Videos

"Wa Waila" (Oh Torment) (2008)

 

Music video, 10 minutes



A surreal music video based on an old Kuwaiti folk song, whos words are almost like a trance of recurring tragedy and self-pity. It depicts love lost, displacement, gender identity, and death in a very visual, but also kitsch style. The men and women in the film are all in opposite roles, and the artist plays the part of the main male singer. Watch it here

 

"Abu Athiyya" (Father of Pain) (2013)

 

Music video, 6 minutes

Supported by Al-Mawred Al Thaqafy (The Culture Resource), Egypt

 

Abu Athiyya is a music video based on a piece of Iraqi saga - a Mawwal (lamentation) song performed by the famous southern Iraqi singer Yas Khodhor. The artist plays the role of the singer in an almost ghost-like funerary setting, and perform a knife dancing ritual akin to the choreography of the legendary Iraqi gypsy dancer Malayeen. The video embodies a kind of eulogy towards the aesthetics of sadness - a prominent form of aesthetic appreciation for centuries in the region - that is now rapidly dying away.

Behind the Sun (2013)

 

Video, 10 minutes

 

After the first Gulf War in 1991, countless oil fields in Kuwait were set ablaze during the retreat of invading forces. Those months following the war were nothing short of the classic image of a biblical apocalypse: the earth belching fire and the black scorched sky felt like a portrait of hell as it should be, an almost romanticized vision of the end of the world. In this work, amateur VHS video footage of the oil fires is juxtaposed with audio monologues from Islamic television programs of the same period. At the time, the tools used to represent religion were geared towards visualizing god through nature. Trees, waterfalls, mountains, and animals were the visual staple of religious media, and the narration was not that of the Koran, but of Arabic poetry recited by a skilled orator with a deep voice.

Travel Prayer (2014)

 

Video, 2 minutes 30 seconds

 

A scene from a camel race is playing out alongside childish music and a voice reading a traditional prayer for travel. Because of laws prohibiting the use of children as camel jockeys, each camel is outfitted with a small remote-controlled whipping machine on their back. The Bedouin owners follow the camel around the track in their pick-up trucks, yelling and encouraging the camel to run faster. The pain of the majestic animal is reflected in its face and movement, running aimlessly towards oblivion.

SOAP (2014)

Online video for Creative Time Artist's Report program

Recently in the Gulf, migrant workers have been almost (if not totally) erased from pop culture, especially within mass-produced TV series and soap operas. The main characters sit in their lavishly decorated extra clean villas,

cook their food, eat together, drive their cars to work, and conduct other daily activities. However this is not the case in reality, where most people are serviced 24/7 by house maids, cooks, drivers, public cleaners, among many others.

The title of the piece conflates the first word "soap" from Soap Opera, and a bar of soap - the temporary disappearing object that magically creates sanitary conditions in its wake; a disregarded existence, very much like the precarious case of the migrant worker.

Watch & read about it here





 



Rumors of Affluence (2012)

Online video for Creative Time Artist's Report program

Corruption, like many ethnic traditions and histories, can also have a history, base and a ‘culture’ surrounding it, evolving and mutating over long periods of time. This video is an attempt to illustrate the historical and cultural tradition of corruption and excessive affluence in Kuwait, through the use of rumors as the main subject matter. Because people responsible for corruption are rarely persecuted or held accountable by law, the only effective indicators of this sinister activity are the various rumors circulating the country. The rumors highlighted in this video describe events from the stock market speculation bubble and subsequent crash in the early 1980s, to more recent scandals involving parliament bribes and embezzlement of public funds.

Watch & read about it here





 



"Wahida" (Lone Woman) (2007)

 

Video, 7 minutes



An experimental film shot in the desert where buildings and huge satellites were destroyed during war time.

The backdrop is used as a metaphor for a woman who is overcome with loneliness, so much so that she is totally disconnected from the world around her, chasing visions of her disappeared beloved.

Early Animation Works (2005-2007)

 

"Visual Violence" (2005) 6 minutes

"Nightmare" (2006) 3 minutes

"The Black Moon" (2007) 4 minutes

 



In her student years in Japan, Monira created 3 animated video works: "Visual Violence", "Nightmare" & "The Black Moon". All of the works deal with masculinity, violence and the male voice. Employing colorful 2-dimensional imagery, the scenes and characters were all drawn by hand and constructed using poster-like aesthetics and movements.

"WAHIDA"

Film still.