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Marwan and Khalil

Marwan and Khalil weaves together oral storytelling and VHS footage shot by my family to tell the story of an apple orchard in the Sahara desert. The desert has always held a mythical place in our family’s consciousness - despite owning land there, there have been many periods in our lives when it’s been inaccessible to us due to colonial occupation and war. It became something we could dream about as a means of transcending our circumstances. Inspired by facts, fictions, myths, mysticism, and the elusiveness of memory, I used the power of dreams to conjure this film in the same way that my family did to manifest apples in the desert.

This was screened as part of the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival programme in July 2023 at the premier of Arwa Aburawa and Turab Shah’s fantastic film ‘And still, it remains’ - also shot in the Sahara Desert -, at Wild Solstice, a collective event/exhibition by the Into The Wild 2022 cohort (of which I was part of) at Grow Hackney in June 2022, at Embodied Fields, a collective screening held at Jamaica Street Studios, and at Diaspora Island exhibition from 3rd-6th May 2024 at The Island.

Still from Leila Gamaz's film Marwan and Khalil showing a woman shaking a gourd filled with milk to make butter, with the date 28/02/2004 on the bottom right, and Darija subtitles above this and across the bottom

Narrator and writer: Leila Gamaz
Footage: Kamal and Nacer Gamaz
Translation into Darija (subtitles): Yassamine Ghazzali
Year of production: 2022
Run time: 00:10:21
Languages: English and Darija


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