Agarrando Pueblo The Vampires of Poverty Carlos Mayolo/Luis Ospina, Colombia 1977, 28 min., OV with English subtitles
A manifesto-like mockumentary on “misery porn” produced and consumed by the western world. The influential Colombian filmmaker Luis Ospina and his childhood friend Carlos Mayolo act as a film crew working for German TV who chase after poor people, street kids, and hookers in the streets of Cali. A quirky film full of black humour and satire addressing the exploitation of misery in the Global South by the western audiovisual industry.
REW-FFWD Denis Villeneuve, Canada 1994, 31 min. OV with English subtitles
In his directorial debut short Denis Villeneuve traveled to Jamaica planning to film a travelogue. Instead, he made an experimental documentary about his position as a filmmaker, the cultural shock he experienced, and the people he met. The story about a fictional French-Canadian photojournalist oscillates between psychodrama and documentary: “This human hell is a paradise for photography,” he says at one point.
Afrique 50 René Vautier, France 1950, 17 min., OV with English subtitles
As a 21-year-old student, René Vautier was commissioned to make a film about the daily lives of villagers and the benefits of French colonialism in West Africa. Instead he witnessed horrible living conditions and violent acts committed by the army in the name of his home country. He ended up making a militant film exposing the brutalities of the French military. Considered as the first French anti-colonial film, Afrique 50 was banned for over 40 years with the director spending several months in jail.
Afrique sur Seine Paulin Soumanou Vieyra/ Mamadou Sarr, France 1955, 22 min., OV with English subtitles
In 1934 the French government passed the Laval Decree in order to prevent African filmmakers from filming in French African colonies. Afrique sur Seine is a satirical attempt to skirt around this censorship that was only overturned in 1960. Filmed in the streets of Paris, the film observes French society the same way French filmmakers portrayed the Africans in their ethnographic films.
You Hide Me Nii Kwate Owoo, Ghana 1970, 16 min., OV with English subtitles
Ghanaian filmmaker Kwate Nii Owoo gained access to the British Museum's underground vaults and filmed the valuable African artefacts hidden in the basement. One day of filming was enough to expose the theft and concealment of ancient and rare African art stashed away in plastic bags and wooden boxes. “We came across an enormous collection... thousands of important works of art that have never been exhibited.”
Preliminary Excercises Jan Kulka, Czechia 2016, 16mm found footage, 20 min.
Prefilm Jan Kulka, Czechia 2016, flickering light, stencils, 25 min.
The Archeoscope is an analogue, hand-operated projecting apparatus for live film performances. Understanding film as an “articulation of light”, the apparatus was created to experiment with and experience the physiology of perception. It can project all standard film formats, as well as various other materials such as adhesive tape, bandages and lace. The only way to witness the projection of The Archeoscope is to attend a live projection and see it with one's own naked eyes, as the phenomena perceived on the screen are technically irreproducible.
Jan Kulka is a Prague-based experimental filmmaker. His primary focus is the invention of special projection apparatuses for live performances. Rather than telling a story, he tries to target the senses of each spectator directly with light and sound to reveal some of the foundations of our perception.
Followed by a talk with Ming Poon and Darunee Terdtoontaveedej
霸王别姬 Farewell my Concubine Chen Kaige, China/Hong Kong 1993 (excerpts)
The opera film Farewell My Concubine can be considered one of the most notable examples of female impersonation, also prevalent in Beijing Opera: Male actors act as female characters, often projecting onto them a distorted portrayal of hyperfemininity. The film is also considered a queer icon in Asian Cinema for its portrayal of homosexuality as well as the gender-fluid performance of Leslie Cheung. However, its portrayal of women remains problematic. In Constructing Women, images and representations of women in Farewell My Concubine, specifically the Beijing Opera acts, will be dissected and reimagined by choreographer Ming Poon. This becomes an investigation to emanicipate female impersonation of classic heroine characters from the male gaze, while re-adapting it for a queer feminist future.
Ming Poon is a Berlin-based choreographer and dancer. He creates interventions, where spectators are invited to exercise their agency to create change. His practice is influenced by Buddhist concepts of interdependence and care, Judith Butler’s resistance in vulnerability, Augusto Boal’s theatre of the oppressed and Nicolas Bourriaud’s micro-utopias.
Darunee Terdtoontaveedej is a curator and researcher based in Rotterdam. Trained as an architect and designer, Terdtoontaveedej specialises in cross-disciplinary collaboration through the designer’s lens. She is currently the LGBTQ+ programme curator at CinemAsiaFilm Festival and has been selected as the Young Curator of the 49th edition of International Film Festival Rotterdam.
