The archive’s holdings include 16mm and 35mm film rolls, which include some uncut material, as well as magnetic sound tapes. Due to poor storage conditions, all of this material is in a very advanced state of decay due to "vinegar syndrome". At the archive itself, the technical prerequisites that might allow these films to be viewed or projected to make them accessible to the public are not in place. The central idea of the "Animated Archive" is thus to preserve this collective cinematic memory and allow it to be accessed.
The first step involved registering the existing material in Bissau. Andreas Sollacher (ARRI Munich) constructed a manually operated screening tool to this end that can be used to create individual stills from the rolls of film. This enabled the material to be catalogued and its condition established. The viewing of the film rolls was supervised by Filipa César and filmmakers Flora Gomes and Sana na N’Hada. The second step entailed transporting the film material to Berlin to be cleaned and digitized.
The digitization carried out by the “Animated Archive” project offers a starting point for further projects that will be able to engage with this film legacy in the future.
“Animated Archive” is a project by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art conceived and carried out by Filipa César in collaboration with the filmmakers Suleimane Biai, Flora Gomes and Sana na N’Hada and Carlos Vaz, head of INCA.
Project staff Reiner Meyer (Kornmanufaktur, Berlin), Nuno da Luz (assistant), Marta Leite (assistant), Andreas Sollacher (ARRI München), Marian Stefanowski (film preparation, Arsenal), Suleimane Biai, Onélio Cardoso, Joaquim Gomes, Fátima Silva, Felismina Tavares, Carlos Vaz (INCA, Bissau)
The project was made possible with funding from the Cultural Heritage Preservation Program of the German Foreign Office with the support of the Goethe-Institut in Dakar.
Thanks to Jaime Azinheira, Jorge Biague, Suleimane Biai, João Botelho, Elsa César, Rosa César Waschke, Natxo Checa, Manuel da Costa Cabral, Renata Diack, Antje Ehmann, Rita Fabiana, Harun Farocki, Diogo Ferreira, Gonçalo Galvão Teles, Gorka Gamarra, Flora Gomes, Cristina Guerra, Doris Hegner, Tobias Hering, Tanja Horstmann, Marta Leite, Mónica Lima, Victor Lopes, Policarpo Marcos Lopes, Nuno da Luz, Colin MacCabe, Chris Marker, Diana McCarty, Doreen Mende, Philip Metz, Reiner Meyer, Avi Mograbi, Eglantina Monteiro, Sara Moreira, Christian Ndombi, Sana Na N’Hada, Silvia Nissen-Hülse, Filipa Oliveira, Júlio Pereira, Stefan Pethke, Alexandra Pinho, Angela Reedwisch, Uwe Rieken, Markus Ruff, David Rych, Silvia Scharf, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Carlos Schwarz Silva, Maria João Seixas, Catarina Simão, Valerie Smith, Andreas Sollacher, Fábio Sousa, Inês Teixeira, Guillaume Thiériot, Carlos Vaz, Mark Waschke, Carsten Wille and Guilherme Zeverino.
Further projects by Filipa César: Luta ca caba inda, From Boé to Berlin – A mobile lab on the film history of Guinea-Bissau