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Safaa Fathy, "Revealing the Poem: from Narrative to its Elemental Image"

Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 7 - 8pm

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As part of the Spring 2020 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series, Safaa Fathy recorded a lecture on May 5, 2020 which can be viewed here.

During a residency at Dar al-Ma'mûn in Marrakech, Safaa Fathy began to experimenting with assembling narratives from voluntary protagonists to write poems and turn them into films. The process of poem writing was akin to that of photography, as the poem revealed the latent images of the narrative. The double procedure of image revelation and filming founded on trust and confession can be compared to both religion and psychoanalytic healing processes. In her lecture, she will analyze this experience, quoting from the poems and the images, and highlighting the power of enunciation.

Safaa Fathy was born and raised in Egypt, and holds a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne. She is a poet, filmmaker, and essayist, and was Program Director at the International College of Philosophy (Paris, 2010-2016). She has published numerous plays, essays, and books of poetry. She directed the film Derrida’s Elsewhere (1999) and co-authored, with Jacques Derrida, the book Tourner les mots (2000). Her latest feature film is Mohammad Saved from the Waters (2012), and her latest poetry collection, written in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, was recently translated into English under the title Revolution Goes Through Walls.

The Spring 2020 IDS Lecture Series at The Cooper Union is organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada. The IDS Public Lecture Series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding and support from the Robert Lehman Foundation for the series. The IDS Public Lecture Series is also made possible by generous support from The Open Society Foundations.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.