A screening in a cinema enables a specific film-aesthetic experience, one closely linked to the space and its interior design. Moreover, cinema can always be considered part of the specific environment into which it is inserted. A cinema oriented towards commons is one involved in urban political debates; it reflects these in its construction and need for multifunctional spaces that allow for ongoing development, while remaining aware of its aesthetic function as a place for lively, transnational film culture.
The first day of the cinema conference Cinema of Commoning is primarily dedicated to the question: What must cinema architecture look like – both inside and outside – in order to meet the challenges of collaborative production, discussion and the perception of space? What are the architectural and urban planning prerequisites for a cinema space that enables an open relationship with the city, the neighborhood and its audiences? What must a commons-oriented cinema building look like and what must it achieve?
It is only in recent years that cinemas as cultural buildings have been debated as a cultural-political topic. Following on from ideas and theses developed in this context, such as those formulated by Gabu Heindl, Lars Henrik Gass, and Alexander Horwath, we expand the focus to include questions about the international future of cinema that, as a cultural practice in a transnational society, makes socially accessible spaces for film culture that are sustainably safeguarded, while considering the ongoing transformations taking place in cities. In this context, questions of creative freedom play just as much a role as the challenges of financing non-commercial cinema work – both in Germany and worldwide.
On-site registration upon arrival
Greeting (digital) by Claudia Roth, MdB, State Minister for Culture and the Media
Welcome address by Dr. Klaus Lederer, MdA, Senator for Culture and Europe in Berlin
Welcome by Can Sungu & Malve Lippmann (bi’bak / Sinema Transtopia)
Keynote: Gabu Heindl (Architect/Author, Vienna)
Claiming the Cinema Space. Radical (Re)communalisation of the Urban Space
What conditions must architecture and urban planning fulfill in order to do justice to the cinema as a public space, as a place of social permeability and accessibility for all that exists within the neoliberal city and in the midst of lucrative city centers undergoing gentrification? What role do public-private partnerships play in financing construction projects? And (how) can the public be involved as co-producers? How can non-commercial spaces for (film) culture maintain a claim to the center? Gabu Heindl argues for urban planning policies that are critical of capitalism, that acknowledge conflicts and form alliances. In doing so, she argues for the synergy of the supposed opposites between the minimally institutionalized, which expresses itself as public interest, and the maximally open, which allows independence in the design of spaces.
Cinemas within the Capitalist Urban Space: Strategies and Perspectives
Anouk de Clerq (Monokino, Oostende)
Héléna Delamarre, Alice De Fornel (La Clef Revival, Paris)
Julius Hackspiel (Filmrauschpalast, Berlin)
Louise Malherbe, Khalid Al Sabi (Cinema Akil, Dubai)
Moderation: Jochen Becker (metrozones / station urbaner kulturen, Berlin)
How would cinema spaces have to be (re)designed in order to be perceived as places of the commons and to ensure an open relationship with the city, the neighborhood and its audiences? In recent years, demands for radical remunicipalization of the cinema have become just as loud as calls for occupying urban spaces and the expropriation of large real estate companies. In times of “public-private partnerships,” rising rents, and commercialization pressures, the question as to whether spaces for independent cultural production can be withdrawn from the free market and secured for civil society by means of buybacks, repurposing, and other alternative models in order to avoid displacement to the periphery increasingly arises. Can the claim to spaces for (film and cinema) culture in the city center be maintained if we understand cinema as a place of participation and as a public space for culture that cannot be monetized? The panel will present various strategies from different cultural contexts.
Lunch in the foyer
Short Film Screening:
Por Primera Vez
For the First Time
Octavio Cortázar, Cuba 1967, 10 min.
Revitalizing Cinemas: Urban Heritage and the Cinema Space
Marta Baradić (Kino Katarina, Pula)
Ignacio Ocampo (Cine CCC, Santiago de Chile)
Monica Sebestyen (Cinema ARTA / UrbanEye Film Festival, Cluj)
Buse Yıldırım (Kundura Sinema, Istanbul)
Moderation: Malve Lippmann (bi’bak / Sinema Transtopia, Berlin)
Cinemas are not only historical sites, they are also part of living urban culture and subject to ongoing transformation processes; their social function changes accordingly. How can we design cinema buildings that take into account the given architectural conditions, whilst actively integrating the cultural heritage of a city and serving the needs of a future-oriented practice? This panel focuses on the question of revitalizing historic cinema venues whilst simultaneously considering current societal needs and repurposing vacant or other urban sites into film and cultural venues. Questions about the living design of urban heritage will be raised and ideas for the spatial design of future-oriented cinema practices in the here and now will be discussed.
