Oum Ameen, a Palestinian grandmother, returns to her hometown Haifa through Google Maps Streetview, today, the only way she can see Palestine.
Although Streetview came out of necessity—Palestinian refugees like my grandma and myself are denied entry to their homeland—I quickly understood that Streetview inherently poses the question of our (dis)connection to place. The film uses glitch poetics and Streetview’s aesthetics of erasure to tell a personal story as well as a universal disposition of loss, injustice and distance.
Razan AlSalah is a filmmaker and media artist working between Canada, the US and Lebanon. Her work explores our contemporary (dis)connection to place, which particularly comes to question in digital spaces, and more so now in virtual reality. Her short film your father was born 100 years old, and so was the Nakba, won Best Narrative Short at Cinema Days Palestine, has been acquired by the Palestine Films Collection and has been selected in film festivals including HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Blackstar Film Festival, Glasgow International Short Film Festival, and Haifa Independent Film Festival. This is Razan’s first film. Her video sculptures have exhibited in solo and group shows in venues including Flux Factory (New York), ICEBOX and Vox Populi (Philadelphia), Beirut Design Week and Sursock Museum (Beirut) and Ann Arbor Film Festival Off the screen! Razan is a Knight Fellow at Sundance New Frontier 2018 and was a 3-year Fulbright scholar pursuing her MFA in Film and Media Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia where she currently teaches; she is also a mentor at the CAMRA Fellows Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Razan has been invited as a visiting artist to the Palestine and Documentary Conference and MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Culture and Ethics course at Princeton University and Palestinian Voices film-residency at Skidmore College.