March 2018


Beyond Spring - Arab Film Series

Thursday 15.03.2018 7:30 PM | Saal

Admission: €5

Organizer: Werkstatt der Kulturen/ EUME (Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe) / Mayadin al-Tahrir e.V.
Curation: Viola Shafik


Mardin and the chronicle of the expulsion of the Syriac-Orthodox Christians from Turkey

Layn (Where to?)

Documentary by Fadi Yeni Turk, 2006, Lebanon, 120 min., Arabic/French/Turkish etc, with English subtitles


 “Layn” means “where to”? in the Mardin dialect, which is from the old city of the same name in Mesopotamia in the south-east of present day Turkey. Its Syriac-orthodox minority were threatened with genocide, in a similar manner as the Armenians were. In 2004, the Lebanese filmmaker travelled to the scattered members of its community and finally to the city of their ancestors. The narrative is woven together by his grandfather’s diary. He was a Syriac priest born in Mardin in 1899 and he died in exile in Lebanon in 1967. Amsih Khbeiz Eddeir, with the official name Abdallah, meticulously chronicles his memories. They lead him to the Mardin of the early 20th century.


Guest: Fadi Yeni Turk
In addition to his work as a cameraman, Fadi Yeni Turk has directed several short and full-length documentaries including Demo, Layn, When the War Sank in, and Monumentum.

Guest: Zeynep Türkyilmaz
Zeynep Türkyilmaz graduated with a doctorate in history in 2009 from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her dissertation "Anxieties of Conversion: Missionaries, State and Heterodox Communities in the Late Ottoman Empire" involved intensive research into Ottoman, British and American missionary archives. In 2009-2010 she was the post-doc at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar in UNC-Chapel Hill, then in 2010-2011 she was a EUME (Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe) fellow. In 2011-2016 she taught history at Dartmouth College. At the moment she is a EUME fellow at the Forum for Transregional Studies in Berlin, with the project "An Archaeology of Today: Tracing the Genealogies of Ezidi Victimhood“ (working title). Zeynep Türkyilmaz works in the field of research and education, focusing on the questions of nation building, gender, nationalism, colonialism, and religious communities, especially in regard to heterodoxy and “mission” in the Middle East from 1800 up to the present day.


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Beyond Spring - Arab FILM SERIES


In 2010, the Tunisian protest movement triggered a wave of upheavals across the Middle East and North Africa that became known as “the Arab Spring”. However, there is also a history to tell beyond “Spring”.

Since 2014, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has been highlighting films from several Arab countries as part of the Arab Film Series, with this specific selection of films curated by Viola Shafik.

It aims at exploring some major social and political issues in the region and further our understanding of various dynamics in regards to class, gender and politics in general, as well as explore topics concerning confessionalism, social justice and the question of Palestine.

The screenings will be accompanied by moderated panels with academic experts from the Berlin-based research program Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe (EUME) at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin.





Viola Shafik, PhD is a filmmaker, curator and film scholar. She has authored among others Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity, AUC-Press, Cairo, 1998 and Popular Egyptian Cinema: Gender, Class and Nation, AUC-Press, 2007. She has lectured at the American University in Cairo and Zürich University and is in the selection committee of the Rawi Screenwriters Lab and the Berlinale World Cinema Fund. She has directed several documentaries, most notably Ali im Paradies/My Name is not Ali (2011) and Arij - Scent of Revolution (2014).

She currently teaches at Humboldt University Berlin, as well as at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich.

An event in cooperation with Mayadin al Tahrir e.V. and EUME (Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe).




The facilities of the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN are accessible to wheelchair users. Please call us in advance on +49 (0)30 60 97 70-0 to ensure proper access support.