Animals have always been used in art, from the prehistoric to the present, and today they can serve as a starting point to investigate an age of biopolitics, global waves of refugees and terror attacks. Maha Maamoun presents Dear Animal, her current film and book-in-progress co-funded by the Academy. Dear Animal interweaves two texts: a short story by Haitham El-Wardany about a drug dealer who turns into a strange animal; and a selection of letters written by Azza Shaaban, a director-producer involved with the Egyptian revolution and now living in India, from where she regularly posts notes to her Facebook friends relating stories of travel and healing. The film moves back and forth between the cinematic short story by El-Wardany, filmed in Cairo, and the scenes produced with Shaaban in India where she reads, on or off screen, a selection of her letters, the camera moving between her and her private and public surroundings. After the screening, Maha Maamoun joins writer HAITHAM EL-WARDANY and film curator STEFANIE SCHULTE STRATHAUS to discuss her work and its most recent directions.
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