Strangers in the Archive

“I will have spent my life trying to understand the function of remembering, which is not the opposite of forgetting, but rather its lining. We do not remember. We rewrite memory much as history is rewritten. How can one remember thirst?” ― Chris Marker

In this strand we find artists and filmmakers revisiting and re-casting historic material in order to question how we understand ourselves in relation to the past.

They find themselves as strangers in the archive, reaching backwards and forwards in time to find new angles from which to view the people and stories whose presence persists in the feedback-loop of the present moment.

Susana de Sousa Dias’ Luz Obscura is the latest work of a fifteen year quest to represent the repressed history of Portuguese fascism; Filipa César’s collaborative project Spell Reel sees a wartime archive brought to life in Guinea-Bissau; and artist Louis Henderson searches for an anti-colonial filmmaking method through the entangled languages of theatre, cinema, poetry, song, slam and rap.

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Looking at Others

A short film programme considering the ethics of the gaze, whether that of the tourist, the filmmaker or the audience. In Dennis Stormer’s Looking at Others an American tour guide brings western tourists to visit and ‘experience’ a Roma community, but who benefits from this exchange? And does the filmmaker – and by extension the viewer – stand apart from the camera-wielding tourists he captures? Glasgow-based artist Duncan Campbell’s fictional The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy draws on archive footage and anthropological research into rural Ireland in the 1960s and 70s to explicitly address the responsibility and impact of the documentary filmmaker. Finally, Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas train their camera on ordinary Floridians compelled to photograph a rare sight at Palm Beach International Airport in Roadside Attraction.

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Curated by and presented in partnership with Glasgow Short Film Festival.

Info

Event: Screening

Date: Sunday 02 December

Time: 3.15pm

Running Time: 70

Location: Gold Room, Scottish Youth Theatre

Luz Obscura

Susana de Sousa Dias’ Luz Obscura is a beautifully crafted, deeply felt essay-film looking at the legacy of the Portuguese Estado Novo, or New State, led by António Oliveira de Salazar – the longest-lasting right-wing dictatorship in 20th century Europe.

Taking as its starting point photographs taken by the Portuguese political police (1926-1974), the film focuses on the treatment of political opponents to the regime, especially the Portuguese Communist Party. The central story is that of Octávio Pato who was imprisoned and tortured before spending 14 years in hiding, whilst the contemporary recollections of his three children form the soundtrack to this hidden history.

Luz Obscura reflects on how the authoritarian system operated to disrupt intimate family bonds, and how decades of trauma and repression still mould the present.

We’re delighted to be joined at the festival by Director Susana de Sousa Dias for a post-screening Q&A.

Info

Event: Screening

Director: Susana de Sousa Dias

Year: 2017

Country: Portugal

Date: Saturday 01 December

Time: 5.45pm

Running Time: 76

Location: Edwin Morgan Studio, Scottish Youth Theatre

Orione

The death of Alejandro “Ale” Robles, killed by police after being betrayed by a friend, provides the throughline for this nuanced, fragmentary portrait of the Don Orione estate in Buenos Aires. In a small apartment his mother, Ana, bakes a cake and recalls her son whilst home video footage captures the family in happier times.

Through the deft assembly of different types and sources of footage, Bonino weaves together disparate elements of neighbourhood life to construct a multi-layered work that coalesces to form an aching and disquieting portrait of a society spilling over with contradictions and irreconcilable truths.

Info

Event: Screening

Director: Toia Bonino

Year: 2017

Country: Argentina

Date: Saturday 01 December

Time: 5.30pm

Running Time: 65m

Location: Gold Room, Scottish Youth Theatreorione

Silence is a Falling Body

Augustina Comedi weaves together a complex and moving portrait of her late father Jaime, constructed from more than 100 hours of videotape he recorded as a hobby prior to his untimely death. It seemed as though he recorded everything, although he left only small clues as to the man he was before marrying her mother and the secrets he kept with him.

Interviews with those who knew him reveal fragments of a youth filled with political activism, joyful friendships, and sexuality that never fully bloomed in the repressive social climate of 1980’s Argentina. With equal marriage being introduced in the country in 2010, Comedi’s film is at once a love letter to her father, and also profound thank you to those who sacrificed so much for the freedoms of the next generation.

Presented in partnership with Scottish Queer International Film Festival.

Info

Event: Screening

Director: Agustina Comedi

Year: 2017

Country: Argentina

Date: Friday 30 November

Time: 1.45pm

Running Time: 75m

Location: Gold Room, Scottish Youth Theatre

Spell Reel

A collective film assembled by Filipa César.

In 2011, an archive of film and audio material re-emerged in Bissau. On the verge of complete ruination, the footage testifies to the birth of Guinean cinema as part of the decolonising vision of Amílcar Cabral, the liberation leader assassinated in 1973. In collaboration with the Guinean filmmakers Sana na N’Hada and Flora Gomes, and many allies, Filipa César imagines a journey where the fragile matter from the past operates as a visionary prism of shrapnel to look through. Digitised in Berlin, screened and live commented, the archive convokes debates, storytelling, and forecasts. From isolated villages in Guinea-Bissau to European capitals, the silent reels are now the place from where people search for antidotes for a world in crisis.

Presented in partnership with Goethe-Institut Glasgow.

Info

Event: Screening

Director: Filipa César

Year: 2017

Country: Germany, Portugal, France, Guinea-Bissau

Date: Friday 30 November

Time: 2.00pm

Running Time: 96m

Location: Edwin Morgan Studio, Scottish Youth Theatre

SUPERLUX Masterclass with Louis Henderson

Join artist Louis Henderson for a SUPERLUX Masterclass in Glasgow that will introduce his practice and recent work.

Henderson will present an ongoing project titled Ouvertures, authored by the artist group The Living and the Dead Ensemble (Atchasou, Léonard Jean Baptiste, Mackenson Bijou, Rossi Jacques Casimir, Dieuvela Cherestal, James Desiris, James Fleurissaint, Louis Henderson, Cynthia Maignan, Olivier Marboeuf and Zakh Turin) that was created in Port-au-Prince in 2017.

Ouvertures questions the contemporary relevance of the Haitian revolution through a series of translation workshops, a play by Édouard Glissant and a feature film improvised by The Living and the Dead Ensemble.

The project engages questions of representation and the telling of history through orality and body gesture. Made between France and Haiti, and developed through collective processes of writing and improvisation, the work attempts ways of filmmaking as anti-colonial method.

The Living and the Dead Ensemble first gathered in July 2017 for the Monsieur Toussaint Sessions workshop at the Centre d’art in Port-au-Prince, where they were working together on translating Monsieur Toussaint (a play by Édouard Glissant) from French to Haitian Kreyol.

Focusing on theatre, cinema, poetry, song, slam and rap, they performed the Kreyol version of the play in the cemetery of Port-au-Prince as part of the Ghetto Biennale 2017.

This event is presented in partnership with LUX Scotland.

Info

Event: Masterclass

Director: Louis Henderson

Date: Friday 30 November

Time: 5.00pm

Running Time: 120m

Location: Edwin Morgan Studio, Scottish Youth Theatre