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Conversations at the Edge (CATE) Resource Guides


This page contains links to articles, interviews, and videos that can be incorporated into your syllabus in preparation for an event or afterward for post-event discussion and research. Go to for detailed event information.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 6:00 p.m. CT
Gene Siskel Film Center

THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 6:00 p.m. CT
Gene Siskel Film Center


“A meditation on the relationship of human beings to the natural world, and a reckoning with the authoritative posture of conventional documentary filmmaking. – David Markus, Frieze

Since 2017, Beirut and Berlin-based artist Marwa Arsanios has been working on a series of remarkable films collectively titled WHO IS AFRAID OF IDEOLOGY that explore ecology, feminism, collectivity, and resistance through Indigenous and women’s communities in Kurdistan, Colombia, and Lebanon. She presents the project over two evenings, each followed by a conversation about her subjects and innovative approach.

Wednesday, April 19, 6:00 p.m.
Winner of the prestigious Georges de Beauregard prize at FIDMarseille, WHO IS AFRAID OF PART 1 and PART 2 examines structures of self-governance and environmentalism fostered by the Kurdish autonomous women’s movement. Arsanios asks: How can the land provide refuge from oppression? She meets with groups of female guerrilla soldiers in the snow-dusted mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, interviews a woman who teaches others how to forage for edible weeds and medicinal plants, and travels to a small farming village in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria called Jinwar, or “place of women,” where women have reimagined life without men.

2017, Lebanon, Iraqi Kurdistan, North and East Syria,  51 minutes plus discussion 
Format: digital video
In Arabic and Kurdish with English subtitles

Thursday, April 20, 6:00 p.m.
In WHO IS AFRAID OF IDEOLOGY PART 3: MICRO RESISTANCIAS, Arsanios turns her focus to the seed and its potential as a tool for political agency and resistance. She travels to central Colombia, where she spends time with a group of Indigenous women farmers devoted to safeguarding native seeds and agriculture. As these women buttress their communities against transnational agricultural conglomerates threatening the land, Arsanios draws parallels to the political violence indigenous communities have faced at the hands of paramilitary forces since the 1980s.

Arsanios returns to the Middle East in WHO IS AFRAID OF IDEOLOGY PART 4: REVERSE SHOT which begins with the entreaty: “imagine a land without ownership.” Tracing her own efforts to transform a piece of privately-owned land in Northern Lebanon into a masha’a—a  land for the commons—she brings together archival research, legal theory, and oral histories to chart a history and future of the region from the perspective of the land itself.

2020-22, Germany, Colombia, Lebanon, 66 minutes plus discussion
Format: digital video 
In Spanish, Arabic and French with English subtitles


Marwa Arsanios is an artist, filmmaker and researcher focusing on gender relations, collectivism, urbanism, and industrialization. Solo exhibitions include the Mosaic Rooms, London (2022); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2021); Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana (2018); Beirut Art Center (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); FKA Witte de With, Rotterdam (2016); Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2015); and Art in General, New York (2015). Her work has also been included in Documenta 15, Kassel (2022); 5th Mardin Bienali (2022); 3rd Autostrada Biennale, Pristina (2021); 11th Berlin Biennale (2020); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2020); 2nd Lahore Biennale (2020); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2019); 1st Sharjah Architecture Triennial (2019); and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2019), among many others. She received the Georges de Beauregard International Prize at FID Marseille (2019), the Special Prize of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s Future Generation Art Prize (2012), a scholarship from the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart in 2014, and the Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo Arts and Space Residency in 2010. She is a cofounder of the 98weeks Research Project.


A Visit to an All-Women Kurdish Village on the Brink of War
David Markus | Frieze | November 06, 2019

Interrogating the Past and Examining Resistance at the International Film Festival Rotterdam
Dan Schindel | Hyperallergic | February 4, 2021

Ecofeminism With Marwa Arsanios
Madeleine Collier | Senses of Cinema, vol. 98 | May 2021  

Marwa Arsanios: Who is afraid of ideology? Part I
Mason Leaver-Yap | Walker Reader (Moving Image) | June 22, 2017

In Focus: Marwa Arsanios
Frieze Editors | Frieze | March 06, 2013


Micro-Resistances: An interview with Samanta Arango Orozco
Marwa Arsanios | Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research, vol. 8 (2) | Winter 2022

Who’s Afraid of Ideology? Ecofeminist Practices Between Internationalism and Globalism
Marwa Arsanios | e-flux Journal, vol. 93 | September 2018

What We Talk about When We Talk about Crisis: A Conversation, Part 1
Yazan Khalili, Lara Khaldi, and Marwa Arsanios | e-flux Journal, vol. 111 | September 2020

What We Talk about When We Talk about Crisis: A Conversation, Part 2
Yazan Khalili, Lara Khaldi, and Marwa Arsanios | e-flux Journal, vol. 125 | March 2022

Marwa Arsanios: Kdo se boji ideologije? / Who is afraid of Ideology?
City of Women | Vimeo | October 2018



Mor Charpentier 
Marwa Arsanios artist page at Mor Charpentier.

Documenta 15
Marwa Arsanios artist page at Documenta 15.

Conversations at the Edge Lecture Recordings
Conversation at the Edge video recordings (2016–present.) Available with SAIC login credentials.