About

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

From September 2020 on bi’bak will embark on a cinema experiment at Haus der Statistik.

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA explores cinema as a space for social discourse, a place for exchange and solidarity. SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA brings together diverse social communities, links geographically distant and nearby places, the past, present and future, and decentres an eurocentric view through transnational, (post-) migrant and postcolonial perspectives. SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA is a transtopia, a place where “cross-border ties and connections converge, are reinterpreted and condense into everyday contexts” (Erol Yıldız). As part of the pioneering urban policy Initiative Haus der Statistik, the cinema experiment bridges the gap between everyday urban practices and film to create an alternative art form that connects different social perspectives.

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA is funded by Haupstadtkulturfonds, Conrad Stiftung and the Programm NEUSTART KULTUR

bi'bakino

bi'bakino is a curated film program that focuses on transnational narratives, migration and mobility discourses in film and seeks to stimulate differentiated discussions and changes of perspective. The program highlights films from outside Europe that have often not been shown in Berlin before, as well as archive excavations and rediscoveries. Following the film screenings, moderated discussions take place with filmmakers and experts.

Past event series can be found in the archive.

Series
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Curated by Eirini Fountedaki, Cornelia Lund & Holger Lund (fluctuating images), Philip Rizk and Shohreh Shakoory

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Disrupt, Dismantle, Desire

In Disrupt, Dismantle, Desire we aim to explore cinematic languages that challenge hegemonic narratives. Each of the films selected looks deeper at (neo)colonial ways of being and queries how we might dismantle colonial modes of knowledge production. By highlighting various aesthetic strategies that interrogate cinematic forms developed in the self-proclaimed “center of civilization,” the films collectively ask: Can the ways in which we perceive, produce and distribute cinema play a critical role in our struggles to question and subvert neo-colonial and capitalist infrastructures, borders, and gender norms?

Funded by Berliner Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung, the Berliner Senat für Kultur und Europa and the Projektfonds Urbane Praxis

fluctuating images is an independent and non-commercial platform for the presentation of and reflection on (media) art and design run by Cornelia Lund and Holger Lund. Its aim is to foster a fruitful exchange between aesthetic and discursive approaches to the multilayered challenges presented by our technology- and media-driven world from a global and decolonial perspective.

Eirini Fountedaki is an independent curator, writer and researcher. Between 2018 and 2020 she worked at SAVVY Contemporary as a curator of film. She is a co-editor of the publication How does the world breathe now? She studied musicology and violin in Greece, and Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 20202020, she co-founded the curatorial collective Cruising Curators.

Philip Rizk is a filmmaker from Cairo living in Berlin. Amongst others, he co-directed the film Out on the Street (2015) with Jasmina Metwaly, which premiered at the Berlinale and was part of the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Rizk is a member of the Mosireen, the collective behind the video archive 858.ma. His texts have appeared online, in journals and in collected volumes.

Shohreh Shakoory is an independent researcher and editor based in Berlin. Born and raised in Tehran, she finished her BA in art history and film and media studies in Rome and graduated with a master of fine arts from Bauhaus university in Weimar. Her research deals with politics of representation, aesthetic and archival knowledge.

To the events

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Critical Conditions

Fields of action in the environmental crisis

Curated by Sarnt Utamachote, Malve Lippmann, Rosalia Namsai Engchuan and Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein & Eirini Fountedaki

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SİNEMANINO

Children's cinema from SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

Concept by Dr. Martin Ganguly

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Stories, continued

Films with absent protagonists, after the GDR, after 1990

Curated by Anna Zett and Philipp Goll

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PRACTISING REVOLUTION

Film programme and discussions with a focus on Belarus

Curated by Marina Naprushkina and Agnieszka Kilian

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To the archive

Events

Director Philip Scheffner Germany 2007

87 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Shohreh Shakoory, Philip Scheffner and Slavs and Tatars

The Halfmoon Files

The Halfmoon Files is a sonic invitation to listen to the forgotten stories of colonial prisoners of the First World War at Half Moon Camp. Their voices were recorded as part of an ambitious sound archive that aspired to represent all nations of the world. In an attempt to activate historical events by means of personal narration, the filmmaker revives the spirits of the prisoners by initiating an experimental cinematic journey. 

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Shohreh Shakoory is an independent researcher and editor based in Berlin. Born and raised in Tehran, she finished her BA in art history and film and media studies in Rome and graduated with a master of fine arts from Bauhaus university in Weimar. Her research deals with politics of representation, aesthetic and archival knowledge.

