Lebanese artist Diana Al-Halabi has found artistic refuge in the Netherlands, putting on countless exhibitions and live performances, and most recently, venturing into the world of short films.
Al-Halabi’s new film ‘The Disaster Cannot Be Contained’ explores the artist’s trauma, borne from the Beirut Port Explosion in 2020, along with her relationship with the two famous port cities of Rotterdam and Beirut.
The 25-minute film captures the filmmaker’s fascination with ports, juxtaposed with the experience of loss, distance, death, and the undead.
Al-Halabi explores the experiences of two-port workers with trauma and loss while narrating her own relationship to these themes and the seamen themselves. She concludes that “the disaster cannot be contained through a screen.”
The film can be seen at the ZeeContainer Festival organized by Over Het Ij Producties, taking place from July 8th to 17th in Amsterdam.
Al-Halabi holds an MA in fine arts from the Piet Zwart Institute, in Rotterdam, and has completed a one-year fellowship at Ashkal Alwan’s Homework space program in Beirut.
During her time at the Piet Zwart Institue, she became a central voice in the movement against Palestinian censorship at Dutch higher education institutions.
Her work expands beyond the personal, more broadly to the political, tackling various themes related to her life between the Netherlands and Lebanon, such as patriarchal cognitive anthropometry, institutional violence, disabling bureaucracy, settler colonialism, and the visa regime.