The Aleppo Room
Viktor Witkowski - 14'30"
(United States, Germany)
"The Aleppo Room" takes place in Berlin, Germany and focuses on a group of museum guides who have been displaced by the ravages of war. The three Syrian women and one Iraqi man featured in the film are part of an organization called "Multaka", which provides Arabic-language museum tours free of charge to recently arrived refugees.
For this short film, each of the guides narrates a poetic meditation on an art object with which they are well-acquainted from their experience as guides. The Aleppo Room is one such object: an entrance room conserved in the Museum of Islamic Art that is composed of painted wooden panels with motifs from Islam, Christianity and Judaism. This interior was commissioned by a fourteenth-century Christian broker who resided in Aleppo, Syria. As we follow each guide through the film, we learn how their relationship to these art objects is echoed in their own situation of making a new home in a foreign country.
Director not to present this film for Public, the Jury can award the film through private screening.
Born in Poland, Viktor Witkowski lived in Germany, France, and the U.S. before moving to Vermont where he teaches at Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH) and makes art.
Viktor Witkowski earned a Master's Degree in Art Education, Art History and Studio Art from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (HBK Braunschweig, Germany) in 2006 and a MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University in 2010.
"The Aleppo Room" is Viktor Witkowski's second experimental short film.