Basma Alsharif

*1984, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon.

Basma Alsharif was educated in the US, earning BFA & MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art & Design and was a guest student at the Malmö Art Academy, Lund University Sweden in 2004.

Basma is a visual artists based in Beirut, Lebanon working with photography, film/video, sound, text and language. Her films stem from an exploration of how we comprehend visual communication at the most instinctual level. Using language as a response to the image, a discrepancy between what is being said and what is being seen wavers in-and-out of dissonance and harmony. At the core is a desire to reveal the unreliability of facts & history by breaking down representational mechanisms and manipulating how they visually communicate. Using fantasy, or the fantastical, as a method for distancing the viewer from politics, her films appeal to the viewer’s subjective desire for harmony in sound, image, and narrative.

Basma has been screened and exhibited at: Rencontres Internationales PARIS/BERLIN/MADRID, the Chicago Underground Film Festival: Gene Siskel Film Center, the 31st Festival International Cinéma Méditerranéen Montpellier, the 9th edition of DocuDays: Beirut International Documentary Festival, Homeland: Exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Centre of Southern Australia, the 9th edition of the Sharjah Biennial awarded 2nd Jury Prize, the Ann Harbor Palestine Film Festival, Palestine Film Week Al-Balad Theater Amman, Chicago Palestine Film Festival Gene Siskel Film Center, The Jerusalem Show in 2008, Images du Moyent-Orient Musee Jeu Du Paume Paris, Cinema East Film Festival ARTEAST IFC theater NYC, and Gallery Peep, Sweden.

Measuring Distance

We Began By Measuring Distance / Palestine / 2009 / 19' / 4:3

Long still frames, text, language, and sound are weaved together to unfold the narrative of an anonymous group who fill their time by measuring distance. Innocent measurements become political ones, drawing an examination of how image and sound communicate history, tragedy, and the complication of Palestinian nationalism. We Began By Measuring Distance explores the ultimate disenchantment with facts when the visual fails to communicate the tragic.