Khabur is the longest tributary of the Euphrates, a transboundary river crossing the border between Turkey and Northeastern Syria.

Climate crisis, prolonged drought periods, the ongoing war, embargo, water policies, and dam building across the border by the Turkish state are among the reasons contributing to the drying up of the Khabur River and the water crisis in the region.

The film departs from Tell Halaf (an archaeological site in the valley of the Khabur River) and follows the journey of Tell Halaf’s archeological collection towards Berlin where it has resided since 1930. It traces the circulation of violence in different times and contexts along the Khabur River and engages with the economic and political power relations that have been transforming the landscape of the Khabur valley, displacing beings and their belongings.

A magnifying glass observes the archival photographs of the excavation and deconstructs what has been framed. The excavated statues become the protagonists of the film narrating the story. The film addresses photography and archeology as two disciplines emerging from the colonial-imperial enterprise, critically engaging with the imperial grammar of institutionalised archives, and examining the way it could be recycled, reimagined, and rehearsed.


Director: Nafis Fathollahzadeh I Production: Nafis Fathollahzadeh I  Script writing: Nafis Fathollahzadeh I Field research: Şermin Güven I Director of photography: Nafis Fathollahzadeh I Foley and sound design: Luka Barajevic I Edit: Nafis Fathollahzadeh I Color grading: Tilllmann Betz I Archival research: Nafis Fathollahzadeh I Kurdish translation: Sozdar Jafarzadeh I Voice over: Sozdar Jafarzadeh