Halaqat - Exploring cultural links between Europe and the Arab world
Halaqat continues in 2023 and presents together with Bozar - Centre for Fine Arts the documentary "Kash Kash" by Lea Najjar in the presence of the director. She will discuss with Yara Chehayed after the screening. The film was shown at the Berlinale in 2023 in the section "Perspektive Deutsches Kino".
About the film: 'KASH KASH - WITHOUT FEATHERS WE CAN'T LIVE' (DE 2022, 90'):
Director Lea Najjar’s hometown of Beirut is a place marked by conflicting traditions, a corrupt political elite, protests against the government and the aftermath of a disastrous explosion in 2020. But above the rooftops, the city’s residents have an unexpected way of connecting in the form of an age-old game of chance involving pigeons known as “kash hamam”. Every evening, the players release their flocks of pigeons from their cages and allow them to fly above the labyrinth of streets and circle over the houses, hoping to attract birds from neighbours’ flocks. If they succeed in luring a neighbour’s pigeon to land on their own roof, this enlarges the player’s own flock and is called a “kash”.
Taking its cue from the rhythm of the beating of wings, this sensitive debut documentary observes a city in upheaval. It is told from the perspective of three passionate pigeon fanciers and a young girl struggling to one day let her own birds fly. (source: Berlinale programme 2023)
Lea Najjar was born in Vienna, Austria in 1994 and grew up in Lebanon. She already began working as a press photographer during her schooldays. She first studied at the American University of Beirut before taking up a degree in documentary directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. "Kash Kash" is her graduation film. It premiered at CPH:DOX 2022 in Copenhagen and has won prizes including the 2022 First Steps Award and the Golden Frog at the Camerimage film festival in Poland.
Halaqat started in 2021 as a grant co-financed by the European Union (under the designation: EU-LAS CULTURE), the Goethe-Institut and Bozar - Centre for Fine Arts Brussels. The project was implemented by the Goethe-Institut in collaboration with Bozar from 01.02.2021 until 31.01.2023. Halaqat continues in 2023 with its own funds and with activities in Europe and in the Arab worlds. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the organisers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.