The Unbearable Presence of Asmahan

The Unbearable Presence of Asmahan 2014 Courtesy of the artist


Aichi Arts Center
12F Art Space A
Thu. Aug 25 17:30, Sat. Aug 27 14:00,
Sat. Sep 3 14:50, Tue. Sep 6 19:35, Fri. Sep 9 18:00


Born 1971 in Amman, Jordan
Based in London, England

Holds a BA in Film and Television Studies and Sociology and an MA in Television Documentary. Has made a series of works produced and shown by various international TV networks including the BBC, arte, YLE and ARD set in her home country of Palestine that include details of current events as seen through the eyes of local residents and Arab women while also examining the difficult circumstances there from a humorous and witty perspective. Deed from Moses and News Time were screened at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in 1999 and 2001 respectively.

The Unbearable Presence of Asmahan is more than a trace of Asmahan’s life which the Arab diva took in Egypt by storm in the 1940s, dipicting her problematic relationship with the West: although loving the West, she reserted its interference in the Arab world. “Layaly al-Ons fi Vienna (Euphoric Nights in Vienna),” the song made famous by Asmahan, who starred in two films before dying in an accident at the young age of twenty-six, is still sung and talked about today, and re-examing the gaze directed at the West by the Arab world.