“Of enormous importance”: Art University of Mosul establishes film school together with NTGent/Milo Rau and UNESCO


Academy of Fine Arts Mosul, NTGent and UNESCO establish film school in Mosul
When it was announced last weekend that a film school would be opened in Mosul with the support of NTGent and UNESCO, the reactions in the media were euphoric. “The project offers an answer to the question of what Western artists can do in precarious areas,” De Standaard in a detailed critical analysis, Broadway World and Arab News quoted the head of the Mosul Art School, Suleik Salem Al-Khabbaz: “This collaboration is of enormous importance to us. It’s a chance to tell the whole world about the real reality in the city of Mosul.”
Since 2016 (“Empire”), director Milo Rau and his team have been working with partners from the region; after the liberation of Mosul from the Islamic State, “Orestes in Mossul”, a first piece was created together with the Art University of Mosul, followed by an intensive structural exchange. After five years of preliminary work, a film school will now be established from October 2021. “Opening a film school in Mosul may seem extraordinary,” Rau told AFP, “but it is the logical continuation of a structural exchange.” After five years of artistic cooperation in solidarity, it now comes to the founding of an institute, just as much for male as female students – the first of its kind in the region. More information about the project can be found here.
Start of the season in two countries: “Grief & Beauty” in Ghent, “School of Resistance” in Cologne
Rau and his team are starting the 2021/22 season with two events that couldn’t be more different: In “Grief & Beauty” – premiering on Wednesday 22 September at NTGent – four actors accompany a woman who seeks assisted suicide. Their personal stories about farewell and rebirth, art and love, memory and forgetting frame a radical, tender and hyper-intimate production that pushes the limits of the bearable. “As always, Milo Rau transcends his subject, inspired by the representation of death,” says Libération in its announcement – there are still remaining tickets available!
“Maybe the upcoming federal election is for that: to swap the politics of hypocritical sensitivity for a politics of responsibility,” says Milo Rau in his column in the Berliner Zeitung. From this Friday (24.09.), two days before the elections, the 16th edition of the “School of Resistance” will start at Schauspiel Cologne. Under the title “For a Politics of Justice!”, you can expect a dense workshop programme, three hybrid panels, a solidarity rally, a concert and a joint fundraising campaign for a just and humane refugee policy. Among the guests are the writers Navid Kermani and Mithu Sanyal, the lawyers Wolfgang Kaleck, Céline Tshizena and Omer Shatz or the activists Mattea Weihe and Yvan Sagnet. You can find the whole programme here.