bi'baxchange aims to showcase cross-border collaborations with cultural actors, project spaces and initiatives. Based on interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation projects, bi'baxchange seeks to exchange ideas, perspectives and know-how. In lecture performances, pop-up exhibitions, readings and presentations, bi'baxchange focuses on the decentralized, rhizomic connection between art, design, academics, participation, urban space and local activism.
Common Visions Berlin is a free space dedicated to our friends and comrades. Through events such as film screenings, discussions and lectures, Sinema Transtopia is shared with organizations and initiatives whose work makes a similarly important contribution to the visibility of the transnational urban society in Berlin. It is only through cooperation and collaboration that we move forward. As a Turkish proverb says, “What can one hand do anyway? Only two hands make a sound.” It is precisely this sound that we tune our ears to through Common Visions Berlin – a space of solidarity and exchange that brings together, encourages and inspires.
Funded by the Berliner Projektfonds Urbane Praxis in the frame of the project SİNEMA HERE N’ THERE
As Thai history currently unfolds under martial law following the military coup d’état on 22 May 2014 – the thirteenth since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932 – Pisitakun’s practice represents a decisive break from many of his Thai peers: he questions fundamental and increasingly universal values without merely decrying the fact of corruption or offering neat palliatives. Pisitakun's works are based on political speculation and the external and internal frustrations artists are subject to.
Pisitakun is from Bangkok, Thailand. He started making visual arts and music in 2014 and is interested in music in different media environments. He uses a variety of inspirations in his songs, such as historical events, synthetic sounds, and musical instruments. In 2016, the album "Black Country" began to be prepared. In this album, Pisitakun is talking about a country full of dialogues between dark voices. Currently he is an artist-in-residency in Portugal.
As part of the short film workshop Minor Feelings, ten participants from the Asian-German community created four short films. The workshop was led by Monica Tedja (Soy Division Berlin) and Dieu Hao Do (BAFNET).
As a cinematic exercise in the perception and representation of one's own subjectivity, the workshop week allowed participants to explore their identities in order to make their stories visible through simple cinematic means.
The workshop aimed to impart both technical and methodological knowledge for the creation of a short film and at the same time to enable the practical implementation of one's own short film idea. In doing so, the exchange and networking of the participants with the workshop leader as well as with each other was an essential part of the program.
COMMUNITY EVENT: The screening is a community event for people who identify themselves as BPoC or people with experiences of racism/anti-Semitism and their friends.
Gender and sexuality can interact with migrant and refugee experiences in a variety of ways. For people fleeing violence, poverty, and ostracization, as well as migrants looking for work or a new life, the search for better conditions means facing old and new problems. Queer identifying and gender nonconforming individuals are particularly vulnerable to multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination and abuse. These issues don’t end with the migrated person but emerge and complicate intergenerationally. Common Ground Presents: Queer & Migrant Narratives features two short films exemplifying these troubled routes.
Following the film program, the QueerBerg Collective will give a special hour-long drag performance.
The program is part of Common Ground Presents, a new series of events curated by Lisa Hoffmann and Adela Lovric, members of the initiative Common Ground at the Berlin University of the Arts.
Dieter Deswarte / Casa Miga, Brazil, 2019, 26 min.
Casa Miga – Brazil’s first shelter for LGBTQI+ refugees – opened its doors in 2018 in Manaus, the largest city of the state of Amazonas. Hazte Sentir tells a candid and intimate story of three Venezuelan residents who face multiple challenges as they try to build a new life in a metropolis. Created together with the residents of Casa Miga, this documentary is the result of a collaborative filmmaking process that strives towards more ethical representation and acknowledges its therapeutic potential in supporting communities facing social stigma.
Thùy Trang Nguyễn, Germany, 2021, 34 min.
Followed by a talk with Thùy Trang Nguyễn
Full of tenderness and quiet gestures, Jackfruit tells the story of Mít, a gender-fluid person standing between two worlds – the Vietnamese diaspora and queer Berlin. Struggling to reconcile their two seemingly incompatible identities, Mít takes on a journey to search for the connections between them. While being challenged by their traditionalist mother on one side and their love interest on the other, Mít discovers that queerness was always part of their history, and finds in it the strength to create their future.
