4th Encounters Beyond History: Luta ca Caba Inda - An Archive in Relation
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4th Encounters Beyond History
“Luta ca caba inda ” (The struggle is not over yet)
An Archive in Relation

Curated by Filipa César and Tobias Hering

The 4th Edition of Encounters Beyond History borrows its title from an unfinished film stored in an archive in Bissau. Luta ca caba inda (The struggle is not over yet) was conceived as a documentary film on post-independence Guinea-Bissau, but was abandoned in the editing process in 1980 – almost as if the title cursed the completion of the film, of the struggle and of this project. Nevertheless, it is a testimony of a decade of collective and internationally connected cinema praxis in the country, as part of the people's struggle for independence from Portuguese colonialism (1963-1974) and subsequent nation building.

The fragmentary remains of this praxis archived at the Instituto Nacional de Cinema e Audiovisual (INCA) in Bissau – finished and unfinished Guinean films, audio recordings, and film prints donated by countries that supported the struggle –, now become subject matter for a cine-archeology. In 2012, in collaboration with the Guinean filmmakers Sana na N'Hada, Flora Gomes and Suleimane Biai and with institutional support from Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art (Berlin), the artist Filipa César and the curator Tobias Hering embarked on a long term project aimed at re-accessing this archive. Its peculiar state, suspended between ruination and work-in-progress, activates questions about past promises and their contemporary pertinence. In the course of the Luta ca caba inda project a series of discursive events and public screenings have been dedicated to activating the potencies of this collection.

4th “Encounters Beyond History: Luta ca caba inda - An Archive in Relation” brings together artists, writers and researchers whose work has contributed to outline a critical field to approach these documents under today’s post-colonial condition. This international conference will position a selection of images and sounds from the archive in relation to the participants' artistic and critical practices in an attempt at exploring its geo-political radiances and kaleidoscopic imaginaries.

The curators propose three notions to intercept the archive and to focus the debates and attention: geographies, materialities and forces - all in the plural form to reflect the multiplicity of their meanings in this context.

Geographies is meant to first locate the archive in the (now marginal and internationally almost isolated) West African country Guinea-Bissau, while at the same time paying attention to geo-political indicators suggesting, at times substantial, at times ephemeral, connections to Senegal, Cuba, Algeria, Tanzania, the GDR, the Republic of Guinea-Conakry, the Soviet Union, Angola, Portugal, China, India, Romania, Sweden and other sites. The notion of geography shall bring into focus what Édouard Glissant termed relation, the pathways of exchange that are never one-way and whose meaning is rarely unequivocal. Relation is independent of genealogy, is empathetic and rejects the search for and the bond to an origin. Also the latent ideas of Amílcar Cabral, the liberation leader whose success as a guerrilla strategist was profoundly informed by his expertise as an agronomist, are embedded in this understanding of geography.

Materialities addresses the material state of the archive components themselves and the theoretical and practical challenges posed by it. The celluloid film, its states of decay and pathologies, the imprints of precarious production and subsequent neglect all bring forth a specific aesthetics of the archive. Vinegar syndrome, the film disease, demonstrates animal gelatin as its component. Film as decomposable matter, determines a sort of archeological process while at the same time suggesting the necessity to adopt certain politics for the ensuing procedures of digitization and re-vision.

Forces is meant to shift the perspective on immaterial and latent aspects of the archive: the promise inscribed in the material and its emancipation project, the colonial suppression, resistance, the urge to liberation, the empathetic or strategic gesture of solidarity and the new production of subjectivities. The ideas of state, nation, law, independence, and constitution take shape in representations and rituals directly in front of the camera. The driving forces: the agency of fear, struggle and education; The Weapon of Theory (Cabral); the latency of animism; sonic waves; the potency of the collective practice of watching films together.

Participants

Jean-Pierre Bekolo (filmmaker, Yaoundé)
Sonia Borges (historian, PhD candidate Lisbon/Berlin)
Wladimir de Brito (lawyer, Guimarães)
Anselm Franke (curator, artistic director HKW, Berlin)
Nuno Faria (curator, artistic director CIAJG, Guimarães/Lisbon)
Louis Henderson (filmmaker, Paris/London)
Grada Kilomba (psychologist, writer, artist, Berlin)
Catarina Laranjeiro (historian, PhD candidate, Lisbon/Berlin)
Patricia Leal (artist and filmmaker, Lisbon)
Olivier Marboeuf (curator, producer, artistic director Khiasma, Paris)
Sana na N'Hada (filmmaker, Bissau)
Yonamine (artist, Luanda/Berlin)
Ala Younis (curator and artist, Amman)

The event is spoken in English.

Programme

10 Dec

18.00
Nuno Faria
Opening

Filipa César, Tobias Hering
Introduction: Materialities

19.00
Film
O regresso de Amílcar Cabral, 1976 (GB, SE)
dir. Sana na N'Hada

11 Dec

10.00
Tobias Hering
Introduction: Geographies

10.30
Olivier Marboeuf
An ecology of darkness: Performative transmission of political archives, between secret, shield and trickery.

11.30
Patricia Leal
Casa dos Estudantes do Império: An unexpected antechamber of the African liberation movements

13.00 Lunch break

14.30
Jean-Pierre Bekolo
Cutting the nimbus of "unedited footage"

15.30
Louis Henderson
Compost in the Créole Garden: The Archive as a Multispecies Assemblage

16.30 Coffee Break

17.00
Wladimir de Brito
Film as evidence?

18.00
Closing discussion Day1

19.00
Film
Fanado, 1984 (GB)
dir. Sana na N'Hada

Dec 12

10.00
Filipa César
Introduction: Forces

10.30
Anselm Franke
The Frontiers of Modernity Enrol its Others: Thoughts on Epistemology and Emancipation

11.30
Sónia Vaz Borges
Nós vamos construir - We are going to build

13.00 Lunch break

14.30
Grada Kilomba
Decolonizing Knowledge

15.30
Ala Younis
Duplications and contradictions in the past of a temporal universe

16.30 Coffee break

17.00
Catarina Laranjeiro
African commandos: The inability to look at the past

18.00
Yonamine
Pretoforma-se

19.00
Closing discussion Day 2



Free registration, subject to the room’s maximum capacity. Registration may be made in person at the José de Guimarães International Centre for the Arts or by downloading the online form here, that should be sent to: encontrosparaalemdahistoria@aoficina.pt

For further information, please contact us at tel. 253 424 715 or email encontrosparaalemdahistoria@aoficina.pt