Maeve Brennan, Lebanon 2017, 50 min., Arabic with English subtitles
A State in a State
Tekla Aslanishvili, Georgia, Germany 2022, 47 min. Georgian, Russian and English with English subtitles
Two films about the construction and dismantling of space and time through the monuments, marks and infrastructures we leave behind. The Drift unravels the ever-shifting economies linked to objects in present-day Lebanon. The narrative connects three central characters: a guardian of the Roman temples in Niha, nestled within the Beqaa Valley; a youthful mechanic from Britel, a village renowned for its trade in automotive components; and an archaeological conservator employed at the American University of Beirut. A State in a State chronicles the construction and fragmentation of railway systems in the South Caucasus and Caspian regions. The documentary is a keen observation of how these vital transportation networks embody the delicate political boundaries that appeared following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Contrary to optimistic portrayals of the New Silk Road, the film questions how narratives of connectivity are often wielded as a geopolitical tool. (BH)
Bethan Hughes, freelance editor and writer at SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA, is an artist and researcher who grew up in Wigan, Northern England. Her most recent work, the audiovisual installation Hevea Act 6: An Elastic Continuum, is currently on show at LABoral, Gijón, as part of the European Media Art Platform's 2023 programme. www.bethanhughes.com
Tekla Aslanishvili, born in Tbilisi in 1988, is an artist, filmmaker and essayist based between Berlin and Tbilisi. Her works emerge at the intersection of infrastructural design, history and geopolitics.