Podiumsdiskussion (in German only):
Die Zukunft des Kinos in einer transnationalen Gesellschaft: Zentrale und dezentrale Methoden der Finanzierung von Räumen für Filmkultur, Wissen und Nachbarschaft
Lars Henrik Gass (Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen)
Helge Lindh, MdB (SPD), Obmann Ausschuss für Kultur und Medien
Malve Lippmann (bi’bak / Sinema Transtopia, Berlin)
Angela Seidel (Cinémathèque Leipzig)
Moderation: Borjana Gaković (Filmkuratorin, Berlin)
Wie positionieren sich Räume für Filmkultur zu ökonomischen Fragen – von der Finanzierung des Programms bis zur ökonomischen Zugänglichkeit der Veranstaltungen? Zunehmend ist bundesweit die Entwicklung zu beobachten, dass Häuser für Filmkultur als Teil einer “Kreativwirtschaft” betrachtet werden, zum Beispiel durch Förderungen von Kunst- oder Medienhäusern. Die Diskussion fokussiert darauf, wie das Kino als spezifische Kulturtechnik mit all seinen medienhistorischen Besonderheiten verstanden und bewahrt werden kann: Wie kann nichtkommerzielle Kinoarbeit anknüpfend an die historische Idee des kommunalen Kinos (Hilmar Hoffmann) als gesellschaftspolitische, kulturelle und mediale Praxis weitergedacht werden – insbesondere in Bezug auf Finanzierung und die Platzierung in der Kulturlandschaft einer Stadt? Wie lässt sich ein nicht-kommerzielles Kino nachhaltig etablieren, das der Realität einer transnationalen und (post)migrantischen Gesellschaft angemessen ist, das sich als zentraler Ort gesellschaftlicher Öffentlichkeit versteht, filmhistorische als erinnerungskulturelle Arbeit betrachtet und sich für die Vielfalt der Filmkultur und Filmkunst einsetzt? Wie könnte eine bundesweite Kinoförderung aussehen, die Kino neben Theater und Opernhäuser stellt und als Kulturort ernst nimmt? Gibt es den politischen Willen, die gesellschaftliche und edukative Rolle nichtkommerzieller Kinos anzuerkennen und durch eine angemessene Förderstruktur zu erhalten?
Dinner by Soyboy in the foyer
Film Screening followed by a talk with Kaspar Aebi and Senem Aytaç:
Emek Bizim İstanbul Bizim initiative, Turkey 2016, 48 min., OV with English subtitles
Buy tickets here
A cinema of the commons is a place of collective working, communal experiencing and learning – before, after and beyond the film screening. What are the possibilities for an equal shaping of the program that involves a diversity of actors? How can collective discussions about film be facilitated and what discursive, artistic and social forms of exchange and encounter constitute a cinema of the commons beyond the cinema hall? How can cinemas bring programming and the culture of cinephiles discussing film into exchange with one another? How do cinemas create political publicity and collectivity? How can transdisciplinary projects expand the spatial possibilities of cinema beyond the screen to explore its artistic and social potential? Taking these questions as its point of departure, the second day of the symposium will focus on audience interaction and involvement, the importance of supporting programs and contextualization through workshops, research, festivals, publications, and post-film discussions for the creation of shared, (partially) public cinema spaces that encourage participation and solidarity.
Keynote: Olivier Marboeuf (Author / Producer, Paris)
From his research on the place of the body and the speech in the new epistemologies of what he calls «a de-speaking cinema» in the Caribbean, Olivier Marboeuf proposes a speculative approach of what could be a decolonial place of cinema, where different image regimes would be brought into contact and friction. Between screen and ghosts, desire and delirium, collective hallucinations and storytelling, he imagines how such a place could rise.
Collective Experiences and Political Communities around Cinemas: How do Cinemas Create Political Public Spheres and Collectivity?
Thanaphon Accawatanyu (DocClub, Bangkok)
Jowe Harfouche (NAAS, Berlin)
Alain Kasanda (Filmmaker, Ibadan)
Mirian Vanda, Fradique (Cine Geração, Luanda)
Moderation: Sarnt Utamachote (un.thai.tled, Berlin)
How can cinema promote solidarity, collectivity and political awareness as a (partially) public sphere? This panel focuses on cinema as a political space for discussion as well as the importance of programming and supporting programs in the creation of shared participation and involvement. Discursive, artistic and social forms of exchange and encounter that go beyond the cinema hall are central to a cinema of the commons. Here, political activism, programming in the cinema, and a cinephile culture of discussion come into productive contact. What possibilities exist for a shared shaping of the program and which actors should be considered in this process? How must the cinema space be designed and the film screening, including the supporting program, be conceived in order to facilitate conversation?
Lunch break in the foyer
Short film screening:
Darezhan Omirbayev, UdSSR 1988, 24 min. OV with English subtitles
Creating Spaces for Film Education: Film as Tool for Empowerment, Awareness and (Un-)learning
Yuki Aditya (Forum Lenteng, Jakarta)
Christine Kopf (German Film Institute & Film Museum, Frankfurt)
Malve Lippmann, Sarnt Utamachote (bi’bak / Sinema Transtopia, Berlin)
Moderation: Alejandro Bachmann (Kunsthochschule für Medien, Cologne)
How can critical thinking be promoted through working with film in cinemas? How can networks that enable lively transnational exchange through film education be created? This panel will present different focal points and formats for film education, including discursive film mediation (analog and digital film formats, forms of presenting film history, film genres and aesthetics), affordability and consider a range of target groups. Among other things, funding criteria and questions around the power structures which dictate funding will be discussed: To what extent do funding logics deepen stereotyping and the instrumentalization of minorities – and how can this be avoided? How can the visibility of films created worldwide be established in programming, especially in terms of accessibility and lack of dubbing / subtitling?
