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 Popo Fan, Tobias Hering, Malve Lippmann, Branka Pavlovic, Can Sungu, Sarnt Utamachote and Florian Wüst

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Curated by Sarnt Utamachote, Popo Fan and Ragil Huda

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IMAGINING QUEER BANDUNG

“But what harm is in diversity, when there is unity in desire?” With this question, the Indonesian president Sukarno opened the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung. Whilst being known as one of the earliest global alliances of people of color in non-alignment politics, these political acteurs represented only the interests of their own nation-states, at the cost of oppressing marginal queer and indigenous groups. Hence the absence of these perspectives in the linear and heteronormative historical narrative of anti-colonial struggles. Imagining Queer Bandung aims to draw a bridge between this “unity in desire” and LGBTQ+ social activism, decolonial knowledge, and cinematic imagination. How can we imagine alternative approaches in which queer bodies – across Asian, African, and Caribbean contexts – participate in, produce and reclaim these larger discourses for themselves, their communities, and their liberation, as neither national nor sexual objects?

Funded by Fonds Soziokultur and The European Solidarity Corps in cooperation with  ‘Queer’ Asia in Germany

Popo Fan, born 1985, is a Berlin-based Chinese diaspora filmmaker, curator and writer. His films include queer activism documentaries and scripted, sex-positive shorts. For more than a decade, he has organized the Beijing Queer Film Festival and founded the Queer University Video Training Camp in China. In 2019 he curated film series “More Than A Midnight Rainbow” about Chinese-made and Chinese-speaking queer films at bi’bak.

Ragil Huda is an organizer, independent curator, and graduate student at the Asien-Afrika Institut, Universität Hamburg. He co-founded QTIBIPOC Hamburg and is also one of the organizing committees of the international platform and network called Queer' Asia in Berlin. His community engagement and academic work specifically center on queerness, intersectionality, community building, critical pedagogy, and the social-political realities of marginalized communities through various methodologies and collaborative curatorial practices.

Sarnt Utamachote is a filmmaker, photographer and curator. He is a co-founder of un.thai.tled, a collective of Thai-diasporic creatives in Germany, through which he curated un.thai.tled Film Festival Berlin as well as Beyond the kitchen: Stories of Thai Park. His video installation I Am Not Your Mother (2020) was officially exhibited at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

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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To the archive

Events
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AQUARIUM SÜDBLOCK

Workshop Leaders Ragil Huda

PODCASTING WORKSHOPS FOR QUEER BIPOC

Application deadline: 15th June 2021 23:00 CET
Participants announcement: end of June 2021

These workshops are designed to provide you with the knowledge, practical skills, and tools to produce your own podcasts, as well as knowledge of gender and sexuality, culture and history outside a Western/Eurocentric perspective. This workshop will cover audio storytelling basics, including concept, format, structure, the art of the interview (researching guests, forming questions, active listening, and how to prepare and conduct various interview types), sound-mixing, editing, distribution, and project sustainability. The workshops are suitable for those who have zero to basic knowledge yet have interests in podcasting. 

The selection criteria are your project’s conceptual potential, artistic originality, and logistical realizability. The applicants should also reflect on the visions of Imagining Queer Bandung and be willing to solidarize and create a safe space. We also aim for a well-balanced set of representations amongst the participants. 

How to apply?

For more information and details of the workshops and how to apply, click the links below: 

Imagining Queer Bandung Podcasting Workshop

If you have any queries or problems with using the forms, please email: hudaragil-at-gmail.com

Funded by Fonds Soziokultur and The European Solidarity Corps in cooperation with  ‘Queer’ Asia in Germany.

More Event times:

  • 14.08.2021 (11:00) - 14.08.2021 (13:30)
  • 15.08.2021 (11:00) - 15.08.2021 (13:30)
  • 21.08.2021 (11:00) - 21.08.2021 (13:30)
  • 22.08.2021 (11:00) - 22.08.2021 (13:30)

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Workshop Leaders Sarnt Utamachote

BASIC FILMMAKING WORKSHOP FOR QUEER BIPOC

Application deadline: 15th June 2021 23:00 CET
Participants announcement: end of June 2021

This workshop aims to facilitate both technical and intellectual conversations around decolonial queer filmmaking. It aims to provide basic tools for each participant to realize at least two small projects during the one-month intensive workshop. From the history of postcolonial queer cinema, decolonial aesthetics, basic storytelling to pitching, basic camera and documentary techniques to montage, the participants’ project conceptualization and production will be accompanied by the main mentor (Kit Hung). Throughout the process, participants will be inspired, provoked, and urged to reflect through sessions hosted by invited guests.

How to apply?

For more information and details of the workshops and how to apply, click the links below: 

Imagining Queer Bandung Filmmaking Workshop

If you have any queries or problems with using the forms, please email: hudaragil-at-gmail.com

Funded by Fonds Soziokultur and The European Solidarity Corps in cooperation with  ‘Queer’ Asia in Germany.

More Event times:

  • 17.07.2021 (10:00) - 17.07.2021 (18:00)
  • 18.07.2021 (10:00) - 18.07.2021 (18:00)
  • 24.07.2021 (10:00) - 24.07.2021 (18:00)
  • 25.07.2021 (10:00) - 25.07.2021 (18:00)
  • 31.07.2021 (10:00) - 31.07.2021 (18:00)
  • 01.08.2021 (10:00) - 01.08.2021 (18:00)
  • 07.08.2021 (10:00) - 07.08.2021 (18:00)
  • 08.08.2021 (10:00) - 08.08.2021 (18:00)

Director Doris Yeung Hong Kong/China/Indonesia/Netherlands 2017

101 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Doris Yeung and Sarnt Utamachote

Taxi Stories

With an opening performance by Isu Mignon Mignonne & Mandhla.
Followed by a Skype talk with Sarnt Utamachote and Doris Yeung

Taxi Stories is a mosaic of stories from three different Asian cities in which the paths of the rich and poor cross in taxis. A closeted gay Beijing cab driver tries to seduce a rich passenger, a pregnant Hong Kong trophy wife starts to develop feelings for her new Indonesian maid, and a Jakartan slum orphan becomes infatuated with a Western female backpacker. All three characters desperately want to connect on a basic human level but ultimately find themselves a hindrance. In contemporary Asia, where social mobility is linked to increasing wealth, money divides and separates each of them making it harder to become who they really want to be.

Isu Mignon Mignonne (it/it/its) questions how itself* appears in the world, and twists it through various kinds of performance. It can be ritualistic, it can be multi-layered, it can be cathartic. It resurrects the invisible queer death through the green screen. It wears the female figure as an anaglyph 3D illusion. It reclaims the power of instrumentalizing one’s body and praises the sacred hole through the vibration of the snake. 

Mandhla. is a trans-feminine gender non-conforming body born and raised in Zimbabwe, Africa. Currently residing between Berlin and Cologne, she brings a blend of experimental R&B and Soul music intertwined with visual projections and performative dancing. Her music speaks of the daily trials that Trans*, enby and femme* immigrant bodies experience daily with love, identity, sex, and acceptance.

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Doris Yeung is an Asian American filmmaker from San Francisco. Her first feature film Motherland (2009) was named one of the ten best Asian American Films of 2009 by Asian Pacific Arts Magazine and the Hollywood Reporter called her a “filmmaker to watch”. Her second feature film Taxi Stories (2017)  has been screened in over 30 festivals around the world. Since 2002, she has lived and worked in Amsterdam and is the founder of CinemAsia Film Festival, Netherlands.

