The artist presents her view of the Arab woman using audiovisual symbolism. Her animation film “Ism Alam Muanath” (“A Feminine Name”) has its own rhythm, while revealing her artistic message which sides with women, the pillar of the Palestinian Arab society that remains stifled under the burden of masculine authority throughout the different generations. The place: an old Arab house that was abandoned by its residents. The story: the death of women in their lives since they learned the alphabets until they performed housework. In this film, the message exceeds the limits of the expected. It captures with high symbolism little girls in school uniform singing the alphabet for the words mom and dad, some girls washing their white dresses, that signify purity, men grounding meat with manual metal grinders, and an old lady singing a sad melody to mourn a woman who is lying down and is being at the center of events, as a witness who cannot see or hear. Narrating the story of the Arab women in Palestine, in addition to making choices about the place and characters make the film more than just a video art. The film becomes a statement of high sensibility, in which the sound of the alphabets merges with the sound of cutting meat and the sound of the silent body of the Arab woman that is made unconscious. She awakens only when she hears the sound of the old woman mourning, a sound that provokes alertness and walking towards the skies. And the question remains open: ”Does she reach liberty or death after being awake?” Regardless of the interpretation of this film, the clear statement is the necessity of freeing women from traditional societal constraints.
By Salim Abu Jabal