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Digital Poetics #17 x F(r)ictions: Let's go to lunch, habibi by Sarah Gaafar

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Presenting the second of four collaborations with screening space and video art platform F(r)ictions. This screening was held from August until December 2020.

Presenting a conversation from different perspectives between Father and Daughter, "Let's go to lunch, habibi" explores ideas of abandonment, anger and longing through disrupted and fragmented storytelling. Gaafar had previously explored the tense atmosphere between Father and Daughter in her film "Baba", a hand-held recording of a day spent with her own father in London, UK. Influenced by research on Tacita Dean's 2001 "The Russian Ending" - a series of etchings of scene directions on found postcards showing fatal accidents and natural disasters - Gaafar has developed her own truth into fiction with "Let's go to lunch, habibi", by creating two characters, a setting, writing a script with different acts and direction.


Sarah Gaafar utilises ambiguous narratives and calculated forms – the framing of the image, the distance between artist and viewer, the sound, colour and size, the subtle use of humour, or pain – all are fundamental in Gaafar’s objective to confront, control and question the viewer through imagery and sound. Exploring intimate themes of race and heritage, gender and sexuality, mental illness, religion, language and social class, Gaafar’s self-deprecating works perpetuate the difficult artist–audience dialogue, playfully questioning the viewer’s position of power over the artist’s body and identity. Gaafar’s Egyptian heritage, fat body and working-class upbringing also conjure deeper discussions concerning the gallery space, colonialism and sovereignty within the art world. Sarah Gaafar (born 1992) is a Scottish-Egyptian multimedia artist based in London, UK. In 2015, Gaafar was awarded a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Fine Art. Since then, Gaafar has exhibited in shows in the UK and internationally, including Greece and South Korea. Gaafar is currently co-curating Soul Beginnings, an exhibition of UK-based Queer and Non-binary Middle Eastern and North African artists, to be held in London. Website:


F(r)ictions is a screening space for experimental film and video work, making room for imperfections, unfinished work, left-field pieces, and diy work. The screening series is a space for feminist film, putting an emphasis on work by queer and trans people of colour. F(r)ictions is invested in the risks audio-visual works take: film can play on time and create abstractions in ways that hint at multiple possibilities/differences/contexts and provoke curiosity and questioning. At its best, film builds networks of escape and paints out new worlds and imaginations.


This publication is in Copyright. Sarah Gaafar, 2020. The moral right of the author has been asserted. However, the Hythe is an open-access journal and we welcome the use of all materials on it for educational and creative workshop purposes.

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