Sarnt Utamachote is a filmmaker, photographer and curator. He is a co-founder of un.thai.tled, a collective of Thai-diasporic creatives in Germany, through which he curated un.thai.tled Film Festival Berlin as well as Beyond the kitchen: Stories of Thai Park. His video installation I Am Not Your Mother (2020) was officially exhibited at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Tamarra

Archipelago

Followed by a talk with Ragil Huda and Tamarra (Indonesian with live English subtitles, transl. Ardi Kuhn)

Conflicted by her family’s expectations and religious beliefs, in The Book of Jasmine, a Black Caribbean woman is torn between religion and her love for another woman. On the other side of the globe, Pilgrimage to the Bissu Community immerses us in the lives and stories of spiritual and gender-diverse people with the aim of decolonizing rigid Western constructions of gender identity. Just across the Celebes Sea, Anito1 documents the Ati-atihan festival, a ceremony that incorporates animism, folk Catholicism and ancestral beliefs of the Aeta people.

The Book of Jasmine 
Melanie Grant, Barbados 2017, 14 min.

Pilgrimage to the Bissu Community
Tamarra, Indonesia 2020, 30 min.

Anito 1
Martha Atienza, Philippines 2015, 9 min.

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Tamarra (*Tasikmlaya, West Java, 1989) is a self-taught artist currently pursuing undergraduate studies at Universitas Sanata Dharma, Yogyakarta, majoring in history. Tamarra’s work deals with gender and sexuality, the history of non-binaries, religion, and humanity.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Quarteera and Assel Aushakimova

Westward Journey

Followed by a talk with a representative from Quarteera and Assel Aushakimova (Russian with live English subtitles, transl. Alexandr Lange)

Through the use of oral storytelling and animation, Adamantine is a story of forgotten desire and the search for a sense of belonging, one that centers around a magical turn of events and the passage of self-discovery. Welcome to the USA tells a similar story, but follows the path of a lesbian who is suddenly able to migrate to start a new life and the challenges they face along the way. It is one of just a few feature-length Kazakh films with a protagonist from the LGBTQ community. With both films ultimately expressing a form of wishful thinking and the kind of “magical” energy that lies behind all emancipatory projects, each sheds light on the often forgotten narratives of queer persons in/from post-soviet central Asia.

Adamantine
Art Arutyunyan, USA 2017, 9 min.

Welcome to the USA
Assel Aushakimova, Kazakhstan 2019, 94 min.

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Quarteera has been connecting Russian-speaking LGBTQI* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersexual) people in Germany since 2012. The organization counteracts the multiple disadvantages Russian-speaking LGBTIQ* people face as non-Germans and as LGBTQI*. Fields of work include political education, counseling services for LGBTQI* people and its parents, and international cooperation projects with LGBTQI* organizations especially in the countries of the former USSR.

Assel Aushakimova is a Kazakhstani director, screenwriter, and producer. Her first feature film Welcome to the USA had its world premiere at AFI Fest 2019 and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize as Best International Narrative Feature of NewFest New York’s LGBTQ Film Festival 2020. She is currently working on her second feature film that has been selected for the first workshop of the Biennale College Cinema 2020-2021 of Venice IFF.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Mark Lutta and Sarnt Utamachote

Alternative Kinship

No Romo is a short film about questioning the ways in which we perform romantic love in society and the many shapes that love can take. Baby Girl tells the story of Jessica, a first-year university student who suffers an emotional breakdown following the discovery that she was born intersex. Yet when Jessica meets the free-spirited Sally, she realizes that she can be herself and still find true acceptance. Polyamorous Family documents a poly family containing black, white, Chinese, and Indian members, exploring relationships, globalization, and sexuality. In Plain Sight documents how an LGBTQ+ community functions in Uganda, as the filmmaker shares an insight into the dynamics of life in a country where being gay is considered unlawful and immoral.

No Romo
Elliot Blue, Germany 2021, 15 min.

Baby Girl 
Selasie Djameh, Ghana 2019, 24 min.

Polyamorous Family
He Xiaopei, China 2010, 26 min.

In Plain Sight
Achiro P. Olwoch, Uganda 2019, 17 min.