Philip Scheffner came to Berlin in 1986. He works as a film and video maker and sound artist. In 2001 he founded the production company Pong together with the author Merle Kröger. His films have been shown at numerous festivals and received several awards.

Slavs and Tatars is an internationally renowned art collective devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, publications, and lecture- performances. 

Director Daniel Kulle Germany 2019

89 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a discussion with Cornelia Lund & Holger Lund (fluctuating images), Thị Minh Huyền Nguyễn and Daniel Kulle

The Colonial Institute

In cooperation with fluctuating images

When Hamburg University was founded in 1919, it was proud to be the first university of a new, democratic Germany; but it did not emerge from nowhere. By 1909, professors and politicians had founded the Hamburg Colonial Institute. Responding to genocide and bloody wars in German colonies, they tried to give colonialism a “scientific” foundation. The Colonial Institute wanders through the archives and collections of Hamburg University, its greenhouses and labs to track down this intricate entanglement of science, colonialism and restitution. The film takes us on an expedition to Central Africa, presents us with the letters of an African language assistant and takes us on a search for a skull we are not allowed to see.

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fluctuating images is an independent and non-commercial platform for the presentation of and reflection on (media) art and design run by Cornelia Lund and Holger Lund. Its aim is to foster a fruitful exchange between aesthetic and discursive approaches to the multilayered challenges presented by our technology- and media-driven world from a global and decolonial perspective.

Thị Minh Huyền Nguyễn is a freelance writer and media scholar. As a marathon runner, she is involved in the empowerment of BIPOC* LGBTQI* communities. As co-founder of the ichbinkeinvirus.org platform, Huyen volunteers against anti-Asian racism. When Huyen is not writing or running, she supports intersectional feminist projects such as BIWOC* Rising.

Daniel Kulle is a film maker and film scholar based in Hamburg. His work has focussed on queer cinema, (post-)digital aesthetics and experimental film. His short films, such as NoFace (2015), Under Your Skin (2016) and The Taming (2018) have been screened at several international film festivals.

Director Assia Djebar Algeria 1982

58 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a discussion with Philip Rizk

The Zerda and the Songs of Forgetting

The Zerda and the Songs of Forgetting is a multilayered exploration of colonial depictions of the Maghreb. Using “scraps of a despised ordinariness” (Djebar), in order to decipher various dimensions of the French colonization of the Maghreb, the film deconstructs the orientalist image through editing and fragments of poetry, dialogue and song in Arabic and French. Djebar’s film is not only a frontal attack on the colonial image, but through form carries out an anti-colonial critique of the practice of image-making. Using this strategy, the film lays siege to the making of national identities and the drawing of state boundaries. The Zerda and the Songs of Forgetting is a rare form of filmmaking that builds on the strategies of Soviet montage, not one that merely emulates the techniques of the past but transforms them into an indigenous filmic language.

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Philip Rizk is a filmmaker from Cairo living in Berlin. Amongst others, he co-directed the film Out on the Street (2015) with Jasmina Metwaly, which premiered at the Berlinale and was part of the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Rizk is a member of the Mosireen, the collective behind the video archive 858.ma. His texts have appeared online, in journals and in collected volumes.

Director Philip Rizk Egypt 2020

61 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Shohreh Shakoory and Philip Rizk

Mapping Lessons

Prefilm

Have You Ever Killed a Bear? or Becoming Jamila
Marwa Arsanios, Lebanon 2014, 25 min.

Mapping Lessons is a time capsule, a spatio-temporal traveler's guide through the logics of capital accumulation, border-making and colonial domination. The film recycles colonial images of power by taking us on a journey from the colonization of the Levant to the 2011 Syrian Revolution. Rizk intermingles these images with depictions of, amongst others, the settler colonialism of the Americas, the Bolshevik Revolution and the Spanish anti-fascist struggles of the 1930s. By juxtaposing scenes gathered from different geographies and times, Mapping Lessons disrupts the logic of the films it appropriates in an attempt to remap our visual horizons.

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Shohreh Shakoory is an independent researcher and editor based in Berlin. Born and raised in Tehran, she finished her BA in art history and film and media studies in Rome and graduated with a master of fine arts from Bauhaus university in Weimar. Her research deals with politics of representation, aesthetic and archival knowledge.

Philip Rizk is a filmmaker from Cairo living in Berlin. Amongst others, he co-directed the film Out on the Street (2015) with Jasmina Metwaly, which premiered at the Berlinale and was part of the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Rizk is a member of the Mosireen, the collective behind the video archive 858.ma. His texts have appeared online, in journals and in collected volumes.