The closure of public places during the corona crisis has made it clear that the collective experience of watching films in the cinema cannot simply be relocated into the privacy of one's own four walls. The public sphere needs a cinema where films can be watched together so that this experience can be collectively shared and, above all, discussed with other people. Because cinema is more than just films. Cinema is a space for social discourse, a place for exchange and solidarity. Beyond the commercialism and rigidity of our societal structures, cinema can be a place where people can come together for their love of films, a transtopian space that opens doors, stimulates discussion, educates, moves, provokes and inspires. Cinemas are part of the public urban architecture, while at the same time being self-contained places of longing with an utopian character. On the big screen, a variety of worlds can open up before our very eyes, allowing us to dive into and immerse ourselves into other perspectives. Cinema can therefore create new kinds of connections that extend from the cinematic world into the urban and vica versa. With these thoughts in mind, we will open our cinema experiment SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA in the Haus der Statistik on 3 September 2020 with the series RESTART: SİNEMA. For the opening programme, we have joined forces with various curators to create a series of films that examines cinema as a unique social and aesthetic space.
For over five years, bi’bak has been organising the film programme bi'bakino, which creates a space for transnational, post-colonial and (post)-migrational perspectives and therefore serves to place local events in the context of global developments. bi’bak’s praxis has shown that cinema has not lost its importance as a social meeting place, as a space that brings together different communities and aesthetic approaches. In a similar vein, so too is the Initiative Haus der Statistik transforming the former GDR administration building into a communal space that combines culture, social issues, education and integrated living. As a result, our cinema, which is committed to exchange and participation, has found an ideal location in the pioneering use of the Haus der Statistik.
Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds
Curated by Popo Fan, Tobias Hering, Malve Lippmann, Branka Pavlović, Can Sungu, Sarnt Utamachote and Florian Wüst
Branka Pavlovic studied film and TV in Belgrade and continued her academic career with a master’s degree in Art in Context at the University of Arts Berlin. Since 2009, she has worked for the Free Zone Film Festival in Belgrade as its leading program director. She developed the art education program of nGBK Berlin and teaches as a freelance art instructor at the Freie University Berlin, leading numerous seminars and workshops.
Florian Wüst is an independent film curator, artist, and publisher based in Berlin. He co-founded the Berlin Journals—On the History and Present State of the City. From 2016-2020 he worked as a film and video curator of transmediale.
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.
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.
Tobias Hering is a freelance film curator and journalist, who recently presented at bi'bak the programme Freundschaft auf Zeit (2019) on contract work and internationalism in the GDR. He is currently responsible for the archive project re-selected at the Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen. In this context he is researching Amos Vogel's work as the Short Film Festival's US correspondent in the 1960s.