الساندويتشAl-Sandwich The Sandwich Ateyyat El Abnoudy, Egypt 1975, 12 min., no dialogue
طبيب في الأرياف Tabib Fi-l-Aryaf The Countryside Doctor Khairy Beshara, Egypt 1975 , 22 min., OV with English subtitles
القاهرة منورة بأهلها Al-qahira menauwwara bi Ahlaha Cairo Is Illuminated by Its People Youssef Chahine, Egypt/France 1991, 23 min., OV with English subtitles
In Cairo is Illuminated by Its People Youssef Chahine tried to capture the soul of overcrowded Cairo, its people, and everyday life. When the film premiered in Cannes, he was accused of giving the West a false image of Egypt by showing Cairo’s poverty and the film was eventually banned. We show the documentary along with two internationally unknown little gems by Khairy Beshara and Ateyyat El Abnoudy. The three films reflect different views on everyday life in Egypt, one in Cairo, the other two in rural parts of the country.
The new bi’bakaudio series OUTERNATIONALE: Stars from Outer Space is devoted to the concept of Outernational Music, a counterposition to so-called “World music”. While “World music” tends to exoticize or tame music produced outside of the Western world, Outernational Music sees the distinction between Western music and World music as an extension of the colonial perspective. In contrast, the emphasis is on sound productions that are received and celebrated in cross-border geographies far away from the Western music market - neither mainstream nor underground, but multilingual and influenced by diverse musical traditions and cultures. The music talk series OUTERNATIONALE presents selected artists, along with their artistic creations and biographies, in conversation with experts. Venturing beyond cultural or linguistic barriers, we begin a project of collective musicological research.
Funded by Berliner Senat für Kultur und Europa
Ekaterina Borisova is a music journalist from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Since the mid-80s she has been writing articles on rock music for Russian magazines and newspapers, whilst remaining a major fan and developing a deep knowledge about the Russian underground rock scene. She’s also the author of several books – two books about Yanka Dyagileva among them, issued and reissued between 1998 - 2005.
Florian Sievers is a journalist, author, and curator who loves to tell alternative stories from African urban spaces where at present a rising middle class is producing hip cultural expressions, from fashion and art to especially music. Originally a trained journalist for politics and economics, Florian researches his forward-looking stories from the mother continent on at least yearly trips to continuously new African metropolises. On a sideline during these trips Florian has also become a hobby collector of old vinyl records from Africa.
Kornelia Binicewicz is a Polish record collector, curator, DJ, and founder of Ladies on Records, a multifaceted endeavour focused on the musical legacy of women all over the world, presenting female music from the past decades. Her passion for female music brought her to Turkey where she started to explore the undiscovered world of Turkish female music scene. She curated “Turkish Ladies. Female Singers from Turkey 1973 - 1988” (Epic Istanbul) compilation and “Uzelli Psychedelic Anadolu” compilation (Uzelli), both released on vinyl. Kornelia is currently working on a special project dedicated to female singers from Turkey from one of the Turkish label’s back catalogues.
Oded Erez (Dept. of Music, Bar-Ilan University) is a scholar of popular music and film music, working in the intersection of historical musicology, ethnomusicology and cultural studies. His work focuses on the relationship between politics and aesthetics, with an emphasis on music in Israel and the Mediterranean. He is currently completing a book manuscript on Greek music and ethno-class politics in Israel.
Pamela Owusu-Brenyah is a music consultant, festival organiser, and DJ, working on an enhanced visibility of contemporary African Pop culture in Germany. With her community platform AFRO x POP she regularly offers a music festival stage for rising artists of the Afro-German scene. Pamela, a studied political scientist, is based in Berlin and has family roots in Ghana. She has worked in Ghana’s capital Accra as a DJ for three years and since then has been commuting back and forth between both musical worlds.
Booty Carrell is the DJ alias of Vinyl archaeologist, Golden Pudel resident and outernational deejay Sebastian Reier. Carrell does his research in the deep spaces of the vinyl universe. He likes to dig into the second wave of musical globalization.
Yuriy Gurzhy was born in the Ukraine and lives in Berlin. He is a musician, songwriter, DJ and producer and is known for his work with RotFront, Shtetl Superstars and The Disorientalists as well as his party series Russendisko, Born in UA and Disko Kosmopolit.
Workshop Leaders Akile Nazli Kaya and Tomáš Doruška
Anima-Doc Workshop is a 3-4 days workshop which focuses on how documentary and animation can be used and mixed creatively in film-making. Tutors Tomáš Doruška and A. Nazli Kaya from FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague) will share their practice of stop motion and paper cut-out animation techniques in a hands-on way. Participants are encouraged to come with ideas that are based on social justice, and/or political, ecological, and environmental themes. Together we will discuss the ideas for the shorts and will choose the best 3 to be realized.
Funded by Programm NEUSTART des Bundesverband Soziokultur im Programmteil kulturelle und soziokulturelle Programmarbeit
In cooperation with Azin Feizabadi, Jan Kulka, Anja Dornieden, Juan David Gonzales Monroy, Ming Poon, Darunee Terdtoontaveedej, Alejandro Bachmann, Bernd Schoch, André Siegers.
