two meetings and a funeral, three-channel film, 88 minutes, 2017
marxist historian vijay prashad writes, in his book on third world liberation movements: “the third world was not a place, but a project.” the third world was a utopian forum where the global south hoped to reconfigure planetary leadership, ending euro-american dominance. for documenta 14, naeem mohaiemen has constructed a three-channel film history of the last moments of this dream, up to its collapse that began in 1979.
beirut art center is proud to show this new project, in which mohaiemen shifts his focus to the unsteady alliance of socialist-leaning state leaders, meditating on the lost moments, and mis-recognitions, at the crossroads of 1973–74.
traveling through the residue of “gigantism” in transnational architecture (niemeyer, moretti, Le corbusier) in algiers, dhaka, and new york, and in conversation with vijay prashad, samia zennadi, atef berredjem, amirul islam, and zonayed saki, the film explores the tension between the nonaligned movement (nam) and organization for islamic cooperation (oic). It proposes, after prashad’s darker nations, that the utopian hope of the third world liberation project failed not only because of external enemies, but also the fatal mistake of a 1970s pivot from socialism to islamism as unifying ideology.