February 2013, living archive

Living Archive @ Forum and Forum Expanded

Still from What Happenend to this City?


Once again, several events in this year’s Forum and Forum Expanded program are linked to the Living Archive project. On the first day of the festival two events will be taking place: a panel discussion "To Begin with the Archive" with project participants and the Forum Expanded curatorial team and the presentation of a restored version of a film from the 1988 Forum program, KYA HUA IS SHAHAR KO? (WHAT HAPPENDED TO THIS CITY?, Deepa Dhanraj, India 1986) by project participant Nicole Wolf. Two further panel discussions with Living Archive participants will be taking place on February 10 and 11.

February 8, 3pm, Arsenal cinema: To Begin with the Archive
Film-performance and discussion with Living Archive participants, the Forum Expanded curatorial team and the audience. Special guests: Harun Farocki and Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Every film that is seen for the first time enters the realm of film history. Curating is archiving and archiving is curating, both in order to provide access to an otherwise unseen world of images. Forum Expanded and the project "Living Archive – Archival Work as a Contemporary and Artistic Practice" are two exemplary strategies that understand cinema as an ongoing dialogue between films and audiences. In this event a digitalized version of POR PRIMERA VEZ (Octavio Cortázar, Cuba 1967) will be shown. In POR PRIMERA VEZ we see the inhabitants of a remote mountain village in Cuba, shortly after the Cuban revolution in 1959, watching a film for the very film time thanks to the mobile cinema. Interviews before their first encounter with film and shots of their faces during the screening of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern times portray the cinema as a world of illusion and a means of enlightenment.

February 8, 5.30pm, Arsenal cinema: What Happened to this City?
Film screening and discussion A pioneering political work of contemporary relevance: Communal violence between Hindus and Muslims in 1984 forms the starting point for this film, whose complexity lends it immense political force. The immediacy achieved by filming just as violence is unfolding juxtaposed with calm observations of the devastating consequences of living one's life during a state of emergency, thus reaching a level of respectful lyricism and contemplation that make the film much more than just a worthy reportage. Nicole Wolf came across Deepa Dhanraj’s 1986 film KYA HUA ISS SHAHER KO? (WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS CITY?) during her research on political documentary films in India. A film that at first she only kept hearing about but couldn’t see (Dhanraj’s own 16mm print was in very bad shape) eventually turned out to be part of the Arsenal archive. KYA HUA IS SHAHAR KO? is being digitalised, restored and screened again for the first time in 27 years as part of the Living Archive project. A DVD including additional historical and contemporary material is due for release in June 2013.

Following the screening a talk between Nicole Wolf and the director Deepa Dhanraj will take place. Another screening of the film will be at Feburary 9 at 2pm at Delphi Filmpalast.

February 10, 8pm, HAU 2: Por Primera Vez: Cuba’s Cinematic Legacies

Panel discussion and film screening

People in a mountain village get visually alphabetized in 1967, freedom fighters from Guinea Bissau learn filmmaking in Cuba in the early 1970s, a Canadian film professor gives a workshop in Havana and meets Birri’s sculpture on a field. The films and talks in this program discuss what it means to “learn a film language” in Cuba. With: Filipa César, Phil Hoffmann, Claudia von Alemann; chair: Florain Zeyfang

Films: POR PRIMERA VEZ (Octavio Cortazar, Cuba 1967, 9 min) CUBA (Filipa César, France 2012, 10 min) ARTURO (Pilar Alvarez, Cuba 2012, 3 min) LESSONS IN PROCESS (Phil Hoffman, Canada/Cuba 2012, 30 min) as well as excerpts from digitized films from the Filmarchive Guinea-Bissau.

February 11, 12pm, Kunstgewerbemuseum: Moving in formation
Panel discussion

How is the social body choreographed? What forms the link between the subject and the collective? If it is history, the idea of a past as it is conceived by and in the present, then what role does the writing and the arranging of history as such play? How are bodies conceived by history and its reenactments? How does ideology perform both public space and the body of the masses in this space? Ala Younis’s "TIN SOLDIERS" project, Marta Popivoda’s film YUGOSLAVIA – HOW IDEOLOGY MOVED OUR COLLECTIVE BODY, as well as the book PUBLIC SPHERE BY PERFORMANCE, and Sandy Amerio’s film DRAGOONED serve as exemplary cases to discuss these questions. With: Ala Younis (2012 former scolar of the Goethe Institut and participant of Living Archive), Sandy Amerio, Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda; chair: Marcel Schwierin

You can find further information about the Forum Expanded panels here

More information on the Living Archive participants and their projects can be found here