Jumana Manna joins us to present and discuss the London premiere of her second feature film Wild Relatives. An insightful reflection on biodiversity and resilience, the film captures the intertwining of traditional and modern preservation techniques and transnational exchanges.
Deep in the earth beneath Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to provide a backup should disaster strike. Wild Relatives starts from an event that has sparked media interest worldwide: in 2012 an international agricultural research centre was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian civil war, and began a labourious process of planting their seed collection from the Svalbard back-ups.
Following the path of this transaction of seeds between the Arctic and Lebanon, a series of encounters unfold a matrix of human and non-human lives between these two distant spots of the earth. It captures the articulation between this large-scale international initiative and its local implementation in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, carried out primarily by young migrant women. The meditative pace of the film teases out tensions between state and individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, witnessed through the journey of these seeds.
Introduction by the artist
Wild Relatives, Germany / Lebanon / Norway 2018, DCP, colour, sound, 66 min, Arabic and Norwegian with English subtitles
Discussion and Q&A with the artist and Tate Film curators
About Jumana Manna
Jumana Manna (b.1987, United States) is a Palestinian artist working primarily with film and sculpture. Her work explores how power is articulated through relationships, often focusing on the body and materiality in relation to narratives of state building and histories of place. She has been awarded the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Palestinian Artist Award and the Ars Viva Prize for Visual Arts. She has participated in multiple festivals and exhibitions, including the Viennale International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Berlinale, CPH:DOX, Chisenhale Gallery, London, Marrakech Biennale 6 and The Nordic Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale.