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Граници: Ръководство за употреба

Borders: a User Manual

Being cultural constructions, borders evolve and multiply with the evolution of human society. New techniques of communication or political control create new divisions, exclusions, but also new forms or resistance, escape and mobility.
The global era has been falsely imagined as a process of inevitable homogenization of humanity; in fact, in speeding up cultural dynamics, it brought about the multiplication of borders and much more intensive clashes between ‘us’ and ‘them’. The traditional vision of integrated, absolute borders inherited from the classical nation state and more so, from the Cold war seems to contribute to such misunderstanding: in the contemporary world borders tend to break up and become partial, the cultural framework being dissociated from political, the economic from the humanitarian, etc. This situation is often interpreted as a state of absolute freedom of movement, nevertheless partial restrictions are still restrictions and the migrant flows around the planet do not necessarily have more citizen’s rights than the former inhabitants of the nation-state. On the contrary: social scientists have observed that displaced people tend to have lower citizenship standards, that they are docile, ready to do anything, at any price. Part of the problem may be due to the compexifying of the world, where territories overlap, borders multiply, laws are replaced by temporary arrangements and ambiguous cultural differences.
The project consists in juxtaposing different approaches towards the proliferation of new partial borders in discussing the role of new media and virtuality, satellite communications and surveillance, human flows and the metamorphoses of the sense of belonging and identity. The label of ‘intellectual festival’ has been chosen to suggest the juxtaposition of different approaches and expressions: on one side academic discourse from the domain of social and cultural studies, on the other film and visual arts, addressing a larger audience. The geographical focus of the event will be the crossroad Balkan area, traditionally over-saturated with borders that are being reshuffled today by new forms of mobility and communications.


Ivaylo Ditchev

Programme

Borders: a User Manual

Sofia, May 20-23. 2009, Goethe-Institut-Bulgarien

conference/screening hall

Wednesday, May 20

18:00 - 19:30 h
Screening I, curated by Florian Wüst
total running time: 84 min
Algier Report, Bernhard Dörries, BRD 1963, 15'
Frontera Sur, Helena Maleno, Alex Muñoz, Victor Rins, ES 2003, 14'
Inventur – Metzstraße 11, Želimir Žilnik, BRD 1975, 9'
Your blood is as red as mine, Julika Rudelius, NL 2004, 16'
One Day, Ditte Haarløv Johnsen, DK 2007, 30'

Florian Wüst. born 1970 in Munich (Germany). Artist and film curator, living in Berlin.
http://www.fwuest.com/
>> read more 

Thursday, May 21

14:00 – 14:30
Introduction: Multiple belongings
Prof. Ivaylo Ditchev
14:30 – 15:00
Ethnic, national, cosmopolitan
Prof. Kevin Robins, Bilgi university Istanbul/Goldsmith’s college London
15:00 – 15:30
Discussion 
15:30 - 16:00
Pause
16:00 - 16:30
Techological refraiming
Prof. David Morley, Goldsmith's college, London
16:30 - 17:00
ISLANDS+GHETTOS
An exhibition project about territories, cities and borders
Stefan Horn, co-curator of the project, urban dialogues berlin
http://www.hdkv.de/islands/index_en.htm
17:00 – 17:30
Discussion
17:30 - 18:00
Pause
18:00 - 18:50
Place after Place
Ergin Çavuşoğlu. Screening and talk
Ergin Çavuşoğlu. Born 1968, Tyrgovishte (Bulgaria), based in London)
http://www.ergincavusoglu.com
>> read more
19:00 - 20:00
Screening II, curated by Florian Wüst
total running time: 55 min
Chic Point, Sharif Waked, IL 2003, 7'
Experiment on a Map, Barbara Kaiser, AT 2001, 10'
Territories, Isaac Julien, UK 1984, 25'
Ottica Zero, Maja Borg, SE 2007, 13'
>> read more 

