The screening of On a Wing and a Prayer (Alia Syed, 2016) and post-screening roundtable discussion will take place on Friday, June 2nd, 18:45-20:00 in the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts Auditorium.
On a Wing and a Prayer (2016)
On a Wing and a Prayer (2016) is a film inspired by the story of Abdul Rahman Haroun, who walked through the channel tunnel on 17th August 2015. Mr Haroun was held on remand for 5 months at Elmley Prison. He has since been released and granted Asylum but was charged under The Malicious damages act of 1861 for illegal entry into the UK. The language in this bylaw, when juxtaposed against the physical and emotional feat of traversing 30 miles of the Channel Tunnel supplies the terrain for this film. The journey is shot on two video cameras attached to the filmmaker’s body. The first person view offered to the audience in the film invites a reciprocal investment in the physical and emotional exertion of the act; to sense with their whole bodies the relationship to the environment created by the cognitive dissonance at the heart of Europe’s lawscape.
Alia Syed’s films have been shown at numerous institutions around the world including Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2012-13, 5th Moscow Biennale (2013); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010); Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2009); XV Sydney Biennale (2006); Hayward Gallery, London (2005); Tate Britain, London (2003); and Glasgow Museum of Modern Art (2002). She has also held several solo exhibitions at Talwar Gallery in New York and New Delhi.
Alia Syed’s recent works combine her interest in storytelling with a compelling presentation of history as visual narrative. Her unique approach sutures different subject positions in relation to culture, diaspora and location. She was shortlisted for the 2015 Jarman Award and her latest film On a Wing and a Prayer was shown at the 2016 London Film Festival.