SWANA Film Festival

Curated by Christina Hajjar
February 5 to 18, 2021
Streaming on the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba’s YouTube channel
Presented with the support of the Government of Canada through the Young Canada Works program, Building Careers in Heritage.


Image: Cyrah Dardas

School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba presents a free two-week online film festival featuring short films, poetry, and workshops. SWANA Film Festival showcases Southwest Asian and North African creativity on screen to speak to themes of diaspora, dis/connection, agency, and change.


Myriam Rey, Only My Voice, 2017. Image: courtesy of Scottish Documentary Institute and the director.


Available on-demand for one week each on YouTube. Films are closed captioned.

Week 1: Our Longing Extends
Short films on diaspora, identity, and dis/connection
+ poetry by Safia Elhillo
Available Friday, February 5, 7:00 p.m. CT to Thursday, February 11, 11:59 p.m. CT

Immigrant at Home, dir. Sufian Abulohom, 2020, 20 mins, USA
Measures of Distance, dir. Mona Hatoum, 1988, 16 mins, UK
1991, dir. Saif Alsaegh, 2018, 12 mins, USA
Only My Voice, dir. Myriam Rey, 2017, 12 mins, Greece

Week 2: We Didn’t Sleep
Short films on origins, agency, and change
+ poetry by Hala Alyan
Available Friday, February 12, 7:00 p.m. CT to Thursday, February 18, 11:59 p.m. CT

Rosa, dir. Suha Araj, 2020, 23 mins, USA
The Wall, dir. Odette Makhlouf, 2012, 24 mins, Lebanon
Though I Am Silent, I Shake, dir. Sophie Sabet, 2019, 10 mins, Canada
Nora’s Cloth, dir. Issraa Elkogali Häggström, 2021, 8 mins, Sudan/Norway/Sweden


The Perfect Day (process), 2020. Image: courtesy of Sophie Sabet.


Facilitated on Zoom. Open to SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) people. Registration required; space is limited.

Unraveling and Composing the Personal in Video: A Workshop with Sophie Sabet
Saturday, February 6, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. CT

Reading Coffee, Writing the Future: A Workshop with Levon Kafafian
Saturday, February 13, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. CT

Please visit umanitoba.ca/art/swana to learn more and register.


School of Art Gallery
255 ARTlab
180 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg MB R3T2N2

For more information, contact School of Art Media and Events Coordinator Cailyn Harrison, cailyn.harrison@umanitoba.ca.

The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

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