In Who is Afraid of Ideology? Part I (2017, 22' 20") Arsanios addresses forms of self-governance and knowledge production that have emerged from the autonomous women’s movement in Rojava. Shot in the mountains of Kurdistan and through recorded testimony, the film tracks the practical work of the movement - how to use an axe, how to eat fish within its biological cycles of production, when to cut down a tree for survival and when to save it. It explores how individuals come to a conscious participation in the movement; how they become part of the guerrilla, highlighting group learning as essential to the movement itself. In the film, the soundtrack of testimonies, analyses, and critical histories from those within and in proximity to the movement are edited together in a single, solid density. In Who is Afraid of Ideology? Part 2 (2019, 26' 24") Arsanios focuses on the ecofeminist groups that form part of the movement, honing in on the alliance between communities of women, nature and animals and problematising the care roles ‘naturally’ assigned to women.
Marwa Arsanios obtained her MFA from University of the Arts London in 2007, and was a researcher in the Fine Art department at Jan Van Eyck Academie from 2011 to 2012. She has had solo exhibitions at Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2016), Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2015), and Art in General, New York (2015). Her work was also shown at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), Home Works Forum in Beirut (2010, 2013, 2015), the New Museum, New York (2014), M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium (2013), and nGbK, Berlin (2012). Screenings of her videos have taken place at the Berlinale, Berlin (2010, 2015), e-flux storefront, New York (2009), and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011). In 2012 Arsanios was awarded the special prize of the Pinchuk Future Generation Art Prize.
Who is Afraid of Ideology Part 1 was commissioned by the Walker Art Centre with major support from The Bentson Foundation. Who is Afraid of Ideology Part 2 was commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation.