I am a Line

“I am a Line” is a short 2D animation film. It explores the artist's idea of identifying with her line and merging with it into a single entity that glides across the paper and connects her to a woman from the past. The animation invites the audience to join a journey of discovery and wonder known as art.

  • Hend Al-Mansour
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Franconia Film Fest
    Shafer, MN 55074
    United States
    September 2, 2023
  • Air Gallery Exhibition: "Sun Showers"
    New York
    United States
    June 30, 2023
Director Biography - Hend Al-Mansour

Growing up in Saudi Arabia, Al-Mansour draws inspiration from Islamic art and Arabic aesthetics. Gender discrimination and social injustice shape her themes of highlighting the power of women and their equal participation in cultural production.
Al-Mansour recently ventured into animation after two decades of making installation, screen-printing, and murals, often in combination. She employs stylized figures, Arabic calligraphy, Islamic geometric design. Her debut film, "I am a Line," premiers at New York’s AIR Gallery this summer followed by a screening at Franconia’s 5-minute Film Fest in Minnesota.
Al-Mansour holds a Master of Fine Arts and a Master of Art History from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of St. Thomas, respectively.
Al-Mansour received multiple grants, including MSAB, McKnight, and Jerome Fellowships. She is a member of Rosalux Gallery, the Interfaith Artists Circle in the Twin Cities, and The Habibitis, an artists’ group of multiethnic American women working to promote cultural diversity in the US.

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Director Statement

While coming of age in Saudi Arabia, I loved painting figures despite the cultural stigma against depicting human figures in Islamic art. I was inspired by both Euro-American artists from the Renaissance to the modern period, as well as Islamic artists. However, my fascination for Islamic art and design only grew stronger after I left the Middle East. From a distance, I was able to appreciate the richness as well as the hardship of the culture I grew up in. For example, I am in awe of Islamic artists’ talent and ability to create variable patterns using a single grid.

Because I incorporate a prohibited practice: the human figure, into a traditional artistic ideal: Islamic design, my work is a form of resistance against the oppressive patriarchy in Arabia and beyond. My use of bold and vivid colors, such as hot pink, regal gold, alongside playful yellows, reds, and blues, reflects the impact of my cultural heritage on my aesthetics. This impact also manifests in my use of henna paste both in painting and screen-printing. My installations pay homage to Bedouin tents and Islamic architecture, bringing stories and myths to life through screen-printed fabrics turned into murals and enclosed spaces. By embracing the playfulness and grace of Islamic aesthetics, I aim to challenge the gravity of gender discrimination within Islamic society.

Stylized and nestled within Arabic calligraphy and geometric and floral patterns, my art highlights the heroism and strength of historical and contemporary Muslim women. Many of my artworks are grounded in the stories told by Arab American women I interviewed. I aim to make visible the harsh realities other women and I experience in Saudi Arabia and other patriarch systems.

Growing up in the birthplace of Islam has profoundly influenced my identity and cultural sensibilities, even though I don't strictly follow its teachings and customs anymore. I've seen how women can be marginalized in the name of religion, so I use my artistic practice to assert my rights and other women's rights, amplify historical women’s stories, and call for reform using the constructs of faith and culture.