Friday, May 22

13:30 – 16:30
Studying mobile cultures. Workshop with students of Sofia University
With ass. prof. Orlin Spassov, ass. prof. Daniels Koleva, ass. prof. Dessislava Lilova, Milla Mineva, Nia Neykova, Nikoleta Daskalova
17:00 - 17:50
Sean Snyder. presentation
Born in Virginia Beach, US in 1972, Sean Snyder lives in Kiev and Tokyo.
18:00 - 18:50
What does Globalisation look like?
Luchezar Bojadjiev, presentation
1957 - Born: October 12th in Sofia (Bulgaria),
http://www.ica-sofia.org/?id=13&lan=BG&cat_id=9
>> read more
19:00 - 20:50
Screening III, curated by Florian Wüst

Chain, Jem Cohen, USA 2004, 99'
>> read more

Screening Programme. curated by Florian Wuest (Berlin)

 

May 20, 18:00h

Short Film Programme 1


Algier Report
Bernhard Dörries, BRD 1963, 15'

Contributing to the advent of the New German Cinema of the 1960s, Bernhard Dörries' Algier Report impresses by its experimental style mixed with documentary authenticity. The film shows the loneliness of an Algerian immigrant who continues to feel at risk and persecuted in West Germany. While he struggles for a residence permit, images from his past are blending in.


Frontera Sur
Helena Maleno, Alex Muñoz, ES 2003, 14'
Frontera Sur looks at the southern border of Spain, Europe's closed mainland edge to Africa. Many of those, who transgress it undocumented, work at the agricultural industries in the region of Almeria, living as almost invisible, exchangeable parts of a flexible economy, yet permanently controlled through technologies of surveillance. Under the pretext of a greater civilian security, they are kept clear from the public spaces reserved for the citizens with full rights and cultural legitimacy.


Inventur – Metzstrasse 11
Želimir Žilnik, BRD 1975, 9'

inventur.jpg
Želimir Žilnik's short film Inventur – Metzstrasse 11, produced during the years Žilnik spent in West Germany in the mid 1970s, portrays the inhabitants of an old tenement building in central Munich. Most of them are foreigners who reside in West Germany as 'guest workers'. They present themselves on the main staircase of house and talk briefly about their living conditions, biggest worries, fresh hopes and plans for the future – each in his or her own language.


Your blood is as red as mine
Julika Rudelius, NL 2004, 16'

yourblood.jpg
"How does it feel to be black or dark-skinned, or white? What is light? And what does light do to a photo of a dark face? A white woman spends some time in a black community in Amsterdam where she talks to people about the colour of their skin, and about the photos that she makes of them. She asks, they respond. They ask, she responds, in an investigation of identity and the meaning of the clichés around 'black' and 'white'." (Esma Moukhtar)


One Day
Ditte Haarløv Johnsen, DK 2007, 30'

oneday_2.jpg

Intimate close-ups conceal faces but reveal sordid circumstances in One Day, Ditte Haarløv Johnsen's complex and utterly sensitive documentary about a West African woman working as a prostitute in Denmark. She finds both solace and sacrifice through her cell phone, connecting with the family and her daughter she hasn’t seen in six years, yet always remaining available to clients.


May 21, 19:00h

Short Film Programme 2


Chic Point
Sharif Waked, IL 2003, 7'

chicpoint.jpg
The male fashion show simulated in Sharif Waked's video visually explores the nexus of politics, consumption and desire. Chic Point bares the loaded politics of the gaze as it documents the thousands of moments in which Palestinians are forced to nude themselves in the face of interrogation and humiliation when they attempt to move through the expanding network of Israeli checkpoints.

Experiment on a Map
Barbara Kaiser, AT 2001, 10'
experimentonamap.jpg
Barbara Kaiser's short documentary demonstrates how many Austrians weren't able to clearly identify all the new republics and provinces that had come out of the break-up of old Yugoslavia until 2001. It's an entertaining piece, effective and revealing in its simplicity, showing just hands which try and hesitate to attach the proper names to a map of outlined borders.


Territories
Isaac Julien, UK 1984, 25'
Isaac Julien's Territories is a milestone in the development of a black independent film aesthetic. Julien uses experimental forms to look at life in Britain in 1984, focusing on the ways traditional media represents black people and portraying the Notting Hill Carnival as an event about resistance. The film recognises that the different power dynamics that determine the experiences of the Black British are difficult to reduce to straightforward explanations and instead uses the term 'territories' to reflect the multiple agendas at work, involving race, class and sexuality.


