Those Who Do Not Drown
Presenting two of his films, Those Who Do Not Drown and Grace, Reid Hall Faculty Visitor Naeem Mohaiemen will consider the question: When is the end of pharma-medical care, and whose life is it anyway?
Mohaiemen will screen Those Who Do Not Drown (64′) in full and show excerpts from Grace.
Jole Dobe Na (Those Who Do Not Drown) (2020) is a response to a prompt from Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective to reflect on modes of care and the afterlife of caregivers. Set in an empty hospital in Kolkata, the film follows a man facing protocols of blood, a subtly discriminatory office, and a vacant operating theater.
During his Lunder Institute for American Art Senior Research Fellowship, Mohaiemen learned of the state of Maine’s 2019 Death with Dignity Act. He contacted Karen Wentworth (1956 – 2023), the second person in the state to legally secure medicine for a dignified end of life process. In 2018, Karen received a terminal cancer diagnosis, which she approached with a seeker’s curiosity. A reflection on Karen’s life and the acceptance of the body’s decline, the film Grace (2022) documents Naeem and Grace’s collaboration – meetings, correspondence, conversations, and their friendship. On January 12th, 2023, Karen said goodbye at a time of her choosing. A banyan sapling was planted in her memory at the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute in Kolkata.
Naeem Mohaiemen is a filmmaker and writer who combines films, photography, drawings, and essays to research forms of utopia-dystopia slippage (families, borders, architecture, and uprisings) in the Muslim World after 1945. Mohaiemen has a Ph.D. in Anthropology (Columbia ‘19) and is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Head of Photography Concentration at Department of Visual Arts, Columbia University. He was a finalist for Germany’s Vilem Flusser Theory Award (2009) and Britain’s Turner Prize (2018). He is author of Midnight’s Third Child (2023, Dhaka: Nokta) and co-editor of Solidarity Must Be Defended (2023, Budapest: Tranzit.hu)