Foragers depicts the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Palestine/Israel with wry humor and a meditative pace. Shot in the Golan Heights, the Galilee and Jerusalem, it moves between fiction, documentary and archival footage to portray the impact of Israeli nature protection laws on these customs. The restrictions prohibit the collection of the artichoke-like ‘akkoub and za’atar (thyme), and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds caught collecting these native plants. For Palestinians, these laws constitute an ecological veil for legislation that further alienates them from their land while Israeli state representatives insist on their scientific expertise and duty to protect. Following the plants from the wild to the kitchen, from the chases between the foragers and the nature patrol, to courtroom defenses, Foragers captures the inherited love, joy and knowledge in these traditions alongside their resilience to the prohibitive law. By reframing the terms and constraints of preservation, the film raises questions around the politics of extinction, namely who determines what is made extinct and what gets to live on.
Jumana Manna is a visual artist and filmmaker. Her work explores how power is articulated, focusing on the body, land and materiality in relation to colonial inheritances and histories of place. Through sculpture, filmmaking, and occasional writing, Manna deals with the paradoxes of preservation practices, particularly within the elds of archaeology, agriculture and law. Her practice considers the tension between the modernist traditions of categorisation and conservation and the unruly potential of ruination as an integral part of life and its regeneration. Jumana was raised in Jerusalem and lives in Berlin. She has participated in multiple film festivals including Berlinale, Viennale, BAFICI, IFFR, Cairo Cinema Days, Goteborg Film festival, Ambulante, Cinéma du Réel, Art of the Real. Her Wild Relatives (2018) won CPH:DOX’s New Visions Award, Sheffield Doc’s Environmental Film Award, DokuFest Kosovo’s Green Dox Award, and Palestine Cinema Days’ Sunbird Award. Manna’s solo exhibitions include Thirty Plumbers in the Belly, M HKA, Antwerp (2021); Tabakalera, San Sebastian, Spain (2019); The Setting of Noon, Home Works Forum 8: Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2019); A Small Big Thing, Henie Onstad Museum, Oslo (2018); A Magical Substance Flows into Me, Mercer Union, Toronto (2017), Malmö Kunsthall, Malmo (2016), and Chisenhale Gallery, London (2015).
Foragers (2022), digital video, 64 minutes. Courtesy of the Artist.
Part of a film program featuring films about the ecological crisis, colonialism, extractivism, capitalism and the complex relations between them.