Author Archives: Zhenia Mahdi-Nau

Invisible Barriers: Moving Images publication

Launch of ‘Draw Down the Walls’ publication ‘Invisible Barriers: Moving Images’, took place at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Belfast, Wednesday 22 June 2016.

invisible barriers...moving images... Publication

invisible barriers…moving images… Publication

The book is a fully illustrated record of the stories behind the Invisible Barriers project and the 5 commissioned films facilitated and directed by Zhenia Mahdi-Nau and includes an introduction by writer Glenn Patterson (Good Vibrations co-screenwriter).

“I am in the United States… as a visiting lecturer, teaching a class called Belfast Narratives… I want them… to have a different understanding when they leave the class at the end of the Semester than they had when they came in at the start… And it occurs to me that one of the ways to ensure this would be to dim the lights and show them the Draw-Down-The-Walls films, one after the other… They illuminate where we are, and they show us – and others – where we might go next…Sometimes… by looking inward you still find new ways of seeing and being, and communicating. Draw-Down-The-Walls films do all that and much, much more.”-Glenn Patterson, ‘Invisible Barriers: Moving Images’ publication, 2016

Zhenia Mahdi-Nau with Peter Richards (GTG) a nd Secretary of Department of Irish Affairs

Zhenia Mahdi-Nau with Peter Richards (GTG) a nd Secretary of Department of Irish Affairs

Glenn Patterson and Ruth Graham from Golden Thread Gallery

Glenn Patterson and Ruth Graham from Golden Thread Gallery

Launch of Invisible Barriers...Moving Images... publication

Launch of Invisible Barriers…Moving Images… publication

To view films in full click on links below:


Intern 3

Along the Lines

The Carcass Among Us

The Wall

‘Invisible Barriers: Moving Images’ is one of 7 ‘Creative Belfast’ projects funded through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council in 2015.

‘Invisible Barriers: Moving Images’, was developed by ‘Draw Down the Walls’ – a partnership between North Belfast Interface Network, Lower Shankill Community Association and Golden Thread Gallery. The project enabled over 100 individuals across five groups to come together and use film to get their voices heard in their own communities and also by the people who make decisions that affect them. For many groups this was their first interaction with a creative art form.

Participating groups in the programme included Marrowbone Youth Club, Lower Shankill Youth Project; Lower Shankill Adults; Golden Thread Gallery Summer School and the Participation and Practice of Rights organisation’s Right to Work, Right to Welfare campaign.

Copies available at Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.

launch of the Invisible Barriers: Moving Images publication

Finally, the Invisible Barriers: Moving Images publication was launched last night, hosted at the beautiful offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Belfast. And it did not disappoint. Really beautifully done.

It was great to see some of the people that were part of the project, especially Golden Thread Gallery’s wonderful Ruth Graham who worked so hard and was a great support to me.

Copies available at Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.

Invisible Barriers: Moving Images Film Festival is almost here!

On 9, 10, 11 November 2015, the five films I’ve been making for Draw Down the Walls Invisible Barriers: Moving Images project are being screened as part of the Invisible Barriers: Moving Images Film Festival, presented by Golden Thread Gallery and Belfast Film Festival in unique locations in Belfast, including Harbour Commissioners Office, Hill view Retail Park and Belfast Castle Grounds.

They are part of 5 triple-bills each including a mainstream feature film and a moving-image artwork. Artworks screened were When Faith Moves Mountains by Francis Alÿs, In the Same City, Under the Same Sky by Anna Konik, Battle of Orgreave by Jeemy Deller, History Zero by Stefanos Tsivenopoulos and The Other North by Jesse Presley Jones.

You can get tickets via Belfast Film Festival.

Developing a new body of work

It was a total delight today to work with a fantastic dancer on a new body of work. Photography, moving image and dance, one of those times when everything goes so smoothly and magic happens! I’m very excited! Can’t wait to start working on the images I produced today and see how things develop.

Meetings with government officials about the Tapestry of Colours Edcuation Programme

It’s been an extraordinary couple of weeks. I’ve had 5 meetings in the Northern Ireland Parliament Buildings already! I’ve been presenting the Tapestry of Colours Education Programme to representatives of various Committees at NI Assembly and other MLAs and there are more to be arranged as they want me to present to their Committees and others interested people who could help make it accessible to young people.

As a non-political creature, I can’t help finding myself having all these very positive meetings about my work with politicians, somewhat amusing! I have been pleasantly surprised by how genuine some of them are.

I had to laugh today, thinking of myself sitting between the leader of one of the main political parties here and another official, while showing them my presentation on my laptop, and telling them ‘let’s cozy up’ so they can see better! And they tell me we have 30 minutes, and I leave shaking hands after an hour! And this was one of the shorter ones!

Sometimes, you only get one chance in life to be who you are and give it all you have.