Naeem Mohaiemen

Abu Ammar is Coming

Abu Ammar is Coming
Video | 8 mins, contact sheet | 2016
A photograph circulates, showing five men staring out of a window. Actually, only four look out; the last man breaks protocol and looks at the camera. The light has a soft glow. The stage is a bombed building. All five men wear military fatigues; the color must have been olive green. Snapped by a Magnum photographer in 1982, the image is a teasing enigma. Arabic newspapers claim it as evidence of Bangladeshi fighters in the PLO (Fatah faction). Go a little deeper into the memory hole and sediments will darken the third world international. Still, the light was beautiful. 

[Abu Ammar was the nom de guerre of Yasser Arafat. His Fatah faction of PLO fascinated Bangladesh JSD (National Socialist Party) leader Major Jalil, despite the sharper Marxist tendencies of the George Habash faction.]

Commissioned to be screened before mainstream films in UK cinema theaters, as part of  “The Artists Cinema,” project by LUX/Independent Cinema Office. Screenings include pairing with Spotlight w/ Michael Keaton (Jewish Cultural Center), Revenant w/ Leonardo DiCaprio (London), Bourne Legacy w/ Jeremy Renner (Dundee Contemporary Arts), Barbican, Irish Film Institute, and numerous other theaters, 2016.

London, UK: Tate Britain, 2016.
Berlin, Germany: Berlinale, 2016.
Paris/Berlin: “Exile,” film program, Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, 2017.
Rotterdam, Netherlands: IFFR - Rotterdam International Film Festival, 2017.
New York, USA: “Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora,” Asia Society, 2017.
Limerick City, Ireland: EVA Biennial, 2016.