Ottica Zero
Maja Borg, SE 2007, 13'
otticazero.jpg
The ideas of 91-year-old futurist and industrial designer Jacques Fresco rely on scientific advancement linked to social wisdom which he finds corrupted in a world ruled by money and limited access to information. In Maja Borg's experimental documentary, Fresco appears in connection to the story of Italian actress Nadya Cazan. With TV and film offers flooding in, she refused to accept the competitive and superficial values of the society they represented. Ottica Zero follows Nadya on her search for alternative ways of living.


May 22, 19:00h


Chain
Jem Cohen, USA 2004, 99'
chain.jpg
As regional character disappears and corporate culture homogenizes our surroundings, it's increasingly hard to tell where you are. In Jem Cohen's first feature-length film Chain, malls, theme parks, hotels and corporate centres worldwide are joined into one monolithic contemporary superlandscape that shapes the lives of two women caught within it. One is a Japanese businesswoman set adrift by her corporation while she researches the international theme park industry. The other is a young drifter, living and working illegally on the fringes of a shopping mall.

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Presentation by Sean Snyder (Kyiv/Tokyo)

Sean Snyder (Kyiv/Tokyo) will discuss representation in various political, economic and cultural conditions. Using a series of examples, from the use of software and cut-and-paste iconography in the former Soviet Union, to representations of the west in late-Peristroika Soviet film and publications, he will propose that the use of images is often deceptively assumed to penetrate borders.

Introduction

Borders: a User Manual

Being cultural constructions, borders evolve and multiply with the evolution of human society. New techniques of communication or political control create new divisions, exclusions, but also new forms or resistance, escape and mobility.
The global era has been falsely imagined as a process of inevitable homogenization of humanity; in fact, in speeding up cultural dynamics, it brought about the multiplication of borders and much more intensive clashes between ‘us’ and ‘them’. The traditional vision of integrated, absolute borders inherited from the classical nation state and more so, from the Cold war seems to contribute to such misunderstanding: in the contemporary world borders tend to break up and become partial, the cultural framework being dissociated from political, the economic from the humanitarian, etc. This situation is often interpreted as a state of absolute freedom of movement, nevertheless partial restrictions are still restrictions and the migrant flows around the planet do not necessarily have more citizen’s rights than the former inhabitants of the nation-state. On the contrary: social scientists have observed that displaced people tend to have lower citizenship standards, that they are docile, ready to do anything, at any price. Part of the problem may be due to the compexifying of the world, where territories overlap, borders multiply, laws are replaced by temporary arrangements and ambiguous cultural differences.
The project consists in juxtaposing different approaches towards the proliferation of new partial borders in discussing the role of new media and virtuality, satellite communications and surveillance, human flows and the metamorphoses of the sense of belonging and identity. The label of ‘intellectual festival’ has been chosen to suggest the juxtaposition of different approaches and expressions: on one side academic discourse from the domain of social and cultural studies, on the other film and visual arts, addressing a larger audience. The geographical focus of the event will be the crossroad Balkan area, traditionally over-saturated with borders that are being reshuffled today by new forms of mobility and communications.


Ivaylo Ditchev

Pakistan India border

Fascinating footage of a traditional ceremony that takes place on the Pakistan India border. From the BBC 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9y2qtaopbE

Place After Place. Presentation by Ergin Cavusoglu (London)

‘Place After Place’

21.05.2009, Thursday, 18:00 - 18:50

 


The presentation will address the broader themes of  ‘places of departure’ and ‘mobile transitions’. Central to my practice are concepts and themes that probe the notion of place, which I have been exploring in my recent multiple and single channel video installations. The works centre on ideas of ephemerality, rhythm, transience and mobility. Point of Departure and Adrift examine the different registers of mobility looking at the conception of progressive sense of place, the notion of borders and journeys from a multitude of perspectives. Quintet Without Borders and Tahtakale explore patterns of ‘social spaces’, and have their emphasis on the socio-political human landscape of mobile cultures. The works also point at the rhythm analysis and the specificity of geographies. They are intended to be elicit and poetic representations exposing the boundaries of urban life.

ergincavusoglu81.jpg
Ergin Çavuşoğlu, 'Tahtakale', four channel video installation, four channel sound, Haunch of Venison, London, 2004, copyright the artist

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