with films by Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle, Emma Leach, Sasha Litvintseva, and Rosalind Nashashibi.

19 October - 02 December 2017

“Living with one another can be unhappy, wretched, ambivalent, even full of antagonism, but all of that can play out in the political sphere without recourse to expulsion or genocide. And that is our obligation.” – Judith Butler

Willing the Possible presents films that collectively reflect on geopolitical conflict. Thinking through techniques used in narrative mediation, the selection of films presented in this exhibition, each in their unique way, attempt to come to terms with the intensely divisive political climate we continue to face today.

Narrative mediation is a subgenre in mediation and a technique focused on multiplicity in the construction of conflict narratives. Originating as a method of conflict resolution in Narrative Family Therapy, it encourages face-to-face contact between parties. In the realm of cinema, the encounter between film objects and viewers — together forming a site for collective narrative plotting — could be thought of as just such a face-to-face contact. Though the films in this exhibition are situated in conflict zones across geographies and times, none make any singular known conflict narrative the central object of their study. Instead, the films allow the possibility of collective narrative plotting as an open-ended process; a way of thinking through conflicting positions in a manner that is as playful as it is hopeful.

Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle, The Goodness Regime, HD, 21', 2013
Emma Leach, Conflicting Thoughts : Thoughts on Conflict, SD, 7'13'', 2011
Sasha Litvintseva, Exile Exotic, HD, 14'12'', 2015
Rosalind Nashashibi, Electrical Gaza, HD, 17'53'', 2015

Curated by Minou Norouzi for MARSistanbul and Sheffield Fringe.

Willing the Possible takes place in the frame of parallel events of the 15th International Istanbul Biennial.

MARSistanbul is supported by SAHA as part of “Grant for the Sustainability of Independent Art Initiatives 2016–2017”.

Sheffield Fringe is supported by Openvizor, and the Arts Council England.

Image: Film still from "Electrical Gaza (2015), courtesy of LUX, London and Rosalind Nashashibi.
Animation by George Thompson and Lukas Schrank at Visitor Studio."