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.

 

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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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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Critical Conditions

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 Landeszenrale 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.

To the events

To the archive

Events

Director Michel K. Zongo Burkina Faso/Germany 2019

90 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Malve Lippmann and Michel K. Zongo

No Gold for Kalsaka

When the government of Burkina Faso started to issue mining permits in 2000, gold fever struck. The people of Kalsaka were promised mountains of gold: jobs for the villagers, scholarships for their children, money for the government coffers, and development aid for the next 10 years. But six years later, these promises rang hollow as the mountains of gold were simply taken away, leaving them with nothing but polluted land. Through the interweaving of fictional and documentary elements, No Gold for Kalsaka reinterprets the tale of good and evil so familiarly depicted in the Western. References to West African griot traditions, cowboys and Ennio Morricone's film music create a Wild-West-like world caught up in the gold rush.

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Michel K. Zongo, born in 1974 in Koudougou, Burkina Faso, is a director, cameraman and scriptwriter. From 2003 to 2008, he was responsible for the Interactive Debate-Cinema at Cinomade, an association based in Burkina Faso whose objective is to create and distribute tools to increase awareness, notably through the cinema.

Director Kulikar Sotho/Anysay Keola/Sai Naw Kham/Anocha Suwichakornpong/Pham Ngoc Lân Cambodia/Laos/Myanmar/Thailand/Vietnam 2020

94 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Sarnt Utamachote and Alex Curran-Cardarelli

Mekong 2030

In the 1970s, paramilitary governments in Southeast Asia initiated geopolitically-motivated privatizations along the Mekong. The resulting environmental damage robbed local communities of their resources and sparked interregional conflicts. The ecological imbalances affected both the rural population and the metropolitan areas, forcing them to rethink their needs and reorient their production practices. Mekong 2030 is an anthology of five collaboratively-produced short films (Soul River, The Che Brother, The Forgotten Voices of Mekong, The Line, The Unseen River), which came out of a filmmakers' workshop with local environment activists initiated by Luang Prabang Film Festival.

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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.

Alex Curran-Cardelli is the festival manager of Luang Prabang Film Festival (FPFF), which initiated the production of Mekong 2030. FPFF’s focus is on films from Southeast Asia and is quickly becoming known as one of the most exciting locations on the international film festival circuit.

Director Vicky Funari and Sergio de la Torre Mexico/USA 2006

68 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Vicky Funari and Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein & Eirini Fountedaki

Maquilápolis

Maquilápolis follows the story of women factory workers on the Mexican border, fighting against environmental degradation and the exploitation of their labour at the hands of U.S. and multinational companies. Carmen Durán and Lourdes Luján chronicle their struggles in video diaries, documenting their work as promotoras: community advocates for social justice. The process behind the film is especially valuable, as it actively involved the promotoras in planning, filming, and distribution, as well as the fact that it directly led to the cleanup of an abandoned factory in Chilpancingo.

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Vicky Funari is a documentary filmmaker and teacher. Her films include Paulina (1998) and Live Nude Girls Unite! (2000). Funari is committed to co-creative processes that aim to be of use to the individuals and communities represented. She is a Senior Lecturer of Visual Studies at Haverford College.

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.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Rosalia Namsai Engchuan, Riar Rizaldi and Yeo Siew Hua

Stories from the South

Fordlandia Malaise
Susana de Sousa Dias, Portugal 2019, 40 Min.
Miasma, Plants, Export Paintings
Bo Wang/Pan Lu, China 2017, 28 Min.
An Invocation to the Earth
Yeo Siew Hua, Singapore 2020, 16 Min.
Tellurian Drama (Early Cut)
Riar Rizaldi, Indonesia 2020, 27 Min.

Stories from the South features places where the world has ended multiple times already due to colonial expansion. The short film programme explores new forms that escape hegemonic modes of thinking, knowing that we cannot solve the problems of the present within the framework that caused these issues in the first place. Fordlandia Malaise explores the aftermath of Fordlandia, a company town founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon rainforest in 1928. Miasma, Plants, Export Paintings looks at acclimatization efforts during the expansion of the British Empire and exposes the entanglements of imperialism, scientific modes of examining the environment, and the construction of racial boundaries. An Invocation to the Earth confronts climate collapse through the lens of pre-colonial folktales and animistic rituals. Tellurian Drama, of which we will screen an early cut, looks at the material remnants of a colonial radio station in West Java to problematize the notion of decolonization, technology and the historicity of communication. 

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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.

Riar Rizaldi is a Hong Kong based Indonesian artist and amateur researcher. His main focus is on the relationship between capital and technology, extractivism, and theoretical fiction. His works have been shown at Locarno Film Festival, BFI Southbank London, International Film Festival Rotterdam, NTT InterCommunication Center Tokyo, and National Gallery of Indonesia amongst others.

Yeo Siew Hua is a Singaporean director and writer. His last feature film, A Land Imagined (2018), won the Golden Leopard at the 71st Locarno Film Festival and was selected as Singapore’s entry to the 92nd Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category.

Director Jumana Manna Germany/Libanon/Norway 2018

65 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Jumana Manna and Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein & Eirini Fountedaki

Wild Relatives

The starting point of Wild Relatives is  an event that  sparked worldwide media interest: in 2012 an international agricultural research center was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian Revolution turned war, and began a laborious process of planting their seed collection from the Global Seed Svalbard back-ups. Following the path of the seeds from the Arctic to Lebanon, a series of encounters unfold a matrix of human and non-human lives caught between these two distant spots of the earth.

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Jumana Mannais a Berlin-based visual artist working primarily with film and sculpture. She was awarded the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Palestinian Artist Award in 2012 and the Ars Viva Prize for Visual Arts in 2017. Her work has been shown in various film festivals and exhibitions.

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.

Director Hawa Essuman and Anjali Nayar Canada/South Africa/Kenya 2017

90 Min., OV with English subs

Silas

"Our fight for the environment is not just about trees. We are defending our culture, our identity, our lives." In his home country Liberia, environmental activist Silas Siakor tirelessly researches the schemes and deals of international companies and the government. Land theft and corruption can only be prevented if the political elites are also held accountable by the population at large. Silas and his team are using new technologies to achieve this: with the Timby smartphone app, anyone can document human rights violations and make them public worldwide. For more than five years, the filmmakers have been documenting a fight between David and Goliath.

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