Rakı Prinzip – Intersection Sessions is a series of community dinners that took place from 2017 to 2018 at bi'bak. The events brought together artists, cultural creators and other creative minds at a shared table, combining the intimate experience of a dinner with an informal discussion in a semi-public, semi-private setting. The sessions aimed to build a network between those who have been active in Berlin's cultural scene for years and other creatives who have just arrived in Berlin. The Rakı Prinzip is based on the vision of a vivid dinner culture that connects all kinds of different people together at a table.
Rakı Prinzip was founded in 2016 by Freia Kuper, Ariana Dongus, Elisa Pieper and Yalın Özer. It aims to find complex answers to the difficult questions of our time.
Rakı Prinzip – Intersection Sessions have been supported by Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.
Rakı Prinzip is a collective dinner and round table discussion with Rakı and food. Founded by Freia Kuper, Ariana Dongus, Elisa Pieper and Yalın Özer, the Rakı Prinzip invites to share a table together with friends and newcomers. The event opens up space for discussion and tries to find complex answers to the difficult questions of our time.
Framing the discussion is the title Eating Emotions: Rakı Prinzip looks back on four former events focussing on the emotions of hate, love, anger and fear. This time not a single emotion, but emotions themselves are the topic of the night. How do we deal with emotions? Are they acted out or surpressed, kept secretly inside or shouted out? What do emotions do to us and how do we work with them? Eating Emotions puts the focus on emotions in arts, politics and science. Do we need to draw a line between emotion and reason – and if so, how is it shifted?
The Rakı Prinzip – Intersection Sessions are half public, half private. They aim to create a setting that is open to public yet with a familiar atmosphere. In the setting of the Intersection Sessions we raise the question: What is the relationship between private and public in artistic work and everyday life?
The table is at the heart of the evening; it is a place where food and drinks are served and people get together – some are new to Berlin, others have been here for years. This is the Prinzip. We call it Rakı, as our table bears resemblance to a meze and raki table. This table simultaneously refers to the basic principle of one central spot found in different kinds of dinner cultures. We have a special focus on people that had to escape armed conflict, political repression and prosecution.
In the second event of the Rakı Prinzip – Intersection Sessions we focus on archives as collections of information or objects which depict certain aspects of the past and present. What kind of public do different archives address, and how do they represent their objects? The archive can serve as a cultural collection for future generations – but how can the archive itself become a tool for liberation in the present?
The bak.ma media archive of social movements in Turkey, founded by Özge Çelikaslan reveals the recent history of Turkey by means of audio and visual recordings, documents and testimonies. The content of the online archive includes visual and textual data of social movements such as the Gezi Park uprising in 2013, the TEKEL (tobacco) workers’ resistance in 2009-2010, May Day marches and various other protests, demonstrations, events, meetings, talks by feminist, queer groups, urban rights activists and ecological initiatives from 1977 until today.
Archives and archiving practices relate to many issues including the categorization of knowledge and the layering of complex social representations. As an institutional practice, archival practices often serve the surveillance and discipline society of the modern world; yet autonomous video archiving and its dissemination also enables open source recording which reveals hidden disobedient practices, while enabling the uploading and leaking of images which re-build a counter-memory of political disobedience. This talk will open up a discussion on the political roles of autonomous media archiving practices. We will ask the question: to what extent can they prevent surveillance mechanisms and preserve, protect and exchange the digital data of socio-political movements in order to create counter-memories on the Internet as part of digital commons?
The third session of the Rakı Prinzip – Intersection Sessions deals with work with and about film and photography. The filmmaker’s position can be called a liminal space, in which scenes are glimpsed and then instantly transformed into film-images.
The filmmaker watches in order to create moving images which are watched by others. But what actually happens in this process? Where exactly does the filmmaker herself appear in the practice of filmmaking? How are the filmmaker's self and subjectivity exposed on film in the images?
The act of seeing is connecting the filmmaker to the protagonist as well as to the audience, creating a complex array of relations.
Seeing is not powerless, on the contrary: "There is power in looking". In relation to to Bell Hooks' concept of the "oppositional gaze", a question presents itself: how do contemporary film-makers deal with the oppression of the minority gaze in cinema and photography; who is allowed to look and whose gazes find expression?
Like in every event of the Rakı Prinzip – Intersection Sessions, we invite people with a forced migration background who have recently come to Berlin. As this session will focus on feminist and queer film production, women (cis and trans) and genderqueer persons working in the film industry especially are encouraged to join our table.
The 4th edition of the Rakı Prinzip – Intersection Sessions deals with future forms, materials, and earthly survival strategies. In the setting of the Intersection Sessions – always half-public, but with a familiar atmosphere – we raise the question: which alternative modes of existence can we imagine, in the case of the ruin of capitalism, (neo) colonialism and patriarchy?
In what forms are futures possible, and what past futures must we discard? How do these visions oscillate between personal desires and political ideas? In what ways do they play a greater or lesser role in work and everyday life? We are interested in the various notions and narratives of futurity, in relation to different and political, social and geographical backgrounds.