Credit: Timothée Andonian / Iméra
“ARCHIVES DU FUTUR” (following)
Summary of the research project
Rania Stephan’s research project entitled “ARCHIVES OF THE FUTURE” revolves around science fiction produced in Arab countries around the Mediterranean, in literature, contemporary art and cinema, with a view to developing an artistic project personnel related to this genre, already addressed in two of her previous films, as well as in an artistic project entitled “IN MY MIND’S EYE” presented at the contemporary international art fair FRIEZE in London in October 2022, with the assistance of her gallery Marfa’ Projects Beirut.
This research is a continuation of that undertaken during Rania Stephan’s first residency at Iméra between February and July 2022, and constitutes a necessary basis for the finalization of her artistic project which is developing in 3 stages. It is a question of continuing her research of archives and documentation on this subject, of writing the script for a science-fiction film entitled: Memoirs for a Private #2, and finally, of developing the project of an artistic installation from archives found at the Mucem during her first residence in Marseille.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Rania Stephan studied cinema at LaTrobe University in Australia and then at Paris VIII in France.
Navigating between video art and creative documentary, her films combine work on the archeology of the image, identity and memory. The most recent, anchored in the turbulent reality of his country, offer a personal point of view of complex and violent political events; mixing raw documentary and poetic approach, chance encounters are filmed with humor and compassion.
The work on the archive is a central issue of her work. Using both fixed and moving images, her approach -part detective and part editor-interrogates images that collide, multiply, superimpose and resonate, to trace the absences and remembrances inherent in these images.
Her professional career is rich and varied, working as an assistant director with notably Elia Suleiman (DIVINE INTERVENTION) and Simone Bitton (RACHEL, MUR, CITIZEN BISHARA); she is also a camera and editor on feature length documentaries and visual anthropology films: LE CORTèGE DES CAPTIVES by Sabrina Mervin (Mario Ruspoli Prize, Bilan du film ethnographique, Paris, 2007), EN ATTENDANT ABU ZEID by Mohammad Ali Atassi (International Georges de Beauregard Prize & Media Library Prize, FID Marseille 2010), CATHERINE OR THE BODY OF PASSION by Emma Aubin Boltanski (Official Selection International Jean Rouch Festival 2013), PANOPTIC by Rana Eid (Prize for Best First Film, Jihlava Festival, Selection Locarno Festival 2017), THE SKY CRYED 40 DAYS by Sabrina Mervin (Official selection Festival International Jean Rouch 2022), MAP KEMBé (HOLD!) by Nathalie Luca.
Her first feature THE THREE DISAPPEARANCES OF SOAD HOSNI (70′ – 2011) considered a contemporary classic, is internationally recognized and won prestigious awards, including the Artist Prize, Sharjah Biennale 10 (UAE); Renaud Victor F.I.D. Marseille International Film Festival (France); Best Director Award – Doha Tribecca International Film Festival (Qatar). Her second feature THE FIELD OF WORDS: CONVERSATIONS WITH SAMAR YAZBEK (70′ – 2022) has just won the prize for best film at the Villa Medici film festival in Rome in September 2022. Since June 2021, she has been an associate artist at the CéSor, anthropology laboratory of the EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences) Condorcet campus Paris France.
Her artistic work is represented by the MARFA’ Gallery in Beirut.