Decolonization, disenchantment, and Arab feminist genealogies of worldmaking

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This article analyzes the intersection of Third Worldist materialism and decolonial epistemologies in the Arab world by focusing on Lebanese filmmaker Heiny Srour’s decolonial feminist cinema in the transitional period of the 1970s to 1990s. It proposes to read Srour’s disenchanted critique of masculine Third World nationalisms and Western feminism as a practice of worldmaking that is grounded within colonial-patriarchal modernity. Using Srour’s own trajectory as an entry point into larger debates, the article reflects on what affiliation to third cinema means for crafting a cinema of liberation that reconfigures gender relations. Srour’s Leila and the Wolves (1984) exemplifies such an expansive praxis of third cinema by combining a feminist historiography that centers oral tales, myth, and genealogies with a commitment to the armed struggle. The article concludes that Srour’s decolonial feminist cinema functions as a pedagogical tool to build cross-gender coalitions necessary for the persistence of the anticolonial struggle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-101
Number of pages30
JournalFeminist Media Histories
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Decolonization
  • Disenchantment
  • Heiny Srour
  • Historiography
  • Myth
  • Third cinema
  • Third Worldism
  • Worldmaking
  • Palestine
  • Lebanon


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