Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image
2015, MIT Press.

Hanan cover

Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image sums up 20 years of my research on the thrilling experiments by filmmakers and media artists in the Arab world. Beginning with a study of these works’ fragile yet tenacious infrastructures, the book explores themes that arise from them, such as romances with the archive, glitchy encounters with network media, backward glances at Communist ideals, and a Spinozan courage to think through the body. Readers wanting an update of my theory of tactile media will find it here, as my theories of enfolding-unfolding aesthetics and embodied reception describe how these works activate material connections between fragments distant in space and time and the embodied minds of viewers.

“This is one of the most well-researched and engaging books I have ever read on the recent history of moving image in the Arab world and is an urgently required text on the subject. It should be eagerly consumed by many!” —
Omar Kholeif, writer and Curator, Whitechapel Gallery, London

“Engaging with the relatively new field of experimental cinema from the Arab world, Laura U. Marks has produced a readily accessible, acutely observed, and carefully historicized account of a complex field of study that already feels seminal in its impact and insights.” —
Anthony Downey, Editor-in-Chief, Ibraaz

“Laura U. Marks is one of the most original and remarkable minds of this generation.
Hanan al-Cinema is a singular achievement that continues Marks's journey through experimental film and video, vanguard media studies, and her deep engagement with Arab visual culture. Introducing a body of work that will be unfamiliar to many, Marks’s searching analyses and insights make an invaluable contribution to the field.” —Akira Mizuta Lippit, Chair, Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts

Contents
Introduction
Chapter One Cinematic Friendships
Chapter Two Elia Suleiman: Terrorism as Language
Chapter Three Arab Cinema Unfolds
Chapter Four Mohamed Soueid’s Cinema of Immanence
Chapter Five Communism, Dream Deferred
Chapter Six Can cinema slow the flow of blood?
Chapter Seven Asphalt Nomadism
Chapter Eight Archival Romances
Chapter Nine Hala Elkoussy: Framing Chaos
Chapter Ten Hassan Khan: The Social Contract
Chapter Eleven Mounir Fatmi: Protective Aniconism
Chapter Twelve Algorithm, Decryption, Glitch
Chapter Thirteen Images in Motion
Chapter Fourteen Sherif El-Azma: A Cinema of Cruelty
Chapter Fifteen What Can a Body Do?