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Monuments & Flowers

Curated by Regine Basha

Monuments & Flowers brings together a selection of seminal video work by women artists culled from the archives of ArteEast with the work of contemporary voices including Yto Barrada, Lara Baladi, Marianne Fahmy, Malak Helmy Maha Maamoun and Setareh Shahbazi with Mirene Arsanios.

How do we reflect upon the ebb and flow of destruction and construction, death and regeneration – of cities, of ideologies, of nations and particularly of quotidian life and ecosystems? As these overwhelming tragedies accelerate in real time in different parts of the world, the act of memorializing is overpowered by a continual state of grieving. How do artists and filmmakers create works of memorialization through this lens of grieving? Oftentimes it is through invoking both past and future perspectives into alternate visions of reality that speak to hidden truths. Monument & Flowers reflected on these strategies in its original iteration in 2019, and will now be re-mounted in Europe at this time with an all women line-up and the addition of Spanish subtitles, courtesy of ArteEast and Casa Arabe. 


Monuments & Flowers features films by six visionary women artists from the region termed ´the Middle East´ where a colonialists´ footprint of destruction, displacement and reconstruction have long become part of artists´ psychic imagination and generative narratives. The film and video works selected here internalize this state of constant flux, employing both fictional and diaristic narratives while collapsing the hyper-real with the surreal. Scenes from daily life may become infused with a subconscious overlay of desire, fear, alienation or utopian longings that resemble a hallucination of the past and future colliding. Through highly evocative mixed use of time-based media; ranging from found super 8mm, to stained celluloid, to CGI, many of the works lean towards a retro-futurist lens that is highly attentive to the minutiae and habits of locale, yet slippery in its chronology.


Regine Basha is a curator, educator and cultural producer working between Madrid and New York. Her curatorial work and story-telling archive, Tuning Baghdad, can be found on bashaprojects.com. She is based between Brooklyn and Madrid.

Monuments and Flowers is co-presented by ArteEast and Casa Árabe. This series is part of the legacy program Unpacking the ArteArchive, which preserves and presents over 17 years of film and video programming by ArteEast. In addition to in-person, theatrical screenings at Casa Árabe Cordoba (April 27th, 7pm) and at Casa Árabe Madrid (April 28, 7:30pm), the series will be presented on artearchive.org from April 29 - May 7, 2022. For more info on the in person program go to casaarabe.es

Check out the Artist Spotlights with Lara Baladi, Setareh Shahbazi , Marianne Fahmy, and Malak Helmy


Hand-me-downs, Yto Barrada, Morocco 2011, 16 min.


Barrada digs into her family history and narrates 16 myths based on unreliable narrators and unverifiable stories, illustrated with strangers’ home movies found at flea markets and archival films from the last half-century in Morocco.

About the Filmmaker

Yto Barrada (b. 1971, Paris) is a Moroccan-French artist recognized for her multidisciplinary investigations of cultural phenomena and historical narratives. Engaging with the performativity of

archival practices and public interventions, Barradaʼs installations reinterpret social relationships, uncover subaltern histories, and reveal the prevalence of fiction in institutionalized narratives. In

2006, Barrada founded the artist-run Cinémathèque de Tanger, North Africa’s first cinema cultural center, now an internationally appreciated institution.

Her work has been exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum, Mass MoCA, Tate Modern, the Barbican, The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Renaissance Society, the Walker Art Centre, Whitechapel Gallery and the 2007 and 2011 Venice Biennales. Barrada has received multiple awards, including the Mario Merz Prize (2022); the Queen Sonja Print Award (2022); the Roy R. Neuberger Prize (2019); the Abraaj Group Art Prize, UAE (2015); Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography (2013); Deutsche Guggenheim Artist of the Year (2011).

  • Year
  • Runtime
    15 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Yto Barrada
  • Filmmaker
    Yto Barrada
  • Editor
    Dominique Auvray