Day 3: Saturday, August 11th

12:00 Talk | Seeing Histories by Kaya Behkalam (Filmmaker, Cairo/Berlin)(incl. short Q&A)
Kaya Behkalam, a Cairo based artist and filmmaker, will show his recent video work Excursions in the Dark (20min, 2011) and talk about his current project Seeing History.

Excursions in the Dark is a visual study of the empty streets of post-revolutionary Cairo after midnight accompanied by an associative narrative. It is an attempt to trace the subliminal connections between the city’s architecture, collective dreamscapes and political agency. The film is part of the artistic research project Seeing History. What if history is not a linear progression but an image as Benjamin suggests? Who is gazing at what and when? Is the historical hiding behind the visible like an invisible index? Is it connected to our senses, even palpable? And can sensuous experiences be part of an archival practice at all? Seeing History is an examination of the mediality of the historical, an exploration around Cairo and Kairos. For more information please visit www.kayabehkalam.net.

 

14:00 Film | The Silent Majority Speaks (93min, 2010, IR) by The Silent Collective
The Iranian presidential elections held on June 12, 2009 led to a great deal of civil unrest in Tehran and many other cities. Countless cameras, many of them on mobile phones, filmed the events. These on-the-spot recordings form the backbone of the documentary The Silent Majority Speaks, made by an anonymous collective. Images of the streets of Tehran blend seamlessly with archive footage of earlier and often bloodily suppressed resistance movements. The voice-over emphasizes the importance of recording events to prevent silence and forgetfulness and characterizes the Green Movement as a new phase in the now century-long struggle against authoritarian rulers. The world-famous footage of a young demonstrator dying is accompanied here by the 1906 battle song Tulips Rise from the Blood of the Nation’s Youth.

 

16:30 Film | First Case, Second Case (50min, 1979 – 1981, IR) by Abbas Kiarostami
The film starts with this scenario; A teacher is drawing a diagram of an ear on the chalkboard with his back to the class; he is interrupted several times by the sound of a pen banging rhythmically against a desk. Each time he turns around, the noise stops, only to resume again. Finally, unable to pick out the culprit, the teacher tells the seven boys sitting in the corner of the room to leave the class. The students are given an ultimatum, which becomes the basis of the film.

Kiarostami showed this film to the Shah’s educational experts and filmed their opinions in 1979. Shooting was nearly complete when, on February 1, Ayatollah Khomeini arrived in Tehran from exile and 10 days later declared an Islamic republic. In 1981 then Kiarostami set about remaking the film, junking the commentaries and changing its structure. He decided he would make the film into a dramatized dilemma. First Case involved pupils refusing to name the guilty party, in Second Case one of the pupils names the culprit and is allowed to return to the classroom. All of the new observers, including the new education minister and members of political parties (Communist, Democratic National Front) were filmed commenting on the two cases. The film was banned after its premier and disappeared from view for decades until June 2009 when it reappeared and became widely distributed on the web.

 

17:30 Talk | A Collective Memory: Poetics, Politics & Love Letters by Azin Feizabadi (Artist, Tehran/Berlin) |
Incl. short Q&A

A concluding lecture to map a thread between films and presentations shown during the day. A narrative procedure linking and analyzing events that have been actually taking place in Tunis 2011, Bucharest 1989, Quezon City 1986 or in Tehran 2009 — all as a result of La Sortie de l’usine Lumière à Lyon at Le Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris 1985.

The presentation takes the form of a non-chronological poetic viewing and reading experiment through reading love letters, narrating stories, screening images as well as video works from A Collective Memory series (an ongoing production and research framework by Azin Feizabadi since 2009). For more information please visit www.azinfeizabadi.com