About KooZ

kooz aswat queer film festival palestine

Kooz Queer Film Festival

An annual Palestinian three-day festival which takes place in the second weekend of November. Kooz screens local, regional and global productions dealing with sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, showcasing the intersectional struggles of LGBTQI persons, and hosts expert talks and interactive workshops with artists and filmmakers to engage the public and complement the film program.

 
 

The 3rd edition of  Kooz will take place between 8-10 November 2018 in Haifa

Kooz 2018 features films from Lebanon, Iraq, the UAE, Brazil, Poland and the USA that address the way politics, medicine, law and religion have shaped discourses of the gendered body and sexual identities, through the eyes and voices of women and LGBTQI people in different places and from various backgrounds. We attempt to shed a light on the commonalities between these struggles and find a way to learn from each other’s experiences. The program also includes panel discussions and roundtables with directors, activists, artists and academics.

Kooz sees cinema as an important tool of self-expression and narration, and aspires to inspire Palestinian and queer filmmakers to produce movies reflecting the unique experiences of Palestinian and Arab queers. Kooz believes cinema, which can transcend social taboos and physical borders, has the power both to reflect reality and to imagine alternative futures.

 
 
Logo kooz aswat festival queer

Kooz proposes an alternative to Israel’s pinkwashing practices and Palestinian taboos regarding sexual freedoms and rights, against the backdrop of occupation, colonization and apartheid, and the geographical separation of Palestinians.

This festival reaffirms the role of queer Palestinian resistance in the struggle for sexual freedoms and national liberation, by foregrounding nuanced, contextualized perspectives and positionalities from within Palestine and the region, and from worldwide movements of queer resistance.

At the same time, it builds solidarity and collaboration between regional struggles for sexual and bodily rights, and brings fresh alternative art from the margins to the center.

Kooz operates under Aswat’s Art, Resistance and Social Change program, which provides a platform for artivism, organizes exhibitions for emerging young queer artists and hosts public forums for open discussions on sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity within the Palestinian sociopolitical context.

Reflecting on the consequences of occupation, apartheid policies and practices, patriarchy, capitalism and militarism implies a broader understanding of queer sexuality, one that is not confined to LGBTQI identities alone, but that encompasses the political dimension’s direct and indirect effects on the personal—namely, our sex life, sexuality, gender roles and practices, and gender identity. This understanding drives Aswat’s work and is at the centre of Kooz queer film festival.

Kooz sees cinema as an important tool of self-expression and narration, and aspires to inspire Palestinian and queer filmmakers to produce movies reflecting the unique experiences of Palestinian and Arab queers. Kooz believes cinema, which can transcend social taboos and physical borders, has the power both to reflect reality and to imagine alternative futures.