the variable

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Experimental short moving through Islamic existentialism, cyclical grief and construction of the ego.

An archive film by London-based poet, artist and filmmaker Raheela Suleman inspired by a Muslim-Indian/London-born identity, unbound by time. With soundtrack by Pharoah Sanders.

Suleman says: 'I came up with the title ‘the variable’ after listening to a talk by A. Helwa. She spoke of the idea of the ego edging God out, while turning away from Allah defines an act of the ego. I thought about the existence of a mortal being the variable versus the one constant being, the only unchanged: the divine being. The only one that moves in no direction yet remains above the fickle temperament of life and the volatile nature of existence. That’s not to say that uncertainty is something to fear or reject and if anything should fuel our curiosity. The first verse of the Qur'an that was delivered to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was 'Iqra', translating to ‘Read’. The archives piece together a story that has no end and is as relentless as existence. the variable tells us that you have to have a good imagination to be a good worshipper.'