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Mark Lutta is from Jinja, Eastern Uganda. He recently graduated with a BA at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He worked with Achiro Media House (AMH) and Lillian Kelle Productions, an organization focused on content that brings awareness to Child Sexual Abuse. He was an assistant coordinator at the Kampala International Theatre Festival. Mark currently lives in Cologne.

Sarnt Utamachote is a filmmaker, photographer and curator. He is a co-founder of un.thai.tled, a collective of Thai-diasporic creatives in Germany, through which he curated un.thai.tled Film Festival Berlin as well as Beyond the kitchen: Stories of Thai Park. His video installation I Am Not Your Mother (2020) was officially exhibited at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Zara Zandieh and Popo Fan

Re-Placement

While The Sea Runs Thru My Veins is an assemblage of multiple post-migrant voices from different geopolitical spheres, At Home But Not at Home evokes postcolonial memories through the use of contrasting footage. Together with cartographic appropriation and re-mapping in Sewing Borders and the aesthetics of opacity, rumours and secrets in Endnote, each of these short films reflect queer, if not asexual, counter-narrative aesthetics and decolonial knowledge. Here we can explore (un)seen subjects and how they cross over to occupy new bodily spaces.

Endnote 
Ashish Avikunthak, India 2005, 18 min.

The Sea Runs Thru My Veins
Zara Zandieh, Germany 2019, 20 min.

Sewing Borders
Mohamad Hafeda, Lebanon 2018, 25 min.

At Home But Not at Home
Suneil Sanzgiri, USA 2019,11 min.

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Zara Zandieh (they/she) is a filmmaker born and based in Berlin. Zara’s works have been nominated for awards at various film festivals including the BFI FLARE Film Festival, Queer Lisboa, and Dok Leipzig. Zara’s most current project, Octavia’s Visions premiered at Oberhausen Film Festival 2021. Zara was selected for the 2021 edition of Berlinale Talents.

Popo Fan, born 1985, is a Berlin-based Chinese diaspora filmmaker, curator and writer. His films include queer activism documentaries and scripted, sex-positive shorts. For more than a decade, he has organized the Beijing Queer Film Festival and founded the Queer University Video Training Camp in China. In 2019 he curated film series “More Than A Midnight Rainbow” about Chinese-made and Chinese-speaking queer films at bi’bak.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Elliot Blue and Zoya

Trans-Gressive

The comedy-drama Wa, Nan shows a beauty pageant, My Name is Untac takes a look at African-Cambodian identity, Emak Menolak puts a supportive mother at the center, Void tackles the queer politics of IDs, and ONTEM unfolds a contemplative picture about the losses and pain some have to undergo in order to be truly themselves. Each of these short films showcases grass-root productions centering trans* voices and experiences as well as ongoing campaigns for sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

*In this context, trans is an inclusive “decolonial” umbrella term referring to all gender diverse people who depart from normative Western ideas of gender. Trans = a non-cis-gender person.

Wa, Nan
Marie Bernadette Tayag / Eliza Santos / Danette Orlido, Philippines 2018, 20 min.

My Name is Untac
Vana Hem, Cambodia 2012, 13 min.

Emak Menolak 
Anggun Pradesha, Indonesia 2020, 9 min.

Void 
Asya Leman, Turkey 2017, 13 min.

ONTEM (Before Today)
Thiago Kistenmacker and Sanni Est, Brazil 2017, 13 min.

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Elliot Blueis a filmmaker and light designer. Their short films Black is Me (2017), Home? (2018), and No Romo (2021) have been shown at film festivals around the world. Since 2016, Elliot also gives film workshops to enable empowerment and self-determination.

Zoya is a translator, curator, and educator based in Berlin. They are an organizer and programmer of TransFormations – Trans* Film Festival Berlin, a biennial grassroots, community-focused festival organized by an exclusively Black and PoC trans*, two-spirit, gender-non-conforming team.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Popo Fan and Christa Joo Hyun D'Angelo

Female+

Pink Pill is a hard-hitting examination of gender/sexuality-based bullying and its emotional consequences. Goodbye Mr. B Hello Ms. B is an autobiographical documentary about director Beatrice Wong’s experiences as a transgender woman. Period@Period expresses the experience of having a period, one which might not only be assigned to female cis-gender people but to anyone. What I Would’ve Told My Daughter if I knew what to Say Back Then features over 13 years of home video footage concluding with an unraveling of the filmmaker's identity. Protest and Desire is a video artwork that challenges popular discourse around sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV by focusing on how women of color deal with intimacy, sex, and age within the landscape of white Europe. 

Pink Pill 
Xie Xiaoshan, China 2017, 30 min.

Goodbye Mr. B Hello Ms. B
Beatrix Wong, Hong Kong 2017, 15 min.

Period@Period
Hnin Ei Hlaing, Myanmar 2018, 8 min.

What I Would’ve Told My Daughter if I knew what to Say Back Then
Cha Roque, Philippines 2017, 13 min.

Protest and Desire
Christa Joo Hyun D'Angelo, Germany 2019, 20 min.

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Popo Fan, born 1985, is a Berlin-based Chinese diaspora filmmaker, curator and writer. His films include queer activism documentaries and scripted, sex-positive shorts. For more than a decade, he has organized the Beijing Queer Film Festival and founded the Queer University Video Training Camp in China. In 2019 he curated film series “More Than A Midnight Rainbow” about Chinese-made and Chinese-speaking queer films at bi’bak.

Christa Joo Hyun D'Angelo studied under TJ Demos at The Maryland Institute College of Art and later The Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow Poland. D'Angelo's work confronts fear and vulnerability through video, neon, installation, and sculpture. Her works have been exhibited at The Screen City Biennial, Halle 14, Hua International, VOLTANY, Taiwan Digital Arts Center, Galeria Studio Warsaw, and The Goethe Institute. 

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Ahmad Awadalla, Sarnt Utamachote, Popo Fan and Ragil Huda

Blood and Bounds

Followed by a talk with Sarnt Utamachote, Popo Fan, Ragil Huda, and Ahmed Awadalla and a closing party.

Slow-motion shots that reveal parts of bodies and fragmented films ask the audience to re-construct these slices as fully embodied human beings. Taking a US-American Black-queer perspective in Non, je ne regrette rien (No Regret) and a Canadian-Caribbean Asian-queer viewpoint in Sea in the Blood, both films interweave a centuries-old shared sense of sociality and bodily memories with the poetics of kinship – notions which have long inspired queer BIPOC social movements.

Non, je ne regrette rien (No Regret)
Marlon T. Riggs, USA 1992, 38 min.

Sea in the Blood
Richard Fung, Canada 2000, 26 min.

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Ahmad Awadalla is a writer, psychosocial worker, and sex educator based in Berlin.

Sarnt Utamachote is a filmmaker, photographer and curator. He is a co-founder of un.thai.tled, a collective of Thai-diasporic creatives in Germany, through which he curated un.thai.tled Film Festival Berlin as well as Beyond the kitchen: Stories of Thai Park. His video installation I Am Not Your Mother (2020) was officially exhibited at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Popo Fan, born 1985, is a Berlin-based Chinese diaspora filmmaker, curator and writer. His films include queer activism documentaries and scripted, sex-positive shorts. For more than a decade, he has organized the Beijing Queer Film Festival and founded the Queer University Video Training Camp in China. In 2019 he curated film series “More Than A Midnight Rainbow” about Chinese-made and Chinese-speaking queer films at bi’bak.

Ragil Huda is an organizer, independent curator, and graduate student at the Asien-Afrika Institut, Universität Hamburg. He co-founded QTIBIPOC Hamburg and is also one of the organizing committees of the international platform and network called Queer' Asia in Berlin. His community engagement and academic work specifically center on queerness, intersectionality, community building, critical pedagogy, and the social-political realities of marginalized communities through various methodologies and collaborative curatorial practices.