A two-day study circle with screenings, panel talks, and lectures, touching on the imaginaries and practices of place-making in film.
We don’t make places from nothing. We combine consciousness and capacity to make where we are into places we wish to be. The way we, imperatively, unfix and elaborate the places in which we find ourselves, involves coming to terms with violent processes and oppressive infrastructures. It’s precious to acknowledge how our experiences and imaginations of place-making, while resisting enclosure in different ways, share a sense of commonality, and how our understanding of it sustains and generates collective capacity. At the same time, it’s also precious to recognize how this commonality is ghostly stuff. It escapes the lens-based practices that attempt to objectify, capture or narrativize it. Instead, it calls for a cinematic approach that is attentive to the qualities of its hazy and undefined presence.
Ciné Place-Making traces various cinematic ways of making common cause with situated practices of place-making. We are introduced to a selection of film works and practices that are committed to preserving, reclaiming, and redistributing a set of collectively lived imaginations, dispersed across time and space: Raphaël Grisey’s and Bouba Touré’s archival journey that traces the cultural memory of the agricultural cooperative Somankidi Coura created in Mali in 1977; Marta Popivoda’s reclamation of the memory of female partisan Sonja Vujanović in Yugoslavia as an alternative monument to collective antifascist resistance; Subversive Film’s redistribution of an archival film collection that uncovers the Japan-Palestine solidarity movement from the 1960s to the 1980s; Ana Vaz’s evocation of the collective visual memory of the Waimiri-Atroari in the Amazonas in the 1980s; The Post Film Collective’s kaleidoscopic, playful auto-ethnography; the collaboration between Lisbon-based high school students and Ana Vaz in which the camera is explored as an instrument of inquiry, a pencil, a song. These filmmakers take feeling and agency as constitutive of the way these imaginations of place-making become rehearsed on the screen. They explore cinematic methods tailored to serve with care, providing a holding environment that often extends beyond the apparent and the articulated.
With Stoffel Debuysere, Avery F. Gordon, Raphael Grisey & Bouba Touré, Lara Khaldi, Olivier Marboeuf, Marta Popivoda, Daniela Shreir, Subversive Film, The Post Film Collective, Robin Vanbesien, Ana Vaz and Ana Vujanović.
In this two-day study circle with film screenings, talks, and lectures, we learn with these film practices how to preserve and proliferate a relational geography of struggles, imaginations, and resources.
Ciné Place-Making is convened by Robin Vanbesien in the context of his eponymous doctoral research-in-the-arts project at Sint Lucas Antwerpen. The study circle will be accompanied by a thematic focus on place-making in cinema and photography in online magazine Trigger (www.fomu.be/trigger), with Robin Vanbesien as co-editor.