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What We Left Unfinished & Dis-Ease

Sofa Cinema


Watch the London premiere of Mariam Ghani’s award-winning documentary What We Left Unfinished and her ongoing visual research project Dis-Ease.

Join the Conversation with Mariam Ghani after the Sofa Cinema weekend here.

Please use the code Mosaic (Click on ‘rent £3.96’, login and apply the promo code to watch for FREE)
Click the CC button to enable English subtitles prior to pressing play.
Due to distribution rights, the title is only available to stream for free in the UK.

What We Left Unfinished from Mariam Ghani on Vimeo.

What We Left Unfinished (2019) explores the unfulfilled potential of left political futures in Afghanistan. The film is based on archival research assembling five unfinished Afghan feature films shot, but never edited, between 1978 and 1992. These years encompass a troubled history: the Afghan Communist coup d’état, attempted reforms that met bitter rural resistance, a series of internal purges and assassinations, the Soviet invasion and withdrawal, a five-year attempt at national reconciliation, the handover of power to a mujahidin coalition, and finally dissolution into civil war. The film explores the states important fictions: its desires and fears, ambitions and ghosts. In the imaginary presented by most finished films of the period, we see the ideal People’s Democratic Republic that could have been, but wasn’t; in the unfinished films, the reality – a utopian project secured by violent force – lingers like a shadow, just barely concealed behind allegories and codes.

This is an online premiere of the installation view of Dis-Ease from November 2019.

Dis-Ease (2018-) is a creative documentary and an archival essay looking at how the metaphors we use to describe illnesses (and how some diseases become metaphors to describe other phenomena) affect how we treat people who are sick, determine whether and when we connect public health to climate change and urban planning, and lock us into militarized national security paradigms for both responding to current epidemic diseases and planning for future pandemics. It was inspired by a residency in the Wellcome Collection in 2018 and the Contagious Cities project in New York in 2019.

Mariam Ghani is a New York based artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work looks at places, spaces and moments where social, political and cultural structures take on visible forms, and spans video, sound, installation, photography, performance, text and data. She has exhibited and screened at the Guggenheim, MoMA, the Sharjah and Liverpool Biennials, the Dhaka Art Summit, and Documenta 13 in Kabul and Kassel, among others. She is on the Film/Video faculty at Bennington College.

Image: Still from Khalek Halil’s unfinished film Almas-e Siah (The Black Diamond) in What We Left Unfinished (Indexical Films, 2019). Courtesy of Mariam Ghani.

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