Yumna Al-Arashi’s short films are parallel views, elsewhere. In The 99 Names of God (2018) Al-Arashi brings us to the Islamic practices in the Middle East, and in Montañas (2019) we see the climbing Cholitas of Bolivia scaling the Andes mountains, some of the highest peaks in the world. These films build awareness and offer resonance as Al-Arashi weaves together and celebrates specific types of Islamic and Indigenous womanhood, ritual, and landscape.
With a background in Social Inquiry at the New School in New York City, Al-Arashi’s Arab American perspective effortlessly blends intimacy, beauty, and mysticism within the documentary tradition. Her portraits of self and others become a form of poetry and resistance that nurtures a stream of underrecognized images that disarm the Western canon of film and photography.
Read the interview Holy Terrain: Films by Yumna Al-Arashi by Chelsea Yuill.
Presented by Capture Photography Festival in partnership with grunt gallery, organizers of the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen