Found Futures

Found Futures I

During Archival Assembly #1, every morning in the Kuppelhalle at silent green and in Sinema Transtopia there will be presentations on precarious archival projects under the title "Found Futures", organized in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, with the goal of networking and mutual support. Free admission, registration on site.

Opening event, Sep 3, 2021 10:00–12:00 silent green Kuppelhalle

Arsenal, the Goethe-Institut, and Dox Box will present their previous activities, including the journey from “Living Archive” (2011–2013) to “Archive außer sich” (2017–2022), the collectively produced paper “Call for Action and Reflection on Decolonising Film Archives”, which emanated from a workshop by the Goethe-Institut in September 2019 at Culturgest
in Lisbon, and the Dox Box project “People’s Stories: Past and Present”.

Teresa Althen, Marc-André Schmachtel, Catarina Simão, Fradique, Jihan El-Tahri, and Stefanie Schulte Strathaus will sketch out ideas for a future, to be subjected to critical reflection in the subsequent “Found Futures”. “Found Futures” is a cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and will take place in the Kuppelhalle at silent green and in Sinema Transtopia. 

Found Futures II
Archive as Autobiography

Sep 4, 2021 10:00–13:00 Sinema Transtopia

Estates and bequests pose particular challenges for archival discourse: When a collection is held together by a single person, what does this mean for how it can be treated in public? How autobiographical can an archive be? The estates of Hussein Shariffe, Atteyat Al Abnoudy, and Magdy Rafla, parts of which are being presented the day before at the Arsenal Cinema, will be discussed here further. There will be a presentation of the restoration work on the film KARA KAFA (partly shot in Germany) by the director Korhan Yurtsever (Turkey), as well as the work being done on the estate of the filmmaker and writer Ahmed Bouanani (Morocco), and the director Jocelyne Saab (Lebanon). 

With: Eiman Hussein, Tamer El Said, Talal Afifi, Haytham El-Wardany, Erica Carter, Ihab Rafla, Ali Atef, Dana Enani, Randa Megahed, Maged Nader, Can Sungu, Touda Bouanani, Mohamed Slaoui Andaloussi, Sarah Dornhof, Corinne Wiss, Mathilde Rouxel, and Stefanie Schulte Strathaus. 

Found Futures III
Archive as Autobiography: Navina Sundaram, Baalbeck Studios and “The Tokyo Reels”

Sep 6, 2021 10:00–13:00 Sinema Transtopia

Following from “Found Futures II”, the first part of this session concerns models for an archival practice when dealing with the work of an individual person. The focal point here is Navina Sundaram, a writer whose journalistic work touched on internationalism and decolonization, on questions of class, racism, immigration, and on Indian and German politics. Extracted from the NDR and WDR television archives as well as a private holding, “The Fifth Wall” is a curated look at German migration and media history.

With Mareike Bernien and Merle Kröger. The second part will develop strategies for working with the paper and film archives of Baalbeck Studios, which have been housed for many years at UMAM Documentation & Research in Beirut and, since 2021, partially in Berlin. In addition, there will be a presentation of the project “The Tokyo Reels”, a collaborative research project on the film and poster collection held at the PLO’s representation office in Tokyo. With Monika Borgman, Ayman Nahle, Sandra Schäfer, and Mohanad Yaqubi.

Found Futures IV
Fossilized Sonicities. “On Mapping Lessons” and Sonic Archives

Sep 7, 2021 10:00–13:00 Sinema Transtopia

Departing from the film MAPPING LESSONS (Sep 6) by Philip Rizk, SAVVY Contemporary calls for the exploration of the sonicity of colonial archives, and their reappropriation through critical archiving and the material practice of filmmaking. Taking cues from a 1972 free jazz recording session in Egypt that was later released as Muharram 1392, MAPPING LESSONS weaves together a soundscape of archival material and improvisations, reflecting and challenging the histories of colonial nation building while drawing parallels to the present.
In conversation with SAVVY Contemporary’s Colonial Neighbours – a participatory archive and research project investigating the colonial history of Germany – and SAVVY.doc archive, this event will encourage the appreciation of film as a sonic archive, juxtaposing different forms of archival autonomies through sound to reflect on the present through the past, and vice versa. 

Found Futures V
Closing discussion and future plans

Sep 8, 2021 10:00–13:00 Sinema Transtopia

Living archival work can contribute to shifts in existing power relations and the disruption of established structures and narratives. “Found Futures V” provides the opportunity to develop common strategies against the backdrop of the presented projects and discussions. How could/should the text “Call for Action and Reflection on Decolonising Film Archives” be rewritten or added to? Whom does it address and how can it reach its audience? What might communities and networks of solidarity contribute in order to support precarious archives and archival projects? What connections are meaningful and conceivable to facilitate the exchange of experience and knowledge in the long term? Furthermore, closing “Archival Assembly #1” gives rise to a new question: What might “Archival Assembly #2” in 2023 look like?