Alia Farid’s recent work examines how nature in southern Iraq has, since the advent of modernity, been mobilised as a political tool. Her new film Chibayish was recorded in the marshlands of southern Iraq, at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in a region engulfed by oil infrastructure and industrial waste. It captures the artist’s exchanges with three young residents as they map the community that inhabits the marsh, and belt out calls to the buffalo that roam its waters. Mixing footage with CGI animation, Chibayish comes to explore cultural identity, history, colonialism and the right to remain.
Chibayish will be screened alongside Farid’s earlier short film At the Time of the Ebb. Filmed on the Iranian island of Qeshm, the work follows the annual celebration of Nowruz Sayadeen (Fisherman’s New Year), one of the few surviving traditions tuned to seasonal cycles.
Introduction by the artist
At the Time of the Ebb 2019, 4K video, colour, sound, 16 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Chibayish 2022, UHD video, colour, sound, 25 min, Arabic with English subtitles
Conversation with the artist
Chibayish was commissioned by Whitney Museum of American Art on the occasion of Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It's Kept curated by Adrienne Edwards and David Breslin.