WHEN THINGS OCCUR (PS 2016, Oraib Toukan)

When Things Occur

PS 2016, R: Oraib Toukan, feat. Lara Abu Ramadan, Hosam Salem, Khalil Hamra, Walaa Al Ghussein, Ashraf Al Masri, 28’, OmeU

WHEN THINGS OCCUR is based on skype conversations with photographers living in Gaza, with their local assistants and drivers. The conversational partners are responsible for pictures which were shared from screen to screen and, as a result, found their way into the collective picture archive. Being a photo reportage without any moving pictures, the film looks behind the pictorial materialisation of grief and pain – considers their digital embodiment on the hotographer’s harddrives and their media circulation. It examines how the view is guided inside digital spaces and how empathy leaps over. Apart from news agencies’ demands for sensation causing pictures, the film gives rise to further ethical questions, for instance about the functioning of the documentary significants while observing sorrow. What exactly does it mean to look at sorrow “from a distance” – how many meters or kilometers of distance are necessary for this purpose? What about properties and the political economy of pictures of war? Who is “the native” in a representation of war? Also, what is the daily routine of those exposing war?