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Women Filmmakers Festival - Lessons from Pandemic Histories with Mariam Ghani

Women Filmmakers Festival - Lessons from Pandemic Histories with Mariam Ghani Online

Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum for our third annual Women Filmmakers Festival. This year, the festival is presented exclusively online with screenings and programing that highlights a different, singularly-inspiring artist each week.

Organized around the theme of “Her History Lessons,” the featured filmmakers all create works that look to the past for insights into urgent issues of today. Acknowledging the momentous events of 2020, the selected videos reflect on colonial histories and the growing climate crisis; legacies of artists, activists, and state repression; and more than a century of pandemics tied to social upheavals. By inviting these artists and their works into conversation with Smithsonian curators and audiences, the festival this year reckons with challenges that traverse generations and have much to teach us in navigating the road ahead.

Each week of the festival we will highlight a different woman filmmaker. On Mondays, we will release a longer video work by the featured artist that will be available for viewing at any time during the week. Viewers are encouraged to enjoy the film and submit questions and comments. These will be compiled and discussed each Wednesday in a live virtual conversation that features the filmmaker and Smithsonian curators. All festival offerings are closed captioned.

Mark your calendar and tune in for all of our film screenings. Register now for each artist conversation! 

Join internationally exhibited artist, filmmaker, and writer Mariam Ghani for a virtual conversation about two of her upcoming projects developed around the 100th anniversary of the 1918 pandemic. Watch clips from the film DIS-EASE, which examines themes of illness, otherness, and invasion. Then enjoy the short The Fire Next Time. This film traces the connection between epidemics and social upheaval from the 1800s to the present. Ghani is joined in conversation by Saisha Grayson, time-based media curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Sabrina Sholts, the eruptions curator of biological anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Learn more about Ghani’s films, Sholts’s 2018 exhibit Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World, and how past health crises inform how we navigate COVID-19’s impact on our individual lives and societal landscapes. Ghani’s documentary What We Left Unfinished (2019) is also available for viewing on the Women Filmmakers Virtual Festival webpage from Monday, March 15, to Sunday, March 22. Questions and comments submitted by viewers about this film will be discussed during this virtual program.

This program is made possible by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, and is co-presented with the National Museum of Natural History.


This event is not being hosted by the SJR State Library. We are sharing news of this free event because it is related to the curriculum offered at the College and, therefore, may be of interest to our students, faculty, and staff.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
  All SJR State Students     Community Members     SJR State Employees  
  Free event provided by an external agency     Women's History  
This is an online event. Event URL: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-filmmakers-festival-tickets-137497509753?aff=WFFLandingPagePromo