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Who is afraid of ideology? by Marwa Arsanios

January film programme



Watch Who is afraid of ideology? 1, 2 & 3 (2017, 2019, 2020), three films by artist Marwa Arsanios in January, part of our monthly film programme screening in The Living Room (Al-Madafeh) during the exhibition Stateless Heritage by DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti.

Marwa Arsanios’s Who is afraid of ideology? series weaves an inter-sectional path through the struggles of women – in places including Northern Syria and Colombia – to claim the right to land and to reconnect with nature in an unmediated way. Arsanios addresses themes of self-defense, ecofeminism, ownership, healing, state control, autonomy, collectivity, indigenous struggle, seed protection, and land rights. Her films probe the ways ideology and theory can coincide with living practice, and also how “we” can embody the answers as those outside these circles of struggle.

Who Is Afraid of Ideology? Part 1 (2017) is shaped around interviews the artist conducted with members of Kurdish Autonomous Women’s Movement in Iraqi Kurdistan about the possibilities of a political praxis based on life and nature.

Part 2 (2019) moves towards the practice of the women-only Jinwar commune in Northern Syria and the imaginary and contextual limitations that shape it. Arsanios convened two meetings with women farmers and ecological feminists from Syria, Lebanon, Colombia, Mexico, India, Poland, Denmark, and Greece—in Warsaw and Sharjah—to exchange knowledge around their cooperatives and communes.

Part 3 (2020) draws from these intense exchanges, focusing on the ongoing systemic war waged against the smallest and the most essential element of life, the seed. While seed autonomy is a threat for transnational corporations, governments and paramilitaries, for indigenous people seeds are the symbol of resistance after losing language.


Marwa Arsanios was born in Washington in 1978 and currently lives and works in Berlin. She is an artist, filmmaker and researcher whose work can take the form of installation, performance and moving image. Her research work includes many disciplines and is involved in numerous collaborative projects. More about Marwa Arsanios


Images: Stills from the films. Courtesy of the artist and mor charpentier, Paris.


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