentary and archival footage to portray the impact of Israeli nature protection laws on these customs. Restrictions prohibit the collection of the artichoke-like ’akkoub and za’atar (thyme), and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds caught collecting these native plants. For Palestinians, these laws constitute an ecological veil for legislation that further alienates them from their land while Israeli state representatives insist on their scientific expertise and duty to protect. Following the plants from the wild to the kitchen, the chases between foragers and the nature patrol, and courtroom trials, Foragers captures the joy and knowledge embodied in these traditions alongside their resilience to the prohibitive law. By reframing the terms and constraints of preservation, the film raises questions around the politics of extinction, namely who determines what is made extinct and what gets to live on. (IF)
Eirini Fountedaki is an independent curator, writer and researcher interested in collective reflections through film. She has worked as a curator at SAVVY Contemporary and is a founding member of the collective Cruising Curators and a team member of TAVROS (Athens). Eirini has curated film programs such as Sounding Womanhood for SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA and she is part of the editorial team for the Cinema of Commoning blog.
Jumana Manna is a Palestinian artist working primarily with film and sculpture. Her work explores how power is articulated through relationships, often focusing on the body and materiality in relation to narratives of state-building, and histories of place. She has participated in multiple festivals and exhibitions, including the BAFICI, IFFR Rotterdam, Tate Modern, Marrakech Biennale 6 and The Nordic Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale, and has received multiple awards such as the Ars Viva Prize for Visual Arts. Mannawas nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst in 2017.