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Symposium "Accidental Archivism. Shaping Cinema’s Futures with Remnants of the Past"

Film still: A man is cutting down a tree.

Sat 10.06.

10.00–11.15: Cinékinships: Creating New Networks of Film Culture
With Filipa César, Catarina Simão, Michael Zryd (York University), Moderation: Erica Carter (King’s College London)
The term ciné-kinships was born out of collaborative and transnational archival work in Guinea-Bissau. Delving into the archives, one encounters relations and relationships that were previously hidden. An accidental archivist is never alone: In order to open up archives, one needs allies whose multi-perspective access to the archive brings out its own multiperspectivity. The panel discusses networks and communities of solidarity who grasp the complexity of archives and the process of rendering them productive.

11.30–12.45: The Vast Domain of Unseen Films: Mapping the Cinema We Never Knew (and Probably Never Will)
With Hadi Alipanah (Cinema-ye Azad)/Afsun Moshiry, Sema Çakmak (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Almudena Escobar López (Toronto Metropolitan University), Moderation: Mohammad Shawky Hassan
In a 1993 essay, curator, filmmaker and writer Eric de Kuyper spoke of the “vast domain of cinema as non-art,” which was stored away in archives such as the Nederlands Filmmuseum, of which he formerly was the director. Beyond the canon—surviving often only in fragments and bits and pieces—educational, industrial, scientific and minor non-fiction films constitute the bulk of what we might expansively call cinema. Thirty years on, we have to ask: How much of that unseen cinema do we now know, and how much more unseen cinema is there?​​​​​​​

14.30–15.45: Retrieving Women’s Work in Egypt, Indonesia, and Nigeria
With Justina Omojevwe Akporherhe (Nigerian Film Corporation), Tamer El Said (Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre), Julita Pratiwi & Lisabona Rahman (Kelas Liarsip), Moderation: Sonia Campanini
This panel highlights different archival methods to retrieve the traces of memory of women’s work concealed in the archive. Retrieving the hidden works of female filmmakers—and films about gender inequality (through three case studies)—won’t only open the door to rectify the role of women in the film history of their countries. It also offers new perspectives on the position of the Global South within the history of world cinema.​​​​​​​

16.00–17.15: Lost Platforms: Accidental Archivism and the Overpromise of Technology
With Özge Çelikaslan, Philipp Dominik Keidl (Utrecht University), Jasmina Metwaly, Moderation: Vinzenz Hediger
Platforms and portals carry a promise of unlimited access to moving images. With digital formats, all of film history can potentially become available at the click of a mouse. Or so it might seem. Neither Netflix nor YouTube have fulfilled such a promise but rather simply reshaped the market for film in significant ways. Yet, smaller repositories and strategies such as the Korean National Film Archives policy of putting all its restored holdings on YouTube, point the way for different uses of digital platforms.​​​​​​​

17.30–18.45: I Never Wanted to Be an Archivist: Accidental Archivism and Biographical Turning Points
With Mila Turajlić, Rebecca Ohene-Asah (University of Ghana), Didi Cheeka (Lagos Film Society), Moderation: Vinzenz Hediger
​​​​​​​Archival accidents are biographical accidents. Artists, scholars and activists become archivists because their curiosity leads them to places where they find films, which not only answer their questions, but raise new ones and demand their attention. What lessons do such trajectory-changing—and often life-changing—events hold?

The symposium “Accidental Archivism” was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and by CEDITRAA.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur