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The ongoing research of filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam re-evaluates the audiovisual material gathered over several years on a still overlooked chapter in the recent history of Tibet: the armed struggle for freedom that spontaneously erupted in response to Chinese aggression, which then became entangled in global geopolitics when the CIA got involved.
In conversation with curators Natasha Ginwala and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, the discussion unravels the subjective position of an intermediary between the CIA and members of the Mustang Resistance Force: Lhamo Tsering, whose personal archive is staged to confront the complexities of an occupied terrain, wherein individual aspirations and national interests fail to provide a symmetrical historical trajectory. At the same time, the event addresses the loaded role of the witness and film evidence as an extended territory in which the labour of guerrilla warfare can be debated within the larger context of 20th-century history – in particular from the vantage point of those whose histories have been framed by the wrath and legacy of coloniality.
While annotating secret alliances from the inside of a rebellion, it is the threshold of invisibility and detectability that becomes animated: How may this archival evidence speak truth to power by extracting new forms of collective intelligence that are a counterpoint to the extractive condition of surveillance by the world powers? How do we consider this obscured lineage of decolonization in a post-Cold War world rife with nationalist agendas?

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is an independent curator, art critic, author, and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary. He is currently guest professor in curatorial studies and sound art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main.
Natasha Ginwala is a curator and writer. She is associate curator at Gropius Bau, Berlin and Festival Curator of Colomboscope (2019), Colombo.
Indian-Tibetan filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam have been working together for more than 30 years. They have made award-winning documentaries, a number of video installations and two feature films. They are the founders and directors of the Dharamshala International Film Festival.

All panels, talks, and presentations in English.

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