Signs of Remarkable History

Signs of Remarkable History (HD, 77 minutes, 2016) examines the intimate relationship between young Muslims, their teachers, and the sacred and worldly texts with which they are deeply engaged. Muslims believe that the first revealed verse of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad was “Read/recite (Iqra’) in the name of your Lord.”

The film refers to both this foundational belief and the way it is enacted within the intertextual Muslim community that the film represents. In the film a diverse group of American Muslims are asked to read or recite a text that has meaning for them; the chosen texts range from the Qur’an and 9th century Islamic texts to Oscar Wilde and Pablo Neruda poems. The film’s close attention to its subjects creates an intimate reality within this performative moment, being both a collaboration and a challenge to overly- determined interpretations. An extended version of the film was presented at Sharjah Biennial 12.