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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 May 2015 the project will culminate in a comprehensive closing program in Berlin (May 21–31, 2015).

There will be a booklet with the festival program that is already available for Download (PDF).

Visionary Archive is divided into five thematic, interconnected projects, all of which investigate what contemporary, transcultural, curatorial and artistic work with archives and archival research could look like. The project “Revisiting Memory”, coordinated by the Cimatheque in Cairo, reflects on how films and archives can express social upheavals and the most recent changes in society.
The project “B-Schemes” in Johannesburg aims to critically examine and present a subject which has received almost no attention to date, namely "B-Scheme" films in South Africa, a state-funded Apartheid-era programme supporting "black films for black viewers".
“Studio Gad” is dedicated to the private archive of the filmmaker Gadalla Gubara, one of the pioneers of African film, who died in 2008. Since Gubara’s death, his daughter Sara Gubara, who is also a filmmaker, has taken over responsibility for the archive. The plan is to view and evaluate the archive. The focal point is the film KHARTOUM (1960), which will serve as the basis for a workshop in which Sudanese and German filmmakers will create short “response films".
The cluster “From Boé to Berlin – A mobile lab on the film history of Guinea-Bissau” is dedicated to the recently re-opened and now partly digitized archival holdings of the national film institute of Guinea-Bissau (INCA). It will serve to make the films visible again, experimenting with various formats: mobile cinema, moderated film program, exhibition, and workshop.
Under the banner of “It all depends”, regular events will take place at the Arsenal cinema using different formats. These events are meant to critically supplement the "Visionary Archive" projects and to engage the public in their translocal work with and on African cinema.

The venues of “Visionary Archive” are the Arsenal cinema, as well as institutions in the respective locations of the project partners. From June 21 to 31 a comprehensive final presentation will take place at Arsenal cinema, at Scriptings project space, at Archive Kabinett and in public space. The exhibition “Regulado” at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, which took place from May to July 2014, was also part of "Visionary Archive".

The complete program of the final presentation will be available for download, soon.

Project participants: Hana Al Bayaty, Suleimane Biai, Filipa César, Yasmin Desouki, Darryl Els, Flora Gomes, Sara Gubara, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Tobias Hering, Nadja Korinth, Sana na N’Hada, Stefan Pethke, Rhea Schmitt, Aissatu Seidi, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Katharina von Schroeder.

“Visionary Archive” is funded by the TURN fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

We thank the Goethe­-Institut, in particular the institutes in Algier, Dakar, Cairo, Johannesburg, Khartoum and Yaoundé for their support.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media