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.

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA is funded by Haupstadtkulturfonds, Conrad Stiftung and the Programm NEUSTART KULTUR

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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SİNEMANINO

Children's cinema from SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

Concept by Malve Lippmann and Dr. Martin Ganguly

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Common Cold

un.thai.tled Film Festival 2021

Curated by Sarnt Utamachote and Rosalia Namsai Engchuan

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Sounding Womanhood

Feminist Gestures in Film

Curated by Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein & Eirini Fountedaki

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Sounding Womanhood

Sounding Womanhood explores the layers of selves that women must wear, adding and shedding them in a daily “dance of the seven veils”. This selection of films subverts archetypal femininity and established gender roles, favoring a broader performance of womanhood. Through a transnational feminist lens, the films bring to the fore personal stories of women on the dancefloor, in transition, at the workplace, on the streets, and in their homes. Sounding Womanhood offers us the chance to re-think the uses of cinematic elements as narrative tools. From soundtracks that make music an additional protagonist to films that emphasize on screen audio, sound is a crucial thread for reversing cinematic stereotypes on womanhood.

Funded by Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa

Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein & Eirini Fountedaki form a curatorial duo interested in embodied knowledge and collective reflections through film. They co-curated the film series Residing in the Borderlands at SAVVY Contemporary, and participated in the Berlin Biennial 11 curatorial workshop how now to gather. They also co-edited the publication How does the world breathe now? Film as Witness, Archive, and Political Tool (Archive Books, 2021).

To the events

To the archive

Events

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Theresa Traore Dahlberg

Boxing Girl + Ouaga Girls

Boxing Girl
Iman Djionne, Senegal 2016, 26 min., OV with english subtitles

Ouaga Girls
Theresa Traore Dahlberg, Burkina Faso/Sweden/France/Qatar 2017, 83 min., OV with english subtitles

Ouaga Girls follows a group of young women who attend a vocational school to become car mechanics. Through diegetic sounds and rhythms from Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, the film’s soundscape traces the transition of the protagonists into adulthood, and observes their fears, resilience and strength when faced with stereotypes of what women are supposed to be. In a similar way,Boxing Girl is a sci-fi short story about Adama, who must face her inner demons when she finds a pair of red boxing gloves.

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Theresa Traore Dahlberg is a visual artist and filmmaker who formulates and mediates engaging complex narratives through sculpture, photography, and film. In all her creative endeavors, Traore Dahlberg draws from her own experiences of being anchored in two political and social cultures: Sweden and Burkina Faso.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Almudena Escobar López

Coyolxauhqui + Todo lo demás (Everything Else)

Coyolxauhqui
Los Ingrávidos, Mexico 2017, 10 min. 

Todo lo demás (Everything Else)
Natalia Almada, Mexico 2016, 98 min. 

Natalia Almada’s first narrative feature film regards the life of Doña Flor, a low-level bureaucrat who spends her days lording over public records and her evenings with her beloved cat. Inspired by Hannah Arendt’s idea that bureaucracy is one of the worst forms of violence, the film is a study in restraint with a very sparing use of non-diegetic sound. Coyolxauhqui by the indigenous media collective Los Ingrávidos has a very different use of sound, using overwhelming percussion to allude toviolence against women in Mexico.

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Almudena Escobar López is a curator, archivist, and researcher from Galicia, Spain. She is the Assistant Curator of Media Arts at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester. Her work focuses largely on coloniality, anti-ethnography, visual historiography, and alternative ways of understanding territoriality. Almudena is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Visual and Cultural Studies program at the University of Rochester.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Julia Katharine

Tea for Two + Lingua Franca

Tea for Two 
Julia Katharine, Brazil 2018, 25 min.

Lingua Franca
Isabel Sandoval, USA/Philippines 2019, 89 min. 

Lingua Francais an intimate portrait of Olivia, a trans woman from the Philippines, who works as a live-in caregiver for an old Russian-Jewish woman in Brooklyn. The film twists the often sensationalist cinematic representations of trans womanhood, as it documents the day-to-day life of the protagonist, her struggles with getting a green card and her ventures in love. In Tea for Two, Silvia, a middle-aged filmmaker in crisis, is bewildered by the visit of her ex-wife, and the feelings she is developing for another woman whom she just met.

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Julia Katharine is an actress and director. For her performance in I remember the crows, she received the Helena Ignez Prize at the 21st Tiradentes Film Festival, a prize dedicated to a prominent woman in cinema. Her directorial debut, Tea for Two is the first film directed by a trans person to ever be commercially released in Brazilian theaters.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Adél Onodi

Azul Vazante (Leaking Blue) + Eltávozott nap (The Girl)

Azul Vazante (Leaking Blue)
Julia Alquéres, Brazil 2018, 15 min.  

Eltávozott nap (The Girl)
Márta Mészáros, Hungary 1968, 90 min.

The Girl, Márta Mészáros’ debut fiction film, takes us to Hungary in the late ‘60s. Erzsi, a young woman in her twenties, works at a textile factory in Budapest and lives at a female worker’s dormitory. Having grown up at a state orphanage, she decides to embark on a journey to meet her mother. At the village where she finds her mother, dance is not for every woman, but Erzsi surely dances with men and acts as “the girl from the city”. Disappointed by the estrangement she feels for her mother, she goes back to Budapest. Azul Vazanteis a short story of a mother who looks for her son in a hospital bed, but finds her daughter instead. The film is set at the square of the São Paulo Cathedral, shifting from the tension between mother and daughter and the public expectations that are put on women.

