Amber Arifeen is a visual and performing artist from Pakistan. Her multidisciplinary practice grapples with questions having to do with South Asian female identity and subjectivities. Understanding the South Asia female as an ever-evolving subject and her experience as a product of memory, spaces, and history is central to her practice. In performance, Arifeen contextualizes the female experience through stories of a place or space, by bringing forth the embodied tensions that arise from internal conflicts that women find themselves in. She uses histories and associations related to spaces to reanimate their experience, allowing the viewer to see her female subjects through a lens that subverts those histories. She draws inspiration from philosophers she studied as an undergraduate at U.C Berkeley. Since completing her Masters in painting from Wimbledon college of arts in 2019, Amber has had three solo shows and participated in several group shows in Pakistan, Paris, Berlin, and London. In Oct 2021 she was invited to participate as a performance artist at Domus Residency - an eco-feminist residence located in Southern Italy, the outcome of which is the film 'The tarantata'.
Films shown in Divvy Film Festival 2023
The Tarantata, 2022, Amber Arifeen
The project is a short documentary film that contextualizes seven dances performed by the artist, Amber Arifeen, in seven different locations across the region of Puglia, in Southern Italy, in October of 2021. The performances were part of an investigation into the ancient Tarantismo dance ritual that took place every year in Puglia up until 50 years ago and the contemporary issue of the Olive Tree decimation, in which acres of Olive tree fields have been eradicated in the region owing to the spread of a mysterious disease – Xylella- a result of climate change. The film chronicles her own journey and experience of growing up as a woman in Pakistan and draws parallels with the history of Tarantismo and the current destruction of the Olive tree.