QueerBerg is a BIPOC collective for queer and trans* dancers, performers, singers and musicians who together reflect on their position as artists affected by racism and violence against queer and trans* people. Since being founded by Prens Emrah in 2018, QueerBerg has provided a support system for refugee artists both on stage and through everyday challenges. The group consists of 15-20 people between the ages of 19 and 32 who come from the countries Syria, Palestine, Malaysia, Kurdistan, Turkey, Romania, amongst others.
Thùy Trang Nguyễn (*1993, Berlin) is a Vietnamese-German filmmaker. They studied directing and writing in 2017. The aim of their artistic work is to challenge normative viewing habits, to empower, and to preserve cultural heritage.
Lisa Hoffmann is a visual artist, filmmaker and researcher concerned with transitional states, everyday fictions & fragmented realities with a focus on ecological anxieties and the deconstruction of dominant narratives.
Adela Lovric is a writer and curator. Her ongoing research focuses on non-imperial imaginations and counter-narratives in film and art. As part of working groups and organizations, she develops publishing projects, organizes events, and experiments with politicized curatorial strategies.
Common Ground is a student initiative at the Berlin University of the Arts, It creates different opportunities for and assists disadvantaged internationals as they apply for study programs, organises social art events, and infiltrates postmigrant discourse into the university's paracurriculum.
Urbanization, concrete, stone. Next to the most central point of Berlin, Alexanderplatz – stands the building complex Haus der Statistik, which slowly withered into ruin over the past years. In a protest action, artists occupy the building in which the official statistics were made in the GDR. Artists, urban planners and the city of Berlin trying to transform the former GDR ruin into a place for new visions and concepts of city. A place where everything is different than before?
Isis Rampf born 1994 in Ulm studied literature, art and media studies at the Universities of Constance, Cork and Potsdam. Worked in several film production companies and as assistant to director Markus Imhoof. Since 2018 first own films, most recently the documentary “Allesandersplatz”. Since 2021 she studies at the international film school in Cologne.
Short Film Programm, Mexico, ca. 75 min.
Curated by Javier Toscano
I have no house only a shadow. But whenever you are in need of a shadow, my shadow is yours.
Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry
This selection of short films and video works from Mexico stems out of a structure of collective reflections around the ideas of appropriation, political identity formations and the expanded common space on the digital field. The foundational idea behind the production of these pieces is the possibility of interconnecting interpretations and desires through different times and contexts, providing thus new readings of a shared reality. Along the production process —which has followed a common theoretical input with political implications— the authors of the pieces were confronted with the structure of their own cultural engagements. By recognizing their subjective agency, they propose visual fugues and other unconventional constructions to respond to their own cultural milieu, often traversed by different forms of violence, but also by inspiring motifs.
Omar Casillas, 2010, 21 Min.
Mariana Trejo, 2021, 8 Min.
Jorge Pérez, 2021, 5 Min.
Andrea J. Linares, 2021, 4 Min.
Identity and self-representation. ID-objects
Javier Toscano, 2012, 7 Min.
Andrés Negrete, 2015, 3 Min.
Flight and Fall
Emil García, 2012, 4 Min.
Erika Loana, 2012, 2 Min.
Johnny Trujillo, 2011, 10 Min.
Rodrigo Ramos, 2015, 10 Min.
Javier Toscano (born in Mexico City, lives and works in Berlin) is a visual artist, documentary filmmaker and interdisciplinary researcher in the fields of new media and political activism. His work has involved a continuous search to generate and collaborate with minorities, communities and groups with disabilities towards the production of alternative narratives of self-affirmation and vital exploration. He holds a PhD in philosophy and has been a post-doc researcher in media politics in Paris and Berlin.
