Pakistani artist Bani Abidi is a distinctive and poetic filmmaker. Abidi uses video as a tool to examine the function of memory as it relates to place, unearthing overlooked stories. Her 2019 film The Lost Procession is the latest installment in the Museum’s New Media Series.
The Lost Procession recounts the experiences of the persecuted Hazara community, an ethnic group of Shia Muslims living in predominantly Sunni Pakistan. In recent decades the Hazara have sought refuge in Germany. The film begins with footage of Hazara people participating in the procession of the Ashura in Berlin, which marks a sacred day of remembrance for Shia Muslims. This footage is juxtaposed with scenes of everyday life in Quetta, Pakistan, a city that is home to more than 500,000 Hazara people. The video reveals personal stories of loss and resilience while examining the conditions responsible for migration as revealed from the viewpoint of residents in Quetta and from that of the refugee community in Berlin. Foregrounding the relationship between two Hazara communities, Abidi investigates themes of expropriation, exile, refuge, and captivity.
New Media Series—Bani Abidi is curated by Hannah Klemm, associate curator of modern and contemporary art, and Molly Moog, research assistant for modern and contemporary art. The running time of The Lost Procession is 17 minutes and 48 seconds.