Alia Arasoughly

علياء ارصغلي

“We believe that culture must be relevant to people’s experience for them to become agents of social change. Culture that descends from above and comes from outside ‘by parachute’ and that speaks for the elite cannot have any long-term impact and influence social transformation, which is the basis of development”


Alia Arasoughly works as a professor of film and sociology in Palestine and is the co-founder and director of the NGO Shashat Women Cinema. She has worked as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme in Palestine and the programme Empowerment of Palestinian Women at UNIFEM (currently UN Women). Internationally, she has become known for her work in areas such as anti-colonialism, gender and national identity in audiovisual production in the Arab world. Between 1993 and 2006, she made eight short films. The Clothesline was selected in the official competition of the Dubai International Film Festival and This Is Not Living was programmed in around one hundred festivals and translated into over nine languages. In 2013, she wrote Eye on Palestinian Women’s Cinema, a book about the role of Palestinian women in film.

Her films tackle social issues aimed at broadening the discussion and questioning the workings of society from within. Her short film Torn Living is an intimate exploration of exile and the concept of identity. This Is Not Living and The Clothesline focus on the devastating effects of military occupation, siege and isolation and terror through the lives of several Palestinian women, publishers, domestic workers and housewives who speak of their daily lives and resilience and their marginalisation within the ideological debate of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Born in Acre and raised in Lebanon and in the United States, Alia Arasoughly settled in Ramallah in the late 1990s.


—The Clothesline, fiction, 2006

—After the Last Sky, fiction, 2005

—Are We Supposed to Fly?, documentary, 2004

—Between Heaven and Earth, documentary, 2004

—A Testimony of Birth, documentary, 2002

—This is Not Living, 42’, Beta SP, documentary, 2001

—Torn Living, documentary, 1993


For further information

—Alia Arasoughly, Related Resources

—Alia Arasoughly : «Le cinéma de femmes a trouvé son public en Palestine»

—« Qu’est-ce que le cinéma, à qui est-il destiné ? » Patricia Caillé, Alia Arasoughly, dans Africultures 2015/1-2 (n° 101-102), pages 272 à 293.

—Eye on Palestinian Women’s Cinema, Aya Arasoughly, 2013 (book in arabic)


Producer: Shashat Woman Cinema