Lecture and film programme by Erik Göngrich and Florian Wüst
On the occasion of the Super 8 workshop Kino, Kaffee, Kompostol by Dagie Brundert, this programme created by Erik Göngrich and Florian Wüst offers a historical insight into the models, connections and misinterpretations of the two construction phases of the Karl-Marx-Allee. How did it develop from the Stalinist confectionery style - "democratic in content and national in form" - to a modern, functional systematic construction with industrial concrete slabs? How do we deal with it today? The second part of the evening takes the urban situation around Haus der Statistik as a starting point to show the artistic possibilities of depicting the modern city. Selected examples of documentary and experimental film will be shown, including film clips by Cynthia Beatt, Matthias Müller and Herbert Vesely, among others.
Funded by the Berliner Projektfonds Urbane Praxis within the framework of the project SİNEMA HERE N’ THERE
Erik Göngrich is an artist researcher, political architect, producer-curator, discursive draughtsman, public-spirited cook and performative publisher. With the projects MITKUNSTZENTRALE, which he initiated, and SATELLIT, he has been running a workshop/exhibition space since 2019, one that addresses material cycles and art in times of climate emergency.
Florian Wüst is a film curator, artist and publisher living in Berlin. His work deals with European post-war history and the social and ecological changes in the process of modernising the living world. Wüst is co-founder of the Berliner Hefte on the history and present of the city.
Film screenings + performance by Luïza Luz
Artists and filmmakers are finding new ways to tell stories of ongoing climate disaster and displacement. In speculative and metaphorical ways, the three short films presented here connect legacies of colonialism with environmental breakdown and the extreme, not fully predictable ways it will force migration. These different artistic approaches reflect a climate reality that is at once abstract and hard to grasp, yet vehemently obvious. They offer perspectives that confront and warn us of how climate decline will continue disrupting livelihoods on Earth—from elemental to human—and how it inevitably intersects with racial and other forms of systemic injustice.
Thirza Cuthand, Canada 2018, 13 min.
4 Waters: Deep Implicancy
Denise Ferreira da Silva/Arjuna Neuman, USA/UK 2019, 31 min.
Jorge Jácome, Portugal 2017, 23 min.
Thirza Cuthand, Canada 2018, 13 min.
Following the film program, Luïza Luz will present their live performance, ‘A Grounding Piece of Land.’
A Grounding Piece of Land – Luïza Luz
In this live performance, Luïza Luz presents authorial soundscapes, audio sampling collages, and lyrics they composed as a way of self-remembrance: of Planet Earth as an ever-changing living organism. A memory to be embodied by the collective experience. In times of climate and humanitarian collapse, this wisdom could be revealed as a grounding piece of land, in the middle of despair.
The program is part of Common Ground Presents, a series of events curated by Lisa Hoffmann and Adela Lovric, members of the initiative Common Ground at the Berlin University of the Arts.
Luïza Luz is a Bra𝓼ilian transdisciplinary artist addressing the binary nature-culture in language, identity, and institutions. Their poetics evolve from written and vocal words that become images, lectures, sound performances, installations, and collaborative (un)learning sites.
After the screening talk with Boris Lehman and Christoph Huber, hosted by Tobias Hering.
Boris Lehman, Belgium 1979, 34 min., OV with german subtitles
Bruxelles – Transit
Samy Szlingerbaum, Belgium 1980, 80 min., OV with english subtitles
After Amos Vogel had visited the Forum of the Berlinale in 1981, he wrote an article about it for Film Comment. It began with a description of the emotional Q&A that followed Bruxelles-Transit, “Samy Szlingerbaum’s film of his family in the Nazi period spoken entirely in Yiddish. Present-day, nightlit, and empty Brussels streets, stylized tableaux of lyrical power, and his mother’s unrehearsed, taped recollections served as poetic representations of a past no longer available.” Boris Lehman, who played Szlingerbaum’s father in Bruxelles-Transit, had already shot a film which is in many ways complementary, Symphonie. “The hero of the film is Jacob Rabinovitch. He is a Jew. In reality, he is Romain Schneid, and as the latter imagines his condition in 1942. At that time, Belgium was occupied by the Germans and Romain, a child of 12, had to live in hiding with a lady, Madame Stine, in Etterbeck, a suburb of Brussels, where the Resistance was forming.” (Lehman) Amos Vogel saw the two films as a double feature in the Forum. The trauma of a man suddenly declared a pariah and the instability of a family in exile must inevitably have reminded him of his own biography. Having fled from the Nazis in Vienna as a 17-year-old, Vogel came to the USA with his family in 1938. The act of emigration, his Jewish roots and the extermination of relatives and childhood friends in the concentration camps left an internal texture that Vogel never denied but also only revealed at seldom moments. These moments were often when he came into contact with post-war Germany, whose seeming convalescence he followed with interest but also a large degree of skepticism. This evening is an attempt to approach Amos Vogel’s relationship to his emigré biography, mirrored in the two films and by way of quotes and texts by him.
