The Showroom

Book Launch: stagings: Kabul, Film Production of Representation

Thursday 27 May 2010, 6–8.30pm

Free, no booking required.

In stagings..., author, artist and filmmaker Sandra Schäfer brings up the question of media and political images of Afghanistan. City and cinema create stages for the counter-production of representation, and for new definitions and reinterpretations of gender roles and power relations.

The book addresses urban issues beyond ‘the civitas’ but also keeps an eye on cultural production, image politics and media strategies. Highlighted films, international exhibitions and festivals explore the resistive role of gender politics in Afghanistan, with a secondary aim of undermining the instrumentalisation of the ‘women’s question’ for interventionist-political purposes. The book also presents photographs, film stills and related documents from the past forty years.

A rich docu-fictional range is spanned, from a staged demonstration re-enacting historical protests of women against the Taliban regime to real protests against the new Afghan family law. Interviews with Kabul filmmaker and women rights activist Diana Saqeb, award winning filmmaker Siddiq Barmak, and Afghan-Canadian journalist and filmmaker Nelofer Pazira reflect gender issues and current work. Film critic Madeleine Bernstorff examines the film Passing the Rainbow by Sandra Schäfer and Elfe Brandenburger. Portraits of actresses Aiqela Rezaie (Five in the Afternoon by Samira Makhmalbaf) and Hamida Refah (Kite Runner by Marc Foster) and the martial arts film director Saba Sahar provide insight to the landscape of film production in Kabul.

At the book launch Sandra Schäfer will present film clips and photographs, and will discuss questions around the representation of gender on the level of film, political work and daily life in Kabul with the film critic Madeleine Bernstorff and researcher Khadija Abbasi.

For further information about Sandra Schäfer visit

stagings: Kabul, Film & Production of Representation was published in the book series metroZones/media, edited by Jochen Becker with Stephan Lanz in the Berlin publishing house b_books.