. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Marwa Arsanios: Who is Afraid of Ideology, Part 3 and Part 4

Posted by | otaper | Posted on | April 20, 2023

Thursday, April 20, 6:00 p.m.

Join Berlin and Beirut-based artist Marwa Arsanios for her remarkable multi-part project on collectivity, feminism, environmentalism, and resistance, WHO IS AFRAID OF IDEOLOGY.

A rocky outcropping with three figures sitting beneath.

Marwa Arsanios, Who Is Afraid of Ideology Part 4: Reverse Shot, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and mor charpentier.

“A meditation on the relationship of human beings to the natural world, and a reckoning with the authoritative posture of conventional documentary filmmaking. – David Markus, Frieze

Since 2017, Beirut and Berlin-based artist Marwa Arsanios has been working on a series of remarkable films collectively titled WHO IS AFRAID OF IDEOLOGY that explore ecology, feminism, collectivity, and resistance through Indigenous and women’s communities in Kurdistan, Colombia, and Lebanon. She presents the project over two evenings, each followed by a conversation about her subjects and innovative approach.

In WHO IS AFRAID OF IDEOLOGY PART 3: MICRO RESISTENCIAS, Arsanios turns her focus to the seed and its potential as a tool for political agency and resistance. She travels to central Colombia, where she spends time with a group of Indigenous women farmers devoted to safeguarding native seeds and agriculture. As these women buttress their communities against transnational agricultural conglomerates threatening the land, Arsanios draws parallels to the political violence indigenous communities have faced at the hands of paramilitary forces since the 1980s.

Arsanios returns to the Middle East in WHO IS AFRAID OF IDEOLOGY PART 4: REVERSE SHOT which begins with the entreaty: “imagine a land without ownership.” Tracing her own efforts to transform a piece of privately-owned land in Northern Lebanon into a masha’a—a  land for the commons—she brings together archival research, legal theory, and oral histories to chart a history and future of the region from the perspective of the land itself.

2020–22, Colombia, Lebanon, 66 minutes plus discussion
Format: digital video
In Spanish, Arabic and French with English subtitles



Marwa Arsanios is an artist, filmmaker and researcher focusing on gender relations, collectivism, urbanism, and industrialization. Solo exhibitions include the Mosaic Rooms, London (2022); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2021); Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana (2018); Beirut Art Center (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); FKA Witte de With, Rotterdam (2016); Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2015); and Art in General, New York (2015). Her work has also been included in Documenta 15, Kassel (2022); 5th Mardin Bienali (2022); 3rd Autostrada Biennale, Pristina (2021); 11th Berlin Biennale (2020); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2020); 2nd Lahore Biennale (2020); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2019); 1st Sharjah Architecture Triennial (2019); and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2019), among many others. She received the Georges de Beauregard International Prize at FID Marseille (2019), the Special Prize of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s Future Generation Art Prize (2012), a scholarship from the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart in 2014, and the Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo Arts and Space Residency in 2010. She is a cofounder of the 98weeks Research Project.