“The gatekeepers exist to be overthrown.” Amos Vogel – Repeats and Responses is a program of Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art and is curated by Tobias Hering. It was made possible by funding from the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Additional support from Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.
Tobias Hering is a freelance film curator, 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 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. In this context began a research around Amos Vogel which has yielded, among other programs, the three-part tribute “The gatekeepers exist to be overthrown” through which Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art honors its long and close relationship to this New York film curator.
Boris Lehman is a Belgian experimental filmmaker and was born in 1944 in a Jewish family. He has collaborated with several filmmakers, including Chantal Akerman, Samy Szlingerbaum and Henri Storck. He has directed and produced about 500 films and is considered an ‘unclassifiable’ filmmaker in the landscape of Belgian independent cinematography.
Christoph Huber is a curator in the program department of the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna, where he has been involved in the conception of several major retrospectives and is co-curating the series, “Amos Vogel Atlas”. From 1999 to 2014 he was a film critic and culture editor at Die Presse. Huber is the European correspondent of Cinema Scope and writes for several international print and online magazines.
Not Just Roads is an ethnographic documentary film that narrates the story of a massive urban transformation underway in India. Highways are being constructed at an unprecedented rate of 23 kilometers per day under the Indian government's Bharatmala (‘Garland of Limitless Roads’) program. The program aims to open new territories for the emerging Indian middle class. Currently, the territory is inhabited by villages, working class neighbourhoods, and nomadic herders. It is criss-crossed by native trails and vital ecological commons. This film captures the story of one such highway outside Delhi, from the perspective of human and non-human actors. It journeys between working class neighbourhoods undergoing demolition, construction landscapes, protests sites, and the persuasive pitches by the real estate salesmen attempting to sell dreamscapes.
In cooperation with the Georg Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies and the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology at the Humboldt University of Berlin as part of the Think & Drink Special Events 2021/22.
The Georg Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies and the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology invite you to the Think & Drink Series! The colloquium-style event offers an informal atmosphere for discussion and exchange between all who are interested in urban issues. The impulse for discussion is the weekly guest speaker of German or international urban sociology or a speaker of notoriety in a related field. After the talk– i.e. the “Think” – participants are welcome to continue the discussion with a drink.
Registration for the event via: gszbuero-at-hu-berlin.de
Nitin Bathla is an architect, artist, and educator currently pursuing Doctoral Studies at ETH Zurich. His work focuses on labour migration, landecology, and housing in the extended urban region of Delhi. Aside from academic writing, he work on films, community art projects, and social design projects. www.nitinbathla.com
Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolaou is a Greek/Mexican filmmaker interested in ethnography as a filmmaking methodology. His films and collaborations include 'The Seven Sisters Indoor Market' (2016), 'The Disappearance of Robin Hood' (2018), and 'Not Just Roads' (2020). He is currently based in Zürich, where he teaches ethnographic filmmaking at the urban scale at the ETHZ.
There he is, proudly sitting on his beautiful motorbike, which he wouldn't lend to anyone. He is sure that only he can explore the jungle. Through a reversal of roles, Al motociclista no le cabe la felicidad en el traje is a playful reenactment that points to the hybris of the colonial conquerors in an exploration of the dynamics between man and machine, reality and representation, past and present.
Gabriel Herrera is a Mexican film director who graduated from Escuela Nacional de Artes Cinematográficas in Mexico City and at the Polish National Film School in Łódź. He has directed several short films and video works and is about to shoot his first feature film. He lives in Mexico City where he teaches film and studies film theory.
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