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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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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Curated by Can Sungu, Karina Griffith, Jacqueline Nsiah, Biene Pilavci and Enoka Ayemba

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Fiktionsbescheinigung. 16 Cinematic Perspectives on Germany

Fiktionsbescheinigung (literally “fiction certificate/certificate of fictionality”) is a concept used in German officialese. When people from non-EU countries apply to have their residence permits extended, they receive this particular certificate to cover the period during which their application is processed, thus enabling them to prove their temporary right of residency in Germany. Yet this period is a time of insecurity for them nonetheless. Will the application be rejected or approved? Processing can take several months and sometimes even years. The application itself would actually be more than enough to prove the right of residency, but the German authorities seemingly prefer a more bureaucratic approach. With this in mind, the film series Fiktionsbescheinigung. 16 Cinematic Perspectives on Germany, poses the question: who is able to enter German cultural history, cinemas and the film canon and who is left outside? Who determines what is shown? The series sees itself as a snapshot of an ongoing, self-determined process of intervention and protest. Each of the films functions as a suggestion as to how the white German gaze can be countered with diverse, intersectional perspectives, with all of them having one thing in common: their own visual and textual practice of testimony from within, not from the margins. In the process, Fiktionsbescheinigung encourages viewers to ask themselves where these films have been previously hiding and why the majority of them have not been accessible to a wider audience.

In collaboration with the Berlinale Forum and Arsenal - Institut für Film und Videokunst
Funded by Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa and is part of Draussenstadt

Biene Pilavci began the directing programme at the DFFB in Berlin in 2005 where she made numerous short films. Pilavci completed her studies in 2012 with her third-year film Alleine tanzenabout the power of family. In 2013, she made Chronik einer Revolte – Ein Jahr Istanbul together with Ayla Gottschlich with support from ZDF and ARTE. She is co-founder of the film-political initiative NichtmeinTatort and the film network Neue Deutsche Filmemacher*innen.

Can Sungu studied film and visual communication design in Istanbul and at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has given workshops and seminars in the field of film and published texts on film and migration. As an artist, he participated in numerous exhibitions, including at MMSU Rijeka, Künstlerhaus Vienna and REDCAT Los Angeles. He is co-founder and artistic director of bi‘bak.

Enoka Ayemba is a film curator and film critic focusing on African cinematographies, the Nigerian video industry and anti-colonial movements. He has been a consultant for the Berlinale Forum since 2019.

Jacqueline Nsiah is a freelance film festival, arts and cultural consultant. Her years of experience across the world include her work as co-director of the Cambridge African Film Festival in 2008 and as producer of the Real Life Documentary Film Festival in Accra. Nsiah currently works as a curator for the Berlinale Forum and as a project manager for the Goethe-Institut’s African industry film platform cinidb.africa.

Karina Griffith’s work has been shown at international galleries, theatres and festivals. She has curated film and interdisciplinary programmes for the Goethe-Institut and Ballhaus Naunynstraße among others. She teaches at the Berlin University of Art Institute for Art in Context and is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto where her research on Black authorship in German cinema interacts with theories of affect and intersectionality.

To the events

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SİNEMANINO

Children's cinema from SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

Concept by Malve Lippmann

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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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Common Cold

un.thai.tled Film Festival 2021

Curated by Sarnt Utamachote and Rosalia Namsai Engchuan

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To the archive

Events

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Rahim Shirmahd and Can Sungu

18 Minuten Zivilcourage + Black in the Western World + Jordmannen + ziyaret

18 Minuten Zivilcourage
Rahim Shirmahd, Germany 1991, 20 min.

In 1987, Kiomar Javadi was accused of shoplifting at a Tübingen supermarket and ended up being strangled to death for 18 minutes by an employee. Part of the town is up in arms, while the majority simply don’t want to see the crime as racially motivated.

Black in the Western World
Wanjiru Kinyanjui, Germany 1992, 23 min.

At the start of the 1990s, Kenyan DFFB student Kinyanjui grappled with how it felt to be Black in Germany. Racist material from German everyday culture rubs up against conversations with other Black people in Europe.

Jordmannen (The Earthmen)
Muammer Özer, Sweden 1980, 27 min.

In Özer’s hybrid film, the clay figure is a symbol of the fate of migrant workers in a prosperous society. Hope of a better life gradually gives way to the realisation that exploitation and alienation determine everyday life.

ziyaret, Besuch
Aykan Safoğlu, Germany 2019, 13 min.

Safoğlu’s essay film uses photographs to depict a wander through a Berlin graveyard with Kurdish feminist Gülşen Aktaş and an account of the activists resting there. A cinematic monument that considers the relationship between photography and memory.

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OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Narges Kalhor, Zara Zandieh and Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein

Octavia’s Visions + In the Name of Scheherazade oder der erste Biergarten in Teheran

Octavia’s Visions
Zara Zandieh, Germany 2021, 18'

The challenges of the 2020s from the perspective of 2056: environmental destruction, nationalism and the after-effects of colonial racism. Zandieh draws on Black science fiction author Octavia Butler’s work to ask how such problems can be overcome.

