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14th International Festival of Contemporary Arts – City of Women Kinda Hassan / Ašura Selda Asal / Hard to Die

17 October 2008 > 30 October 2008 Kinda Hassan (Bejrut) / Ašura/Ashoura / video instalacija
Selda Asal (Istanbul) / Odporne na smrt / Hard to Die / dvd projekcija
Organized by: City of Women
In collaboration with: Alkatraz Gallery
With the support of: Roberto Cimetta Fund

The Shia Islamic ceremony Ashura (Ashoura) commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who was killed as a martyr in the battle of Karbala in the late 7th century A.D. Younger generations perceive this sacrificial ceremony marked with blood and martyrdom as a rare opportunity to gather and even for seduction. The camera lens captures this game of seduction, revealing the adopted sexual roles and expectations which perceive women (merely) as objects in the eyes of men/predators.
This documentary video illuminates how old traditions assume new roles and the resistance against the deeprooted family law which in many aspects still determines he lives of younger generations through institutions such as arranged marriages and patrilineal inheritance.

Kinda Hassan

is a visual (photography, video, installation) and sound artist, whose work explores the frontiers between virtual/theoretical claims and concepts and everyday life as well as mass media and social rituals. She is active within the framework of Eka3 Productions, a music label that operates in the Middle East. She participated at Transmediale 07 with her video Yet Another Shot.
This video installation is part of Restore Hope, a long-term documentary project which questions the paradoxical reality of life on the fringes of death. The video examines the tradition of honorary killings by focusing on individual women who were forced to leave their homes in order to avoid death. Without narration, we follow a string of personal first-hand testimonies of women who have chosen life. Honorary killings are not based on religion as much as on tradition which is still very much alive. From Turkey, Pakistan, and India to the USA and Canada. The footage was shot in Germany, where these individuals found refuge. Although honorary killings are considered a crime in several countries, their victims do not always survive and the perpetrators – family members – often go unpunished.
Selda Asal

is a new media and video artist who delves into the fields of social work, psychoanalysis, and art therapy. She focuses on the direct personal experiences of the stigmatized, ostracized, and alienated individuals of modern society. By combining art, activism and critical analysis of the mechanisms of control, Asal uncovers the hidden facts of human society and explores the ways of creating environments enabling “freedom” and gathering. She is the initiator of The Apartment Project (

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