Some of the greatest art has been made in times of war and crisis. Art, for many people, is the only voice and weapon against regimes that may trap them in a corner. It is for this purpose that the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art will be hosting an exclusive, one-night-only free film screening in partnership with Art From Exile and creativity support group 3 Irons. Art From Exile supports artists forced to leave their homes due to war, conflict, political violence, or persecution.
The collection of films will feature three short pieces, all of them made by Syrian artists living in exile. The event will be a rare, almost impossible, opportunity to hear the stories of people who actually live in the world we too often hear about through third-party sources. These films have only screened in Istanbul, New Orleans, Seattle, Washington DC… and now Salt Lake City. It’s timely too—March marks the sixth year anniversary of the war in Syria.
The screening will include director Maan Mouili’s Shakespeare in Zaatari, a documentary capturing the production of King Lear by children in a Zaatari refugee camp. Following that will be Suleima, an animated true story about the “days and years before 2011”, and Champion about a sports-hero-turned-martyr-knight in Syria.
Doors open at 6:30pm, and the films will start promptly at 7pm. Following the screenings will be a talkback from 8:30-9:00 and will include Kristian Anderson, Executive Director of UMOCA, Aden Batar, who is the Director of Immigration and Refugee Settlement at Catholic Community Services of Utah and Holly Holzer Bass of Art From Exile.
— Amy Whiting