Artist Narratives: Alia Syed - Snow

    Alia Syed was born in Swansea, Wales and lives between London and Glasgow. She has been making experimental films in Britain for over 25 years. In her film Snow, Alia Syed reappropriates footage shot by her father on a snowy day in the winter of 1995/96, at a time when the filmmaker and her father were not speaking to one another.

    Snow blends different temporalities – of the original footage, of the filmmaker’s first watching in 2017 and her subsequent viewings in 2019 – time and repetition shifting the filmmaker’s assumptions about the images and her late father, who is both present and absent.

    Here Alia shares her account of the process of making the work.


    "12th June 2019.

    I keep returning to Hi-8 videotape my father shot in the winter of 1995/6, that until a month ago, I did not know even existed. The tape had been lying dormant in a box with the camera he had bought.

    ‘Today is the 25th December 1995.’

    I am looking at the house we grew up in; it is covered with snow. My father has walked part way up the hill; he continually comments on the scene but the tape has degraded so it’s difficult to catch exactly what he says – every time I view the footage I glean a different meaning.

    I have been a servant to the video. It called out to me to mend it, but I also wanted to destroy it; it has been re-captured digitally, held within different codes, the signals have reconvened, allowing a different picture to emerge, an-other home movie."

    Book to hear Alia Syed in conversation with Gilane Tawadros

    Artist Narratives, is an online event series inviting leading female voices from across the arts to reflect on their practice and share their visions for the future.  

    Join artist and filmmaker Alia Syed in conversation with curator and DACS Chief Executive Gilane Tawadros, as they discuss her expansive practice over the past 35 years.

    Thursday 14 July, 5-6pm 

    Book tickets

    See more of Alia Syed’s work

    You can find out more about Alia’s work on LUX - UK agency for the support and promotion of artists working with the moving image.

    Image: Snow, UK, 2019. Alia Syed.


    Posted on by Joanne Milmoe