Karen Mirza and Brad Butler - Deep State

(2012 - 2014)

Scripted in collaboration with author China Miéville, the film takes its title from the Turkish term ‘Derin Devlet’, meaning ‘state within the state’. This shadowy network of special interests and covert relationships is the place where real power is said to reside, and where fundamental decisions are made.


For more more information on the artist please visit

Vague and unseen, the influence of this Deep State is glimpsed at regular points throughout the film, surfacing most clearly in responses to popular protest, and legislated acts of violence and containment. 

In this communication of quickly accelerating exchanges, a raised fist, a thrown rock, a crowd surge, or an occupation, provoke corresponding reactions in the form of pepper spray, a police charge, a baton attack, and even assassination.

Developed while on residency in Cairo, Deep State captures the energy of dissidence and uprising – taking the viewer on a journey that is as visceral as it is beautiful.

Single-channel HD video with sound, 47 mins


Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella. Funded by Arts Council England and London Councils. Courtesy of Waterside Contemporary, London and Galerie Non, Istanbul.