Two Films from Saodat Ismailova

Two Films from Saodat Ismailova

Thursday, April 18, 2024

6:00 PM–8:00 PM
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Journeying across natural, mythological, and sacred spaces, Saodat Ismailova’s films mark cinematic time through Central Asian songs of everyday survival. Her first feature-length film, ARAL: Fishing in an Invisible Sea (2004, 52 minutes) follows three generations of fishermen living near the Aral Sea, the site of a Soviet environmental catastrophe and an ongoing water crisis. Like ARAL, The Haunted (2017, 23 minutes) documents the devastating effects of colonialism on the landscape, and the preservation of nature in Central Asian spiritual life. The short film reanimates the Turkestan tiger, an animal that went extinct during Russian colonization, traversing the terrain of collective memory through interviews, dreams, and archival footage.

The screening will be followed by a short discussion and Q&A with Jess Chen, curator of Eluding Capture: Three Artists from Central Asia at MASS MoCA, and Tamara Khasanova, a New York-based curator and writer. Eluding Capture includes Ismailova's film, 18,000 Worlds (2023), and is on view at MASS MoCA.

This event is co-presented by the Clark, MASS MoCA, the Williams College Lecture Committee, and Class of '56 WWII Memorial Lecture Fund.

Free. Accessible seats available; for information, call 413 458 0524.

Image: ARAL: Fishing in an Invisible Sea, Carlos Casas and Saodat Ismailova, 2004