Film Screening and Discussion: SPACES OF EXCEPTION dir. Matt Peterson and Malek Rasamny, 2019 United States/Lebanon

Spaces of Exception is a documentary film that profiles the terrains of the Indian reservation and the
Palestinian refugee camp, “spaces of exception” that have become essential in the struggle for
decolonization and indigenous autonomy. Shot between 2014 to 2017, Spaces of Exception observes
and juxtaposes the communities and struggles of the American Indian reservation and the Palestinian
refugee camp. It visits reservations in Arizona, New Mexico, New York, and South Dakota, as well
camps in Lebanon and the West Bank, “places defined by their historical and spiritual resistance” in
order to “understand the conditions for life, community, and sovereignty.” While the histories are
distinct, dispossession and loss unite these communities in solidarity, and the alternating stories
highlight both their unique tragedies and their revolutionary commonalities. Mostly eschewing archival
footage, Spaces of Exception showcases the present, in which each day lived is itself an act of
The film Spaces of Exception comes out of Matt Peterson and Malek Rasamny’s multimedia
research project ‘The Native and the Refugee’ started in 2014. Since then, Peterson and Rasamny have
produced more than a dozen films, including the feature length Spaces of Exception, as well as a book,
radio program, writings, and lectures. These works are not just documentation of modern life in
reservations and refugee camps, but rather political collaborations and re-articulations of sovereignty
and identity.
The screening of the film will be followed by a discussion with director Malek Rasamny