When Things Occur

When Things Occur is based on Skype conversations with Gaza-based photographers, fixers, and drivers who were behind specific images that were transmitted from screen to screen in the summer of 2014. The film probes the face of mourning and grief – its digital embodiment, transmission, and representation. It asks how the gaze gets channeled within the digital realm, and how empathy travels. Equally, how the documentary signifier – and its abstraction – operate when viewing suffering. What exactly is viewing suffering ‘at a distance’ – and how many meters or kilometers is that? What is the behavior and political economy of the image of war? Who is the ‘local’ in the representation of war? What is the daily routine of those who represent war?
by Oraib Toukan
with Lara Abu Ramadan, Hosam Salem, Khalil Hamra, Walaa Al Ghussein, Ashraf Al Masri
Palestine / United Kingdom 2016 Arabic 28’ Colour


  • Lara Abu Ramadan
  • Hosam Salem
  • Khalil Hamra
  • Walaa Al Ghussein
  • Ashraf Al Masri


Director Oraib Toukan
Editing Oraib Toukan
Assistant Editor Casey Asprooth-Jackson
Translation Fadi Abu Nimeh subtitles
Commissioned by Cities Exhibition 5, Birzeit University Museum
Producer Oraib Toukan

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Oraib Toukan

Oraib Toukan, born in 1977 in the USA, is an artist currently working from Oxford, England where she is completing her PhD. Until 2015 she was head of the Arts Division at Bard College at Al Quds University in Palestine. She is visiting faculty at the International Academy of Fine Arts in Ramallah and assistant professor at the University of Oxford’s Ruskin School of Fine Arts. She has participated internationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions.


Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017