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Salma Ahmad Caller

Shell Fables ~ a Curious Cabinet of Beings & Becoming

The Douglas Hyde is delighted to present the ninth of the screenings of Art from the African Diaspora as part of Alice Rekab’s multi-platform project FAMILY LINESShell Fables ~ a Curious Cabinet of Beings & Becoming by Salma Ahmad Caller (2022).

This seventeen minute film is Salma Ahmad Caller’s first film, a prototype, curating her mixed-race identity as curiosity. It is a continuation of her art practice working with personal family archives of photographs and things. These curious Things survived decades of her English mother and Egyptian father’s lives, from Oxford in the 1960s to Cairo where her older sister Hala was born, to Mosul where she was born in 1969, and on to a childhood in Kano, Nigeria, and teenage years in Jeddah and Riyadh in the 1980s. Juxtaposing things that seem to belong to ‘opposing’ cultures creates strangeness and blurs boundaries. These Things are also witnesses to strange and forbidden encounters across divides created by ideologies, imagined and constructed difference, power and desire. The currents of Orientalism, colonialism and Empire moved these small Things in unexpected ways.

Aiming to platform the voices of Black artists and artists of colour, and to represent intergenerational legacies of self-representation in the production of film, writing and visual art, Alice Rekab and The Douglas Hyde have invited Salma Ahmad Caller to co-curate the screening series by selecting a film that has influenced and/or inspired her. Ahmad Caller has selected to screen the film The Night of Counting The Years (1969) directed by Shadi Abdel Salam. The Night of Counting The Years will be screened online next month from 7 – 21 July. 

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