A “Living Archives 2” lecture:
Ala Younis has been involved with collections of found or compiled film footage related to the former Soviet Cultural Centers in Amman, Cairo, and other cities in the region. She is (co-) producing an archaeology of a fragmented archive, where these cities remain an essential link between early Palestinian film productions, Soviet friendship, and its clubs for language and cinema. In this archaeology, other friendships become manifest, such as that of the China-Arab world, and an individual’s own work to build or act as an institution. As this process looks at many saved elements, publications, images, correspondence, and other documents related to film, it depicts centralized documentation, film interests, cinema movements, relationships of and to the state, aesthetics of the past, and worlds that have completely departed, but not before leaving heavy legacies in the collective imagination.
Ala Younis is a research-based artist. Her curating and film and book projects are expanded experiences of relating to materials from distant times and places; working against the archive’s play on predilections and how its lacunas and mishaps manipulate the imagination.