Film screening: “Ouroboros” by Basma Al-Sharif

Østre, Østre skostredet 3 19.11.2023 11.0019.11.2023 12.17


Time: 19 November, 11:00 CET
Venue: Østre, Østre Skostredet 3
Language: Arabic, English subtitles
Duration: 77 minutes
Free entry. We encourage donating a regular ticket fee to Medical Aid for Palestine. There will be options for donation available at the venue. 

As part of the symposium “The Only Lasting Truth is Change” we screen Ouroboros, visual artist Basma al-Sharif’s first feature-length film. It is an homage to the Gaza Strip and to the possibility of hope beyond hopelessness. The experimental plot follows a main character through five different landscapes, upending mass-mediated representation of trauma and marking the end as the beginning, exploring the subject of the eternal return and how we move forward when all is lost. Referring to the image of a snake consuming its own tail, the title of the work speaks both to regeneration and destruction, and reflects notions of progress and violent upheaval as embedded in the idea of change. As a main character searches for a past lover—while possibly leaving and reuniting with them — the work suggests a need to forgo one’s past in order to move forward through heartbreak and loss. Characters and their intentions remain unclear, and any notion of the real is contested as fact and fiction collapse. Ouroboros contemplates the complexities of attempting to speak about a return to a place one cannot access or that doesn’t exist anymore.

Basma al-Sharif, Ouroboros, 2017
HD video, 16mm film, 77’
Courtesy of the artist and Imane Farès, Paris 


Basma al-Sharif is a Palestinian artist working in cinema and installation. She developed her practice nomadically between the Middle East, Europe, and North America and is currently based in Berlin. Her practice looks at cyclical political conflicts and confronts the legacy of colonialism through satirical, immersive, and lyrical works. She received an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2007, was a resident of the Fondazione Antonio Ratti in 2009, and the Pavillon Neuflize OBC at the Palais de Tokyo in 2014-15. She received a Jury prize at the Sharjah Biennial in 2009, the Visual Arts Grant from the Fundación Botín in 2010, Mophradat’s Consortium Commissions in 2018, and is currently a fellow of the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme for 2022-2023.

Images: Stills from Ouroboros, 2017

Return to the full symposium programme.