Event — Film screening

Framing Asia: two films on the theme of 'Disaster and the failing state'

Please join us for the screening of the award wining documentary 'Fighting for nothing to happen' by Nora Wildenauer and 'Nation' by Ali Nobil Ahmad. Afterwards, Nora Wildenauer will participate in our discussion with Ward Berenschot and Kasia Mika.

Framing Asia is a monthly film screening within the context of the Leiden Asia Year, organised by the KITLV (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean), IIAS (international Institute for Asian Studies) and the department CA-DS (Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology) of Leiden University. 

On 14 March we we delve into the theme of 'Disaster and the failing state' with the screening of the films "Fighting for nothing to happen" by Nora Wildenauer and 'Nation" by Ali Nobil Ahmad. Afterwards, Nora Wildenauer will participate in our discussion with Ward Berenschot and Kasia Mika.

Fighting for nothing to happen (48min)

By Nora Wildenauer

After the volcanic eruption of Mount Rokatenda, the people of the island Pulau Palue in east Indonesia shall be relocated. But is ‘new’ life at the neighboring Pulau Besar really promising? A worried host community and unclear land rights, a corrupt government and impatient refugees in temporary shelters are challenging Father Cyrillus and his companions in their attempts to make the best of the situation.
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In 2015, Nora Wildenauer won the IIAS National Master's Thesis Prize in Asian Studies for her multi-media thesis: Development brokers in a relocation project in Flores. A multi-media thesis about translations, interpretations and contestation.  The main part of this thesis, the ethnographic documentary “Fighting for Nothing to Happen”, has been screened at various ethnographic film festivals and honoured with several prizes, including the Award for Best Graduate Student Film 2015 from the Society for Visual Anthropology and the Student Award at Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival 2016.

Waseb [Nation] (22 min)

By Ali Nobil Ahmad  

In 2010 catastrophic monsoon floods led to one of the worst natural disaster in Pakistan’s history. Waseb documents the response of one heavily affected community to these events. The film charts experiences of escape, survival and political mobilization through interviews with local people in the months following the disaster.

Dr Ali Nobil Ahmad is currently a post-doctoral reserach fellow at the  Zentrum Moderner Orient in Leibnitz, Germany


Nora Wildenauer studied social and cultural anthropology in Munich and Leiden. ‘Fighting for Nothing to Happen’ is part of her master’s thesis and her first feature documentary. Currently, she is an affliated fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in The Netherlands. 

Ward Berenschot is a postdoc at KITLV researching local democracy, clientelism and identity politics in India and Indonesia. As a former lecturer in conflict studies, he has published broadly on the issues of ethnic violence, public service delivery and access to justice.

Kasia Mika is a postdoctoral researcher in Comparative Caribbean Studies at KITLV. She is currently working on postcolonial disaster studies and environmental humanities, offering an interdisciplinary and multilingual inquiry into notions of ‘disaster’, ‘reconstruction’ and ‘recovery’.