November 2013, living archive

Visionary Archive – Research on translocal African cinema

The cinema "Coliseum" in Khartoum (Sudan) in the year of its opening, 1935.

"Visionary Archive" is a collaborative translocal experiment: Phases and facets of African cinema are being researched in five localities. The relationship between phenomena related to film history in Cairo, Khartoum, Johannesburg, Bissau and Berlin is being formulated and examined. The term "African cinema" is an open bracket in which historical echoes come into their own, as do open questions. Findings and films will be regularly discussed with different audiences, and in spring 2015 the project will flow into a comprehensive closing program in Berlin. Until then, a lot will happen, including a film workshop in Khartoum, the setting up of a mobile cinema in Guinea-Bissau and monthly public screenings at Arsenal. All partners will examine the question of what shape independent film and cinema practice can take today and what role archival work plays. Considering the different starting points, the challenge of "Visionary Archive" will be to negotiate a practice of translocal work with film – between the project partners and also with the public. Under the banner of "It all depends", regular events will take place using different formats at the Arsenal cinema. The program will kick off on 22.11 between 12 and 6 p.m. when films from Arsenal's archive will be screened publicly and the single sub-projects will be presented.

"Visionary Archive" is funded by the TURN - Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.