Film Screening: TIMBUKTU


The film will be followed by a discussion of politics and art led by Peter Hitchcock and Mustafa Bayoumi

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016


Martin E. Segal Theater


Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako’s film Timbuktu (2014) has been revered for its attempt to dramatize what happens to a community under occupation by jihadis. Beautifully shot, the film not only records the excesses of the occupiers (lashings, stonings, and a litany of the forbidden) but also compassion and pathos, as if the stark divisions presented are not sustainable, even by those meant to enforce them. Surprisingly, there are even moments of humor, as when some boys play football (soccer) with an imaginary ball because actual football is banned. At the heart of Sissako’s film is a tragedy which is also part of its resistance, but in the main it is music and film itself that is celebrated and these offer their own provocations.

Peter Hitchcock is Professor of English at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is also on the faculties of Women’s Studies and Film Studies at the GC. He is the author of five books, including The Long Space, for Stanford University Press. His most recent publications include, “Accumulating Fictions” for Representations,“Immolation” for the Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights, “How to Read a Discipline” for Comparative Literature, “Culture and Anarchy in Thatcher’s London” for an anthology on Hanif Kureishi, “( ) of Ghosts” in The Spectralities Reader, “The Space of Time: Chronotopes and Crisis” for Primerjalna Knjizevnost, “Defining the World” inLiterary Materialisms and “Everything’s Gone Green: The Environment of BP’s Narrative” for Imaginations. Forthcoming articles include an essay, “Viscosity and Velocity,” for an anthology on oil (Cornell), and an essay on communism titled “The Leninist Hypothesis” for Poetics Today. Forthcoming book projects include a monograph on the cultural representation of labor, a monograph on worlds of postcoloniality, and an edited collection on the New Public Intellectual. He is currently working on two research projects: one about seriality in politics and culture; the other on the aesthetics of commodities and financial instruments.

Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of the critically acclaimed How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America (Penguin), which won an American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction. The book has also been translated into Arabic by Arab Scientific Publishers. His next book, This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror, was recently published by NYU Press. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The Guardian, The National, CNN.com, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Progressive, and other places. His essay “Disco Inferno” was included in the collection Best Music Writing of 2006 (Da Capo). Bayoumi is also the co-editor of The Edward Said Reader (Vintage) and editor of Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: the Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict (O/R Books & Haymarket Books). With Lizzy Ratner, he also co-edited a special issue of The Nation magazine on Islamophobia (July 2-9, 2012). He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Sun-Times, and on CNN, FOX News, Book TV, National Public Radio, and many other media outlets from around the world. Panel discussions on How Does It Feel To be Problem? have been convened at The Museum of the City of New York, PEN American Center, Drexel Law School, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the book has been chosen as the common reading for incoming freshmen at universities across the country. Bayoumi is a professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. In 2015, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Southern Vermont College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *