Film archives were long considered non-public places, to which mostly Western film archivists had sole access. But with the digitalisation of their holdings and transnational and interdisciplinary networking, film archives have undergone a transformation in two different but important ways. Firstly, cultural producers, artists and filmmakers have gained access to them and have become new archivists – or so-called “accidental archivists”. Secondly, they have pushed archives to open themselves even further and presented long-forgotten films in exciting new contexts.
At the upcoming international Festival Archival Assembly #2, Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art critically examines its cinematic legacy in the context of its own colonial and migration-based history. It has invited “accidental archivists” from Great Britain, Austria, Portugal, Serbia, Nigeria, Congo, Egypt, Lebanon, Brazil, Mexico, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Canada and the United States to develop a multifaceted programme. The festival will present newly restored works of independent cinema, as well as contemporary films which explore the power structures of our times. International archival and research projects will be presented in various stages of production so that interested parties may participate in the entire development process. The changing significance of film archives will be the topic of discussion at an international symposium, and an exhibition curated by the Kafy-ta artist collective will highlight the archive as a place of production. A discussion series jointly developed with the Goethe-Institut will address the central theme of the festival, namely how to create a decolonialised, transnational and collaborative archival praxis, based on sharing knowledge and resources.
Artistic director: Stefanie Schulte Strathaus
Curators: Maha Maamoun, Ala Younis (exhibition), Vinzenz Hediger (symposium)
Participants: Erica Carter, Didi Cheeka, Madhusree Dutta, Tamer El Said, Mohammed Shawky Hassan, Catarina Simão, Petna Ndaliko Katondolo, Merle Kröger, Almudena Escobar López, Lisabona Rahman and many more
Festival, exhibition, symposium: Kino Arsenal and silent green Kulturquartier, Berlin: 31 May – 30 Jun. 2023
Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.
Potsdamer Straße 2
www.arsenal-berlin.de (external link, opens in a new window)