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Adél Onodi is an actress from Hungary living in Berlin. She appeared on the cover of the Hungarian editions of Elle and Glamour as the first transgender actress and wrote for the first transgender column in the Hungarian edition of mainstream women’s magazine Glamour. She played in Wir sind jetzt and Rumspringa and was involved in the German LGBTQIA+ Act Out campaign in Süddeutsche Zeitung, which was advocating for the film industry giving more opportunities for LGBTQIA+ actors.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Jumoke Adeyanju

Cycles + Compensation

After the screening talk and DJ Session with Jumoke Adeyanju (aka mokeyanju) 

Cycles
Zeinabu Irene Davis, USA 1989, 19 min. 

Compensation
Zeinabu Irene Davis, USA 1999, 93 min.

Compensation tells two parallel love stories between a deaf woman and a hearing man, played by the same actors but set in two different times: the beginning and end of the 20th century. With inventive original scores, title cards, and carefully selected archival photographs, the film creates a new experience of “silent” film for both hearing and non-hearing audiences. Cycles similarly has sound and Black womanhood at its heart with the sounds of Miriam Makeba and trumpetist Clora Bryant, among others, weaving through the protagonist’s anticipation of her period.

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Jumoke Adeyanju is an interdisciplinary multilingual poet, curator, dancer, vinyl selector and aspiring sound artist under the alias mokeyanju. She is heavily influenced by Detroit’s Hip Hop legacy, Fújì, Highlife, Ndombolo and percussive music. Jumoke is also the founder of The Poetry Meets Series, co-curator of SensiDance and hosts her own radio show sauti ya àkókò on Refugee Worldwide.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Róisín Tapponi

Cinécité + 75 فاطمة (Fatma 75)

Cinécité
Djouhra Abouda/Alain Bonnamy, France 1974, 15 min. 

فاطمة 75 (Fatma 75)
Selma Baccar, Tunisia 1976, 61 min.

Fatma 75 tells the story of Fatma, a young university student who embarks on a journey to highlight the role of women in the modern history of Tunisia. The protagonist encounters women across time and space, ranging from the ancient past to Tunisian liberation struggles. Baccar’s fascinating docu-fiction merges a narrative story with archival material, interview footage and reenactments of historical events. Cinécitébelongs to a series of 16mm experimental films by Algerian-French musician Djouhra Abouda and architect Alain Bonnamy. The film is grounded on a musical score, where sound dictates the rhythm of an assemblage of audiovisual material.

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Róisín Tapponi is an Assyrian Iraqi-Irish film curator, programmer, writer and academic based in London.  She is Founder of Habibi Collective, Founder CEO of Shasha Movies, Founder EIC of ART WORK Magazine and Co-Founder of Independent Iraqi Film Festival (IIFF). She has recently been awarded the ‘World-Leading PhD Art History Scholarship’ at St. Andrews University.

Director Kira Muratova USSR 1971

97 Min., OV with English subs

Долгие проводы Dolgie provody (Long Farewells)

After the screening talk with Eirini Fountedaki & Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein and a special guest

Kira Muratova’s second feature film Long Farewellsrevolves around an anticipated departure: Evgenia, an overprotective mother, struggles to let her adolescent son go, when she finds out that he does not want to live with her anymore. A “hesitation waltz” (Eugénie Zvonkine) of unfinished gestures, the film was considered “elitist” and “lacking in realism and motivation” by Party censors and was shelved for some years. Through jump cuts and musical melodies that rarely arrive at resolution, the film stands for Muratova’s trenchant cinematic aesthetics.

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Director Sally Potter UK 1992

92 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Liz Rosenfeld

Orlando

Sally Potter’s queer classic is an extravagant restaging of Virginia Woolf’s novel of the same name, in which a nobleman doesn’t die but rather becomes a woman across several centuries. Tilda Swinton stars as Orlando with a notable cameo by Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth I. Potter co-wrote the rich score that nearly dominates the film, guiding us through time.

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Liz Rosenfeld is a Berlin based artist who works in film/video, performance, and experimental writing practice. Grounded in the personal, Liz's work contends with questions regarding how queer ontologies are rooted in both political and personal variant hypocritical desire(s). Liz’s films are represented by Video Data Bank and LUX Moving Image.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Promona Sengupta

FU 377 + A Night of Knowing Nothing

FU 377
Neelu Bhuman, India 2014, 5 min. 

A Night of Knowing Nothing
Payal Kapadia, France/India 2021, 97 min. 

In Payal Kapadia’s Night of Knowing Nothing, letters found in a box at a Mumbai film school tell the tale of a tense intercaste relationship between two characters only known as K. and L. As L. pushes K. away, the letters change from Hindi to Bengali and the imagery around them ebbs and flows to reflect the struggles and student protests currently shaking India. Similarly mobilizing found footage, FU 377 takes a lighter tone as a queer daughter is comforted by her mother before the two rush off to join a protest against homophobic legislature.

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Promona Sengupta is an academic, an activist and a curator currently finishing her PhD at the International Research Center Interweaving Performance Cultures at FU Berlin. She co-founded Mo’Halla, a pop-up space for progressive art, culture and politics, based in Berlin. She has worked as a curator for Khoj International Artists’ Association in New Delhi and on various international exhibitions throughout Asia. 

OV with English subs

Cycles + Compensation

Cycles
Zeinabu Irene Davis, USA 1989, 19 min. 

Compensation
Zeinabu Irene Davis, USA 1999, 93 min.

Compensation tells two parallel love stories between a deaf woman and a hearing man, played by the same actors but set in two different times: the beginning and end of the 20th century. With inventive original scores, title cards, and carefully selected archival photographs, the film creates a new experience of “silent” film for both hearing and non-hearing audiences. Cycles similarly has sound and Black womanhood at its heart with the sounds of Miriam Makeba and trumpetist Clora Bryant, among others, weaving through the protagonist’s anticipation of her period.

Book tickets