Presentation: Johannes Binotto (Media Studies scholar, Zürich / Lucerne)
A Cinema of Becoming: Audience, Emancipation, and the Video Essay as New Space for Film.
Cinemas are not just spaces to show finished films. Instead, cinemas are spaces where both film and audience take on a different form with every screening. Cinemas are spaces of becoming where audiences are invited to re-work the films they see and build new communities in the process. This presentation will take a look at video essay practices as a new form of watching and discussing films that invite us to see films not just as consumable products but open for communal revision and continuation. How can such a “cinema of becoming” be collectively built? Imagine how multifarious cinema would become with us all working on it.
The Archeoscope: Live Performance
Cinema-Performance by Jan Kulka (Prague)
Jan Kulka, Czech Republic 2016, 16 mm, found footage, 20 min.
Jan Kulka, Czech Republic 2016, flicker, stencils, 25 min.
The Archeoscope is an analog, hand-operated projection apparatus for live film performances. Based on an understanding of film as the “articulation of light”, it attempts to make the physiology of film perception experimentally tangible. It can project all standard formats, but also unconventional materials such as tape, bandages and varnish.
Dinner in the foyer
Empathy Supper by Soy Division
Senka Domanović, Serbia / Croatia 2018, 87 Min., OV with English subtitles
Through transnationality, forms of multi-perspectival knowledge emerge. This knowledge connects places geographically near and distant with pasts, presents and futures, and decentres eurocentric views by bringing transnational and postcolonial positions to forefront. So too does it incorporate examinations of migratory movements and class issues, as well as the relationships between different communities and generations. A cinema of the commons brings together diverse social groups and worlds, who, through a shared reception of and engagement with film, cross and transform to challenge familiar ways of seeing and interpreting. How do we understand the simultaneous locality and globality of cinema today? How must a commons-oriented cinema be shaped when its actors and audiences, its themes and images, are transnational?
Film as cultural heritage is not only preserved through restoration and preservation measures, but also requires screening continuity, the possibility of shared aesthetic experiences, and discursive contextualization. In transnational societies, such screenings are important for negotiating forms of community, exclusion, dissidence, and participation, and for enabling discussion about which and whose cultural memory is being preserved. How do different “multidirectional memories” (Rothberg) relate to each other and which forms of film archiving enable a dialogical remembering that does justice to the diversity of different, sometimes contradictory, cultures of memory and tradition?
Keynote: Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst, Berlin)
Most film archives are based on the concept of national heritage. Mechanisms of exclusion and canonization define a community of heirs. The archivist preserves the archive, while the curator presents archival films to the public. Digitisation, interdisciplinary research, and decolonial discourse challenge this concept: Contemporary archival work is defined less by its object than by its practice. How does this change the notion of film heritage? Can the new archive shape the future of cinema?
How Should a Cinema Oriented Towards the Commons be Designed When its Actors, Audiences, Themes and Images are Transnational?
Imruh Bakari (University of Winchester)
Lyse Ishimwe Nsengiyumva (Recognition, Brüssel)
Sarnt Utamachote (un.thai.tled, Berlin)
Moderation: Can Sungu (bi’bak / Sinema Transtopia, Berlin)
Through transnationality, forms of multi-perspectival knowledge emerge. This knowledge connects places geographically near and distant with pasts, presents and futures, and decentres eurocentric views by bringing transnational and postcolonial positions to forefront. So too does it incorporate examinations of migratory movements and class issues, as well as the relationships between different communities and generations. This panel focuses on questions of the simultaneous locality and globality that converges in the cinema space: How must a commons-oriented cinema be shaped when its actors, audiences, themes and images are transnational? How do counter-narratives – ones that negotiate marginalized knowledge and perspectives – find their way into broader social discourse? What strategies exist within transnational frames of reference that challenge the insistence on the nation-state in film festivals and film funding?
Želimir Žilnik, BRD 1975, 9 min. OV with English subtitles
Transnational Film Heritage: Diaspora and Informal Archives
Daniella Shreir (Another Gaze / Another Screen)
Ivan Velisavljević (Akademski Kino Klub, Belgrade)
Mohanad Yaqubi (Subversive Film, Brussels / Ramallah)
Moderation: Tobias Hering (Curator, Berlin)
Film as cultural heritage is not only preserved through restoration and preservation measures, but also requires screening continuity, the possibility of shared aesthetic experiences, and discursive contextualization. In transnational societies, such screenings are important for negotiating forms of community, exclusion, dissidence, and participation, and for enabling discussion about which and whose cultural memory is being preserved. How do different cultures of memory relate to each other and which forms of film archiving enable a dialogical remembering that does justice to the diversity of different, sometimes contradictory, cultures of memory and tradition? What strategies and approaches might assist with archiving films and making those that have not received sufficient attention accessible once more? How can transnational, non-institutionalized alliances be created that operate beyond “national film heritage”?
Conclusion / Get-together