Mizna magazine has opened calls for submissions for its ‘Cinema’ issue.
Mizna is a critical platform for contemporary literature, film, art, and cultural production centering the work of Arab and Southwest Asian and North African artists. For more than twenty years, Mizna has been creating a decolonized cultural space to reflect the expansiveness of our community and to foster exchange, examine ideas, and engage audiences in meaningful art.
Film is cast by the projector at 24 frames per second. Every frame is a still image, constantly interrupted by the frame’s edge. They are fragments of movement that create the illusion of continuity and persistence of vision, if we allow ourselves to believe in the illusion. In this themed issue, we invite submissions to formally and/or conceptually explore moving images through the history of SWANA cinema, poetry films, analyses of film programming, writing by filmmakers, film archiving, screenplays, audition calls, end/title credits, movie posters, storyboards, title cards, movie tickets, movie house architecture, etc. which are encouraged to respond to a specific focus of “fragmentation”.
The SWANA region has a history of fragmentation provoked in part by colonialism, occupation, diaspora, and war. For many of us, it defines our nations and identities. At the same time, fragmentation can generate a new way to describe ourselves and our artistic forms. It defines our storytelling, too. The opening lines of traditional Arab folktales, كان ياما كان, tell us “It was, or it was not.” The narrative is cut in two, somehow true and untrue at the same time, and this unstable contradiction is part of the story’s magic. Similarly, film strips were cut and pieced together to form a continuous montage. A movie ticket is ripped from a continuous roll, allowing moviegoers to enter another world for a few hours.
Submissions can approach fragmentation, ruptures, cuts, fractures, or fissures in a myriad of ways. They could be deliberately fragmented, designed to resist or heal fragmentation, or explore what fractures, ruptures, and wounds could generate anew. This edition of Mizna will challenge linear narratives and deterministic storytelling while writing with cinema.
The issue will be guest edited by Saeed Taji Farouky, an Egyptian-Palestinian-British filmmaker.
Selected contributors receive a $200 honorarium, a one year subscription to Mizna, and five copies of the issue.
Submissions are due Wednesday, June 5, 2023 at 11:59pm CT.
Click here for complete submission guidelines.