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Rosalind Nashashibi
In Midwest, Midwest: Field and Dahiet Al Bareed, District of the Post Office all made in 2002 Nashashibi's signature style in which melancholia, the inability to come to terms with loss, emerges as the persistence of the past in the present.

In these films rhythm creates a sense of aimless drift that lies somewhere between the Marxist idea of dead time and 'ennui'. Both these states are modes of temporality that enter historical consciousness in the late 19th Century as an adjunct to a moment of advanced industrial capitalism. In Nashashibi's films they disconnect one in different ways from the continuum of unfolding modernity to create archipelagos of the experience of solitude.


In Midwest migrant workers hunched together over tables in a café eat wearily while the sounds of a distant television mingles with their muted conversation. The brief respite from their labours rapidly filled by the battle between competing desires for food and sleep is not sufficient to convey the illusion of an autonomous subject at leisure. These are not black holes in capitalism's parcelling out of time by clock and calendar but moments when the temporary halting of labour allows the consciousness of its endless onward flow to be experienced as the dead weight of exhaustion. As they are experienced in Gaby's Café, a warm, lit, bustling oasis of communal activity in the midst of an urban wasteland, the contrast of moods suggests these workers are also part of a wider socio-economic and cultural network than their alienated labour offers. In a similar fashion, the flotsam and jetsam of unemployed men congregating outside the welfare office or seated at the side of a road, watching cars pass by, create a sense of time drifting and becoming impossibly extended. The passivity of the social conditions of men with too much work and not enough work subtly transfer themselves to the viewer through the slow rhythm and pace of the film.


still from Midwest by Rosalind Nashashibi, 2002
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