In the Name of Scheherazade oder der erste Biergarten in Teheran
Narges Kalhor, Germany 2019, 76'

Kalhor links her own biography to the figure of Scheherazade, Bavarian traditions to contemporary Iran and documentary elements to layers of fiction in unbridled fashion. A humorous play of different forms about cultural ignorance and narration itself.

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Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein is a curator, researcher, and writer living and working in Berlin. Her work has been featured at SAVVY Contemporary, Sinema Transtopia, and Sinema Kundura, among others. Presently, she is working with Slavs and Tatars and Haverford College on the interdisciplinary project Contest of the Fruits and with Udo Kittelmann and Fondazione Prada on the exhibition Human Brains: piacw.com

Director Mala Reinhardt Germany 2018

62 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Mala Reinhardt and Biene Pilavci

Der zweite Anschlag

Der zweite Anschlag
Mala Reinhardt, Germany 2018, 62'

Germany is full of crime scenes of racially motivated murders. After the loss of people, the second attack is that of a society that denies structural problems and covers up for perpetrators. Reinhardt consistently tells the story from the point of view of the relatives.

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Biene Pilavci began the directing programme at the DFFB in Berlin in 2005 where she made numerous short films. Pilavci completed her studies in 2012 with her third-year film Alleine tanzenabout the power of family. In 2013, she made Chronik einer Revolte – Ein Jahr Istanbul together with Ayla Gottschlich with support from ZDF and ARTE. She is co-founder of the film-political initiative NichtmeinTatort and the film network Neue Deutsche Filmemacher*innen.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Thanh Nguyen Phuong, Angelika Nguyen and Kien Nghi Ha

Die Türhüter + Bruderland ist abgebrannt + Sorge 87

Die Türhüter
Sema Poyraz, FRG 1988, 17'

In 1988, it’s not only the physical wall dividing the city that the Turkish inhabitants of Kreuzberg must contend with. Their experiences of social limits are interwoven with Kafka’s “Before the Law”: an immigrant perspective on West Berlin.

Bruderland ist abgebrannt
Angelika Nguyen, Germany 1992, 28'

Tens of thousands of Vietnamese contract workers employed in East Germany lost their jobs due to reunification. Angelika Nguyen’s important document was made shortly afterwards and asks what became of the promised solidarity and fraternity.

Sorge 87
Thanh Nguyen Phuong, Germany 2018, 10'

Vietnamese contract workers were hired in Werdau in Saxony in the 1980s to staff the textile factory, bringing life to the small town. Thanh Nguyen Phuong animates fabric prints to bring back the memories of that time.

Book tickets

Kien Nghi Ha, PhD in cultural and political studies, works on Asian German Studies, postcolonial criticism, racism and migration at the University of Tübingen. His monograph Unrein und vermischt. Postkoloniale Grenzgänge durch die Kulturgeschichte der Hybridität und der kolonialen “Rassenbastarde“ (2010) was awarded the Augsburg Science Prize for Intercultural Studies 2011. Numerous publications including Asiatische Deutsche Extended. Vietnamesische Diaspora and Beyond (ed., 2021).

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Sheri Hagen and Enoka Ayemba

Riss + Auf den zweiten Blick

Riss
Biene Pilavci, Germany 2010, 9'

A couple on their way home get into an argument with a driver who tries to provoke them. They lose their cool and a rift opens up between them for a short while. Can they reconnect?

Auf den zweiten Blick
Sheri Hagen, Germany 2012, 95'

Six lonely people find each other in a wintry Berlin: a widower and a blind jazz musician, a piano tuner and an art dealer struggling with his sexuality, a patient and his therapist who’s going blind.

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Enoka Ayemba is a film curator and film critic focusing on African cinematographies, the Nigerian video industry and anti-colonial movements. He has been a consultant for the Berlinale Forum since 2019.

Director Sofoklis Adamidis and Sema Poyraz FRG 1980

92 Min., OV

Followed by a talk with Biene Pilavci

Gölge

Gölge
Sofoklis Adamidis, Sema Poyraz, FRG 1980, 92'

18-year-old Gölge daydreams her way out of her cramped family life in Berlin-Kreuzberg. She wants to become an actress, have relationships without imbalance and try things out. A coming-of-age story in the Turkish immigrant community.

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OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Biene Pilavci and Ayse Polat

Fake Soldiers + Auslandstournee

Fake Soldiers
Idrissou Mora-Kpai, Germany 1999, 24'

Basketball, hip-hop and breakdancing are in fashion in Germany at the end of the 1990s, as are African-Americans too by extension. Tamu and Obi hardly possess the same cool, however – they are only a hit with the women when they pretend to be US soldiers.

Auslandstournee
Ayşe Polat, Deutschland 1999, 91'

When an old friend of Zeki’s dies, the singer is given the task of helping his daughter Şenay find her mother. A road trip through the Turkish nightclub scene of Europe ensues, a tender account of life dreams, family and the homes we choose.

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Director Visar Morina Germany / Belgium / Kosovo 2020

121 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Enoka Ayemba and Visar Morina

Exil

Exil
Visar Morina, Germany / Belgium / Kosovo 2020, 121'

Pharmaceutical engineer Xhafer is being harassed at work, as his relationship to his wife also crumbles. High summer in an unnamed German city. Emotions come to the boil and the same question keeps popping up: racism or paranoia?

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