Experience – Information – Image: A Historiography of Unfolding. Arab Cinema as Example
Many artworks can be illuminated by this process. My examples will be drawn from contemporary Arab cinema. In the heavily politicized Arab milieu, the Image world is constructed as a selective unfolding of only those aspects of Experience that are deemed to be useful or profitable. Some Arab filmmakers, rather than deconstruct the resulting ideological images, prefer to carry out their own unfoldings: explicating hitherto latent events, knowledges, and sensations. Thus what official history deems merely personal, absurd, micro-events, or no events at all, becomes the stuff of a rich alternative historiography. This process characterizes the work of, among others, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Nisrine Khodr, Mohammed Soueid, and Akram Zaatari (Lebanon), Azza El-Hassan, Elia Suleiman, and Sobhi Al-Zobaidi (Palestine), and Mohamad Khan (Egypt).