Arsenal Summer School 2013

Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre in Cairo © Julien Siehr

Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art has been putting on a summer school every August since 2009. It is open to anyone from the various different fields of film and video art interested in taking part. The goal of the three-day event is to hold in-depth discussions on a particular topic where film theory and practice meet without any pressure to reach predefined conclusions. Ten different modules are offered by the invited speakers and consist of presentations, discussions and workshops of a range of different types.

The fifth Arsenal Summer School will take place from August 21 to 23. "Experiment Institution: Dialogues on How to Build an Independent Film Culture in Cairo and Berlin" will consist of eight events – discussions, film talks, and screenings – at which different contributors from theory and practice will reflect on the tasks and challenges of working with film. While the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre in Cairo has only just been founded. Two institutions with many interfaces and similar visions discuss and pose questions: What do we understand by the concept "subversive/alternative" cinema – both historically and today? Have there been shifts in meaning? What are the tasks and missions of curatorial practice within an institutional framework? What contemporary ideas are available for this? What is the significance of film archives with respect to the contemporary practice with film?

Dialogues between the two institutions, represented by: Mohamed Beshir, Hana Al Bayaty, Tamer El Said (Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre in Cairo) & Milena Gregor, Birgit Kohler, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art)
With participation by: Michel Balagué, filmmaker, producer (Mengamuk Films, Berlin/Vienna), co-founder of Labor Berlin, Marcin Malaszczak, filmmaker, co-founder of Mengamuk Films, Berlin/Vienna, Michael Zryd, York University Toronto

The Presentations will be held in English!

Download program (PDF)

Attendance:
The number of participants is limited (30 persons).

Attendance fee:
125 Euro
105 Euro (members, students, Berlin-Pass)
85 Euro (members of the arsenal freundeskreis)

Registration deadline: 15 August 2013 Event venue:

Arsenal cinema, Potsdamer Str. 2, 10785 Berlin

Download registration form (PDF)

Contact: summerschool@arsenal.de


PROGRAM


Wednesday, 21 August  

3:00 p.m.
Experiment Institution: Dialogues on How to Build an Independent Film Culture in Cairo and Berlin
Welcome of participants and introduction Milena Gregor, Birgit Kohler und Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art), Mohamed Beshir, Hana Al Bayaty, Tamer El Said (Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre in Cairo)
location: Cinema 2  

3:30–5.30 p.m.
Cinema as a Contemporary Practice
While the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre in Cairo has just been founded. Two institutions with many interfaces discuss and pose questions. What are the tasks and challenges of working with film in a living and timely manner in various social and political contexts? What do the terms public and counter-public mean today? What strategies of mediating film are being sought out? There is a self-reflexive question at the center of all this: What are the distinguishing characteristics of a living cinematheque, a film institution, a film cooperative, a living film archive?
location: Cinema 2  

6:00–7:00 p.m.
Capacity Building – Where Does the Institutionalization of the Experimental Begin? Forming institutions in the area of alternative, experimental, or independent film seems just as inevitable as critiquing them. Often, however, what institutions offer artists, but also ‘comsumers’ or cultural producers, is above all the opportunity for self-organization, without which they could not exist. To what degree does institutionalization contradict the anti-conformism of experimental filmmaking, or to what degree does the formation of institutional structures promote the cinema as a site for subversive art, and film as the expression of it? (Michael Zryd, York University Toronto)
location: Cinema 2

8:00 p.m. dinner


Thursday, 22 August

10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
SIENIAWKA – A Classic Forum Film?

Filmmaker Marcin Malaszczak and producer Michel Balagué discuss film visions and the possibilities of financial and creative autonomy in the production process. Screening with discussion following: SIENIAWKA, Marcin Malaszczak, Germany, Poland 2013, 126 min Future, past, and present meet in SIENIAWKA, a film of few words. The men in the “outside world” live in the “freedom” of a zone that bears the geographical, political, and film historical marks of an apocalyptic present. Other men have fled to the “inside world” of an institution, resigning themselves to rigid everyday routine. How real can life be in place forgotten by history? “SIENIAWKA is an intelligent film about a place not far from our border to Poland. It is surrounded… by an apocalyptic landscape scarred by open-cast coal mining. Over two long, but never too long hours of this classic Forum film, we even come to understand this image. The madmen are still us.” (Philipp Bühler)
location: Cinema 2

1:30–3:30 p.m.
Alternative/Independent/Subversive Cinema
What do we understand by these terms – both historically and today? Have there been shifts in their meaning? What socio-cultural and political frames of reference are bound up with this kind of terminology? What meaning do they take on within an institutional framework?
location: Cinema 2

4:00–6:00 p.m.
Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice
What does it mean to do curatorial work with films? What does the curator’s responsibility look like within an institutional structure, as well as within a political system? What is the mediating task at hand, and how should we understand the relationship to censorship and social critique? To what degree is curatorial practice an expression of collection consciousness and/or the curator’s individuality?
location: Cinema 2


Friday, 23 August


10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
What is a Revolutionary Film?
Screening with discussion following: AL-KHOROUGH LEL-NAHAR (Coming Forth by Day) Hala Lotfy, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, 2012, 96 min One day in the life of Soad, who lives with her mother and bed-ridden father at the edge of Cairo, resigned to caring for her father. The camera patiently follows her routine activities, capturing both her frustration and also moments of great tenderness. Hala Lotfy’s impressive debut focuses the gaze on the relationship of light and shadow, of inside and outside, of life and death. Soad’s longing is palpably directed outward. But when one evening she leaves the apartment and drifts alone through the Cairene night, it becomes clear how far away she is from her own needs.
location: Cinema 2

1:30–3:30 p.m.
Archive Work as Looking Back to the Future
Over the course of the last 50 years, a comprehensive archive of around 8,000 films has been collected at the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, without any systematic collecting mission ever having existed. In Cairo, there is currently no film archive at all. Artistic works and films that might serve as witness to the past revolutionary upheavals in the country, and which might be able to focus interest on the cultural identity and history of the country, are scattered about – in private homes, at censorship boards, abroad … Despite the differing starting points, both institutions are faced with the question of how doing archive work as a contemporary and artistic practice can be understood and implemented within these two institutions.
location: Cinema 2

4:00–6:00 p.m.
Closing discussion with reception following
location: Cinema 2