The Return of Osiris
On 9 June 1967, the Egyptian president at the time, Gamal Abdel Nasser appeared on television and the radio to inform Egyptian citizens of their country’s defeat in the war. During this unusual speech, he also announced his resignation. For many, Nasser’s speech marked the doom of the Arab nationalist movements that he had led and inspired; this moment encapsulates the loss and disillusionment of his pan-Arab vision.
The Return of Osiris weaves together footage extracted from numerous stylistically divergent Egyptian films and television series produced between 1976 and 2016. The found footage was edited to reconstruct Nasser’s resignation speech according to the original text.
By collecting, cataloging, and rearranging visual materials from popular culture, Palestinian artist Essa Grayeb’s film sheds new light on the challenge of conveying historical and political events in art along with the power that cinema has in building a collective memory, especially among post-traumatized nations.
Essa Grayeb, born in 1984, works and lives in Jerusalem as a visual artist working primarily with photography, video and installation. Some of Essa’s works are made from objects, footage and sounds that already exist, which he appropriates and manipulates. In his works, he touches upon notions of representation, absence and loss. His work often originates from an examination of his personal narratives within collective history and memory, while often weaving in and out of reality and fiction. He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree (BFA) in photography in 2019 and is currently studying for a master of fine arts degree (MFA) at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.