Video exhibition offers on-the-ground look at life in the Arab world, refugee crisis

Ohio State University History of Art professors Kris Paulsen and Erica Levin, working with a team of graduate and undergrad art students in a curatorial program, have assembled this video exhibition of works examining issues of conflict and migration in the Arab world from an on-the-ground perspective.

“These are international filmmakers, either from the Arab world or with some connection to the Arab world,” Paulsen said. “The representations of the refugee crisis we get are exclusively from the West. I found it moving to think about it from the other side of the narrative.

“We began to plan the exhibition before the election and the controversy around the travel ban that followed, but once those events began to unfold, the subject only felt more urgent and important.”

Basma Alsharif's “Home Movies Gaza” features street footage in Hamas-controlled Gaza that is both banal and beautiful. In “Foyer,” Ismail Bahri films a series of street exchanges in Tunisia through a sheet of white paper, attracting the attention of passersby and local police. Ayman Nahle films “Now: End of Season” as refugees gather in outdoor cafes on the coast of Turkey, sharing space, if not purpose, with tourists and locals as they wait for smugglers to help them continue their journey.