The Narrow Streets of Bourj Hammoud is a 72-minute experimental non-fiction film about a working-class suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. The neighborhood was initially built to permanently settle Armenian refugees who escaped the 1915 genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Today, it is a diverse district that is also home to non-Armenian Lebanese communities as well as migrants and refugees from Syria and the region. Filmed over seven years (2008-2015), the film examines residents’ overlapping histories of displacement through their sketches of the city’s shifting urban spaces. The result is a lyrical reflection on history and the materiality of urban space narrated by longtime residents and recent arrivals to Bourj Hammoud. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers: Rosy Kuftedjian, a Lebanese artist, photographer, and social activist, and Joanne Randa Nucho, an anthropologist and filmmaker.
Rosy Kuftedjian is a Lebanese artist, photographer and social activist. In Lebanon, she worked closely with documentary film director and activist Zeina Daccache to put on a theatrical performance with inmates at Roumieh prison. She was also involved in prison reform and advocacy work. She is currently based in Montreal, Canada.
Joanne Randa Nucho is an anthropologist and a filmmaker. Her interests include the relationship between the built environment (things like bridges, roads, telecommunications networks and electricity infrastructures) and processes of subjectivity formation and political action. Her films, which she describes as experimental non-fiction or essay films, have shown in international festivals, including the London International Documentary Film Festival in 2008.