SİNEMA+++ expands the spatial possibilities of cinema beyond the screen and explores its artistic and social potential. What is the relationship between the screen and the theatre, the cinematic images and the bodies in the space? How can newly developed projectors, expansive cinematic experiences and alternative forms of social exchange explore the relationship between film image and the bodies on and in front of the screen? The event series SİNEMA+++ invites artistic projects to experiment with cinema experiences and develop crossover formats that examine the intersections of film, education, and performance.
As Louis Malle once put it, “A westerner with a camera is twice a westerner”. Afterall, cinema started its long journey in a colonial context, considering the Lumière Brothers visited countries of the Global South in order to film the “Other”. Consequently, the early ethnographical documentary works were often associated with an authoritative colonial gaze. At present, the documentary industry is still to a large extent based on well-funded films produced by western filmmakers framing the Global South as a site of misery, exploiting images in order to satisfy the demand of the West. In response, non-western filmmakers created their own images by reversing the colonizer's gaze, and some western filmmakers ended up questioning themselves rather than feeding into the expectations. Decolonizing the Screen shows a selection of perspectives which challenge the continued history of the colonial gaze and open up discussions on the legacy of ethnographic films as well as the politics of documentary production.
Necati Sönmez works as a film critic, journalist and documentary filmmaker. He is the initiator of Which Human Rights? Film Festival and one of the founders of Documentarist – Istanbul Documentary Days, which soon became the most important documentary festival in Turkey. He has served as jury member in over 30 festivals and curated documentary programmes as a guest curator. For 2021 he is a fellow at bi’bak.
The Revolution of 1978-79 changed both the fate and face of Iran. Like most revolutions, it also suppressed the past and its images – and with it one of the most innovative cinemas of its time. This programme aims to show some of the key films from the more progressive cinematic revolution, which was discontinued by a social one for which the country eventually became known. Films banned, lost or simply forgotten are revived in this overview of Iranian cinema before 1979, which features German premieres of newly restored Iranian New Wave masterpieces. Starting and moving forward from the 1962 Oberhausen prize-winner The House Is Black, directed by poet Forough Farrokhzad, the programme traces the course of the blazing years before the Revolution.
Ehsan Khoshbakht is a film curator, writer and filmmaker. He co-directs Il Cinema Ritrovato, the festival of classics and film restoration in Bologna. An architect by training, he has written extensively on film, architecture, and jazz, as well as on American and Iranian cinemas.
While the corona pandemic keeps a privileged part of the world population in quarantine, precarious living conditions mean that many can’t afford to stay at home. The global economic inequalities have become more visible through this polarization, pointing to a longer history of authority and unequal distribution of labour and wealth, all entangled within neoliberal power relations. With films that leave room for nuances, A Dream for Each deals with the colonial residues of globalised trade, technology and tourism.
Funded by Stiftung Nord-Süd Brücken aus Mitteln der LEZ
Özge Calafato is a curator, editor and writer. She has worked for numerous film festivals and institutions, including Cinema Akil, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), SANAD Development and Post-Production Fund, Documentarist, DOK Leipzig, DokuFest, The Arab Fund for Arts and the Imagine Science Film Festival. She is co-founder of the National Film Library of the United Arab Emirates.
Workshop Leaders Alejandro Bachmann, André Siegers and Bernd Schoch
The focus of the workshop Abgeguckt is the exchange of and through images. Being a copycat (abgucken) means to peer unabashedly, all lopsided and wonderfully, at images, wholly unnoticed by those in authority. Copycat means to embrace a community that is constituted through this way of seeing. Abgeguckt #8 examines this notion of a change of perspective. Here, the aesthetic and the political merge into one. The participants are sent a (film) excerpt on this topic, to which they will respond with a clip. This marks the beginning of a collective chain of images and thoughts.
The causes of the man-made environmental crisis and the social disruptions it triggers are closely linked to questions of global justice. Despite contributing comparatively little to greenhouse gas emissions and the production of waste, the countries of the Global South are generally hit first by the repercussions. Yet, those responsible are predominantly global corporations, who are able to continuously cause tremendous harm within the framework of neoliberal policies. The collectively-curated programme aims to bring together diverse perspectives from within the environmental crisis, by examining the socioeconomic shifts and continuations of power relations between the Global North and South. The film series draws attention to the neo-colonial structures embedded in the climate crisis, the global consumption of resources, and the role of extractive neoliberal capitalism.
Funded by Berliner Landeszentrale Politische Bildung
Malve Lippmann studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart and at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts (MA). She worked as a freelance artist and designer. Since 2010 she has also been active as a cultural manager in various cultural and community projects. She is co-founder and artistic director of bi'bak and Sinema Transtopia.
Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein & Eirini Fountedaki form a curatorial duo interested in embodied knowledge and slowing down processes of production. They co-curated the film series Residing in the Borderlands at SAVVY Contemporary, and are now part of the Berlin Biennial 11 curatorial workshop how now to gather.
Rosalia Namsai Engchuan is a social anthropologist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Southeast Asia. She is currently working on a collaborative project with artists and cultural producers in Southeast Asia on artistic investigations and interventions into problem clusters of modernity that pivot around notions of climate change.
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.