Of art
and technology
9—19 May '24
Braga, Portugal

45th Parallel

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Theatro Circo (Salão Nobre)

Free admission

The Haskell Free Library and Opera House was built in 1904 as a symbol of unity between Canada and the United States. It is one of the only cross-border theatres in the world. Filmed on location to activate the symbolic potential of the site, 45th Parallel unfolds as a monologue in five acts, performed by the filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel.

The story centres on Hernández vs. Mesa, a judicial case covering the fatal shooting in 2010 of an unarmed fifteen-year-old Mexican national by a US Border Patrol agent. At the supreme court, Mesa’s bullet, which crossed the US-Mexico border, began to implicate missiles fired in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. If this murder could be tried in the US, so too could 91,340 drone strikes.

The project renders the Haskell Free Library and Opera House as a political and geographical grey zone, reminding us how free movement, free knowledge and free space are constantly under threat.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Lawrence Abu Hamdan calls himself a Private Ear, listening to, with and on behalf of people affected by corporate, state, and environmental violence. He is based in Beirut, Lebanon. 

His work reflects on the political and cultural context of sound and listening, and is presented in the form of forensic reports, lectures and live performances, films, publications, and exhibitions.  

Abu Hamdan’s audio investigations have been used as evidence in asylum cases and as part of international NGO advocacy campaigns. His work is in the collections of the Reina Sofia (Madrid, Spain), MoMA (New York, USA), Guggenheim (New York, USA), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) and Tate Modern (London, UK) and was exhibited at the 2019 Venice Biennale (Italy). His film Rubber Coated Steel (2017) was awarded at the Rotterdam International Film festival (Netherlands). In 2019, Abu Hamdan shared the Turner Prize with Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani, for their work on contemporary social and political issues.  

45th Parallel