The Parable of the Grounded Woman

Film Screening and Artist Talk

Wednesday, 13 November 2019, 7 for 8pm

Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop is proud to host the premiere screening of Elisabeth Tomlinson’s short film The Parable of the Grounded Woman created in collaboration with Heba Kamal and filmed in Aswan, Egypt. The screening starts at 8pm, people can arrive from 7pm.

The film portrays the physical body as a social and political symbol and addresses the constructions of subjectivity that the body takes on in the social context. Pulling from Elisabeth’s experiences in the American Evangelical church and Heba’s within the Muslim faith, The Parable of the Grounded Woman appropriates religious texts and the social order derived from them.

Parables are a story form that were used by Jesus in his ministry on earth: they are didactic and conclusive – prescribing morality and drawing a dividing line between the righteous and damned. The Parable of the Grounded Woman follows a traveler, isolated by choice who trains herself to live by a river and to learn how to navigate and survive. It is a parable that is existential, humanistic, and cyclical: utilising symbols from religious texts, the film narration is a repetitive cycle of triumph, defeat, sorrow, self-hate, anger, numbness. Culminating in resilience and routine as the singular character rows down the river and returns home every day. The moral principle is confusion as demonstrated in the acting, feeling, and living of this woman.

Elisabeth Tomlinson completed a dual degree in Fine Art and Educational Theory in 2013. She went on to be a visiting artist and research fellow at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, China (2016-17) and completed her MA degree in Gender, Education and International Development at University College London last year. She is currently working toward her Masters in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, is the current writing resident with Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop, and her work has most recently been included in Whitechapel Gallery’s London Open Exhibition. She is the writer and director of the Parable of the Grounded Woman and currently lives and works in London.

Heba Kamal completed her MA degree in Gender, Education, and International Development at UCL (2019) and centered her research around the bodily and emotional experience of women in Islamic death and burial rituals in Egypt. She is a creative writer, performer, and researcher currently working as a research assistant for The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture. She has most recently performed her writing and stories at ElMaraya Cultural Centre, ADEF, and Gusur Cultural Centre in Cairo, Egypt. Heba is the performer in the film and is currently based in Cairo.