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Archival Assembly #2

Every look into archives changes the present, and every look into the present changes archives. Archival Assembly offers a new lens through which to view international film archives as living spaces to shape the future of cinema.

Together with the master’s program “Film Culture: Archiving, Programming, Presentation,” at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, a symposium will be held on June 9 and 10. The theme is the title of a book that will be released at the same time: Accidental Archivism: Shaping Cinema’s Futures with Remnants of the Past. The concept of “Accidental Archivism”—a term coined by Nigerian filmmaker, critic, and curator Didi Cheeka—runs through all areas of the festival as a model that shakes up established and deadlocked structures, engendering lasting change through encounters with life as it is marked by crises, but also by everyday events.

Archival Assembly #2 also features an homage dedicated to the Congolese filmmaker and activist Petna Ndaliko Katondolo. In light of the structures of colonial representation in film history, he looks behind images to develop his own Afro-futurist style. Ndaliko Katondolo is also the founder of Yole!Africa, an art and cultural center for young people.

From June 8 to 30, the exhibition How to know what’s really happening takes place in silent green’s Betonhalle, curated by Kayfa ta (Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis).

As part of the series Found Futures, conceived by the Goethe Institut, participants present their projects, ideas, knowledge, or questions with regard to precarious archives and archival findings, partaking in a public exchange. “Accidental archivists” share tips on how to construct archival structures, artistic and curatorial suggestions, as well as practical support.

This year will also feature a presentation of Filmap.org, a website created to expand and encourage the networks that emerged during Archival Assembly #1.

With the support of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

To gain access to paid festival events, you can either buy individual tickets at the cinemas or purchase a festival pass.
Festival Pass: € 80, € 70 reduced. The festival pass is available exclusively at the Arsenal box office. Access to film screenings, project presentations, and performances for festival pass holders is only possible by acquiring a free ticket at the box office in conjunction with the festival pass. The pass is non-transferable and only valid in connection with an official photo ID. Please note that there is no guarantee of tickets for specific events or a certain amount of tickets. Festival passes are issued based on availability, following a “first-come, first-served” basis.

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

Exhibition at silent green Betonhalle


Exhibition with Ala Dehghan, Alejandro “Luperca” Morales, Ali Eyal, Ana Dana Beroš, Armina Pilav, Aseel AlYaqoub, Chinar Shah and Nihaal Faizal, Francis McKee, Jan Němec, Lei Lei & Thomas Sauvin, Matija Kralj, Mauro Sirotnjak, Miodrag Gladović, Rafaela Dražić, Rick Myers, Tobias Zielony, Romeo Grünfelder and Ute Aurand,
curated by Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis

at silent green Betonhalle

Opening 8.6.2023, 16:00

Mon–Fri 14:00–20:00
Sat/Sun 11:00–20:00

Archives have a double nature. They can be the site from which part of a narrative has disappeared, leaving a telling gap behind that in time will draw attention to itself, its wider context, and to the culprits behind this accidental or deliberate omission. Similarly, archives can be the site where part of a narrative is found, this time a telling presence, sometimes the only surviving witness to a story, that opens up equally interesting investigations into the reasons for this accidental or deliberate act of preservation.

Archival and criminal investigations have much in common—often resembling each other in their driving motivations, processes, languages, techniques and effects. As sites of investigation, they are like connected vessels—what disappears from one site, may appear in the other. Possibly years later. Time will tell.

How to know whats really happening follows these intertwined languages of investigation. Through a selection of works that research and reflect on archives, we look into various ways in which the archive is encountered, navigated, built or destroyed, through processes that are often laborious and that can equally uncover fact as much as create fiction.

The title of the exhibition “How to know what’s really happening” is taken from the title of Francis McKee’s book published in 2016 as part of the Kayfa ta series.

Past screenings

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media