Virtual Women Filmmakers Festival: Conversation with Mariam Ghani

  • Lessons from Pandemic Histories

    On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) hosted a virtual conversation with internationally exhibited artist, filmmaker, and writer Mariam Ghani to discuss two of her upcoming projects developed around the 100th anniversary of the 1918 pandemic. Learn more about how past health crises inform how we navigate COVID-19’s impact on our individual lives and societal landscapes. Ghani is joined in conversation by Saisha Grayson, time-based media curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Sabrina Sholts, curator of biological anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and curator of the 2018 exhibition “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World.” This program discusses Ghani’s upcoming films DIS-EASE and The Fire Next Time and her 2019 documentary What We Left Unfinished. All artwork clips have been removed from this event recording.

    This program is part of the SAAM’s third annual Virtual Women Filmmakers Festival. Presented completely online, the festival ran from March 1-21, 2021, in honor of Women’s History Month and is supported by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story. Organized around the theme of Her History Lessons, the festival’s featured artists are Cecelia Vicuña, Coco Fusco, and Mariam Ghani. Each artist creates works that look to the past for insights into today's urgent issues. Considering 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.

    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.