Intersection Session No. 3 on #FILM(S)
CALL FOR SEAT –
Friday November 16 – Our theme at the table will be related to film, the gaze and the self: „They turned around, following her gaze“
You are a film-maker, video artist, working with the medium film? We want to invite you to apply for a seat at our third community dinner at
„The person in the photograph wants something from me. She’s staring at me. Her stare doesn’t falter. The first photographs ever made already bore the mark of a human presence reaching beyond a mere image.“ (Ariella Azoulay, The Civil Contract of Photography, Chapter 7 „Whose Gaze?“, p. 375, MIT Press, 2008.)
The 3rd session of our community dinner series is dealing with works in and about film and photography.The filmmakers position can be called ‚in-between‘, she is viewing scenes and subsequently directing what she sees into film-images. The act of seeing is connecting the filmmaker to the protagonist as well as to the audience. What is this work that she does, what happens when the filmmaker watches in order to create moving images that will be watched by others? Can structural formations of gender, race, class an others make a difference in the binary idea of „watching-being watched“? Can they be the soure of another gaze? Can we break the binary relationship between the seen and the seer?In the practice of filmmaking the filmmaker himself shows up – through her gaze and her watch, maybe through her devices. Where exactly does she appear, how is her self and subjectivity exposed on and in the images of the film?
In a keynote at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) the director Jill Soloway is putting forward the idea of an other gaze that is generating empathy. This other gaze, termed by her asfemale gaze, is changing the positions of filmmaker, protagonist and spectator alike. It is feeling and seeing with a ’subjective‘ camera, it makes it possible to feel what it’s like to be seen and in a third step it is returning the gaze towards the spectator, saying „I see you, seeing me.“
Seeing is not powerless, on the contrary: „There is power in looking“, as not everyone’s allowed to look, to be on the active side of the binary seer/seen relationsship. Relating to bell hooks’concept of the oppositional gaze from 1992 an in relation to the repression of black women’s gazes, the question unfolds how contemporary filmakers are dealing with oppression of minorities‘ gazes in cinema and photography.How can these other cinematic gazes also remain humble to the fact that not everything can be recorded, not everything be seen and shown, in short: How can we not fall into the lure of the image, not fall into the trap of believing in full visibility, believing that everything can be seen, a claim so predominant these days?
Using Ariella Azoulay’s idea that anyone can pursue political agency and resistance through photography, our approach to images attempts to broaden the possible impact of these photos as a tool for a reorganisation of the social, to negotiate anew the normatively assigned arenas of speech, gaze and action.How are women represented, how and under what conditions are their struggles made (in)visible, how is it possible to brake out of normative formations? Azoulays strategies are thus the introduction of political philosophy into the area of photography and visual culture and the reorganisation of the social: Strugggles of liberation and freedom movement’s are possible through the lense of images. Her approach conceives of photography as a civil contract between the camera, photographer, photographed, and spectator. It is a complex contract that demands accountability and responsibility from all involved actors.
The contract involving the multiple parties of one picture however is a proposal to collapse the division of labor of making a photo. It could break that seer/seen binary named above and can also be joined with Soloway’s idea of returnning the gaze. It is for sure a call for the spectator to take part!
We look forward to discuss these issues and many more around film/image-making with you and are excited about your contributions on the table. Like in every Raki Prinzip Intersection Session, we especially invite people who recently came to with a forced migration background. As this section will focus on feminist and queer film production, women (cis and trans) / genderqueer persons working in the film industry are also especially encouraged to join our table.
Dedicated to bringing together artists, people working in the cultural sector and other creative minds, the Raki Prinzip – Intersection Sessions combine the intimate experience of a dinner night with an informal discussion in a setting that is half public half private. The sessions create intersections between people – some are settled in Berlins scene for years, some have just arrived here. This time we focus on people working in and on films and photography. The distinction between speakers and listeners is blurred since all of you are encouraged to talk about your work. However, there will be few prepared inputs by speakers who sit next to you on the table.
The sessions are hosted by Raki Prinzip and bi’bak, a project space in Berlin Wedding and made possible by the support of Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.
You’d like to join the Intersection Session?
Please contact us via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us shortly what you do and why you’d like to join this session
Who can join the table?
People working in the field of art and culture, writing, or other creative or academic contexts. We encourage applications of artists, cultural workers and journalists that had to leave their home countries due to armed conflict, political repression and prosecution and recently moved to Berlin.
How many people take part in one session?
We have 25 seats at our table.
Is there an entrance fee?
No, it is free. We receive support from a fund of the Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.