Towards a Living Place
If we think of films made from minority situations and perspectives as prototypes of possible worlds, we could then ask ourselves how to live and practice these worlds. That is, how to depart from the economy of mere metaphor in order to move from art to an emancipated way of living, a place without an owner.
This is one of the operations, one of the movements, that Olivier Marboeuf calls "decolonial" – as long as this movement ceases to focus solely on the question of "who is speaking?" (which is nonetheless necessary) but also asks towards where we speak, towards what wider possibility of life? For this movement to happen, however, it is necessary to examine its conditions, one of which is based on our ability to describe the place in which we speak and thus collectively understand for whom we speak, at the service of what. This is to grasp everything that is played out in the margins of the scene of representation to which we are invited. This is to elaborate a just way of moving from this place to another, using art works as both skillful screens that conceal what we really do and as possible worlds that we secretly commit ourselves to experiencing.
By going through one of his recent texts, Towards a despeaking cinema (a Caribbean hypothesis), Olivier Marboeuf would like to try to imagine the potentialities of minority cinema considered as a practice of collective hallucination that invents one of these unnamable places through cacophony.
• Olivier Marboeuf is a writer, storyteller, and curator. Marboeuf founded the independent art centre Espace Khiasma, which ran from 2004 to 2018 in Les Lilas, in the Parisian suburbs. The program he developed there addressed minority representations and post-colonial situations through exhibitions, screenings, debates, performances, and collaborative projects. Marboeuf is interested in the different modalities of knowledge transmission, and imagines permanent or ephemeral structures based on conversations and speculative narratives; his works intersect with poetic fiction and speculative theories. Drawing from the imagination and literature of the Caribbean as much as the mythologies of the suburbs, Marboeuf explores ways of making sensitive the history that is imprinted upon minority bodies and the narratives of wandering communities. His recent texts are published on his blog: Toujours Debout. Currently, he produces films as part of Spectre Productions and contributes to the cinematic distribution and research unit Phantom. Marboeuf lives and works between Paris and Rennes.
• Robin Vanbesien is an artist and filmmaker. At the center of his films and research is the relationship between a moving image practice and the poetics of place-making of various emancipatory grassroots social practices, networks, and social movements. In extension of these films, his practice is also materialized in installations (from multi screen set-ups to photography, painting, and drawing), as well as in writing, critical pedagogy (including participatory workshops and performances), and curated film programs. Vanbesien is a doctoral researcher at Sint Lucas Antwerpen and University of Antwerp. At the former, he is also the coordinator and main coach of the Master program in a Socio-Political Context. Vanbesien’s work has been presented widely internationally: transmediale, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Cinéma du Réel, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Contour Biennale (Mechelen), Athens Biennale, Sculpture International Rotterdam, WIELS (Brussels), Lumiar Cité (Lisbon), Videograms (Vilnius), Netwerk (Aalst), Kaaitheater (Brussels), Beursschouwburg (Brussels), Extra City Kunsthal (Antwerp), Objectif Exhibitions (Antwerp), Vooruit (Ghent), etc. His last publication is Solidarity Poiesis: I Will Come and Steal You (b_books, MER. Paper Kunsthalle, Sarma, 2017). Since 2020, he is a co-founding member of The Post Film Collective that practices cinema as a form of polyphony, place-making and communal assembly.