Refugee-Led Filmmaking
Oct13

Refugee-Led Filmmaking

"Fifth Cinema": Theorising Refugee-Led Filmmaking, with Raminder Kaur and Mariagiulia Grassilli When: 15 October 2021, 18:00 — 21:00 BST Venue: Online (please book your place here)   CCL member Dr Agnes Woolley will be hosting a screening of Les Sauteurs [Those Who Jump] (2016), directed by Abou Bakar Sidibé, Moritz Siebert and Estephan Wagner, followed by discussion with Raminder Kaur and Mariagiulia Grassilli on 15 October 2021. Raminder Kaur and Mariagiulia Gassilli describe ‘Fifth Cinema’ as: ‘a mobile, unstable, instantaneous, fragmented, displaced and hybrid bricolage. A “smart cinema”, owing to the prevalence of digital technologies, it exists in dispersed pockets. It is the expression of new creative modes’. In this discussion, we will unpack the idea of Fifth Cinema in relation to recent refugee filmmaking, asking what conceptual frames help us think through image making in the context of statelessness. We will explore the production contexts for these films and consider their role in resisting punitive bordering practices.  Raminder Kaur is professor of Anthropology and Cultural Studies in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. She is the author of Kudankulam: The Story of an Indo-Russian Nuclear Power Plant (2020); Atomic Mumbai: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns (2013); and Performative Politics and the Cultures of Hinduism (2003/5). She is also co-author of Adventure Comics and Youth Cultures in India (with Saif Eqbal, 2018), Diaspora and Hybridity (with Virinder Kalra and John Hutnyk, 2005); and co-editor of several other books. Aside from her academic writing, she is a scriptwriter, theatre producer and filmmaker. Mariagiulia Grassilli is Research Associate at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex and Director of Human Rights Nights in Italy. She works as a professional in Cinema and Human Rights, curating festivals and film production for raising awareness, creating empowerment and capacity building in Europe and Africa. Founding member of Human Rights Film Network – an international network of more than 40 human rights festival in the world. Her research focuses on migration, cinema, representations of diversity, cultural participation. Her publications include writings on Anthropology and Cinema (Journal of Visual Anthropology, vol. 20, 2007), Migrant Cinema (Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 34, 2009) and Human Rights Film Festivals (Film Festival Yearbook 4, St Andrews University, 2012). This is an online event: the link to the live discussion will be sent out on the day, and the film – Les Sauteurs (Abou Bakar Sidibé, Moritz Siebert and Estephan Wagner, 2016) – will be made available on the BIMI Screening Room for 24 hours before the event. Please book your place...

Read More
Indigenous Futurisms Keynote
Sep14

Indigenous Futurisms Keynote

We were really thrilled to be able to host "Activism & Resistance," the 5th annual conference of the London Science Fiction Research Community (LSFRC), which ran from 9-11 September 2021. Prof. Grace Dillon (Portland State University) delivered a wonderful keynote on the subject of “Moozhig-aendum-itchigaewin: Indigenous Futurisms and Climate Justice.” You can watch Grace's inspiring keynote below, which was chaired by Birkbeck's very own Dr Katie Stone (Research Associate, Department of English, Theatre & Creative Writing, Birkbeck). The talk considers how indigenous science fictions can help us decolonise the geological period known as the Anthropocene, by drawing on a rich set of indigenous practices that advocate dignity and humility in not giving up in the face of more than 500 years of colonial violence.     Speaker bios: Grace L. Dillon is an American academic and author. She is an Anishinaabe Professor in the Indigenous Nations Studies Program, in the School of Gender, Race, and Nations, at Portland State University. Similar to the concept of Afrofuturism, Dillon is best known for coining the term Indigenous Futurism, which is a movement consisting of art, literature and other forms of media which express Indigenous perspectives of the past, present and future in the context of science fiction and related sub-genres. Dillon is the editor of Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction, which is the first anthology of Indigenous science fiction short stories, published by the University of Arizona Press in 2012. The anthology includes works from Gerald Vizenor, Leslie Marmon Silko, Sherman Alexie, William Sanders and Stephen Graham Jones. Previously, Dillon has edited Hive of Dreams: Contemporary Science Fiction from the Pacific Northwest, which was published in 2003 by Oregon State University Press. Dr Katie Stone is Research Associate in the School of Arts at Birkbeck, University of London. Katie's PhD, titled "Children are the Future: Utopianism and Childhood in Science Fiction and its Criticism," was successfully completed in Spring 2021. Her most recent publication, "Hungry for Utopia: An Antiwork Reading of Bram Stoker's Dracula," was published in the journal Utopian Studies in 2021.   Image by Ted McGrath under a CC BY-NC-SA...

Read More
Brown Girl Like Me
Sep14

Brown Girl Like Me

Brown Girl Like Me: Reading and Q&A with Jaspreet Kaur   When: Friday 1st October 2021, 18:30 — 20:00 (BST) Venue: Online (booking required)   Jaspreet Kaur will be at Birkbeck for the start of Autumn Term, reading from her new memoir/manifesto Brown Girl Like Me. Brown Girl Like Me is an inspiring memoir-manifesto challenging existing portrayals of young South Asian women in the UK; providing a millennial perspective on how brown women navigate and balance the intersectionality of their identities in the new political climate.  This book asks and answers urgent questions about the current state of the world for young British Asian women through interviews with brown women across the country. Brown Girl Like Me aims to empower, support and equip brown women with the confidence and tools to navigate the difficulties that come with an intersectional identity, unpacking key issues such as the home, the media, the workplace, education, mental health, culture, confidence and the body. Find out more about the book here.  Jaspreet will be joined by Ben Pimlott, Birkbeck Writer in Residence. The event is a joint Birkbeck Politics and English event chaired by Ben Worthy (Centre for British Political Life) and Caroline Edwards (Centre for Contemporary Literature). You can watch the previous ‘In conversation event’ with Jaspreet Kaur from 26 Feb 2021 here.   Click here to book your free online place. Click here to WATCH A RECORDING OF THE EVENT....

Read More
Sunscape
Jun30

Sunscape

From ‘Radioastronomy (here comes the Sun)’ to ‘Sunscape’ by Inês Rebelo   Having organised ‘Radioastronomy (here comes the Sun)’ as part of Birkbeck Arts Weeks 2021, I wanted to write with a follow-up to the project. We received meaningful contributions of 11 participants across borders from Australia to Colombia, including Poland, Portugal and the UK. These combined cross 16 time zones and two hemispheres.  Collectively, each submitted image comes from artists, close family, computer programmers, gardeners, lecturers, lawyers and policy advisors. Each one with their unique experiences offered unexpected additions to ‘Sunscape’, enhancing it and shaping it in its own way. And yet, we wouldn’t be able to tell who contributed what, by looking at each image alone. Although this chapter is closed, with each and every participant receiving ‘Sunscape’ on the 21st June, solstice day of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere, I envision the project to continue in the future. It could be open to other calls for participation across frontiers, or it can morph – transform itself into something else altogether, a new chapter.   Floating paintings ‘Sunscape’ emerged as ‘floating paintings’ moving up and sideways at various times by the computer screensaver. They acquire different sizes and positions, potentially generated ad infinitum but most likely simply during a very long cycle. We are in outer space. It’s black, it’s the expanse of the universe. We are space-framed but unbound in time, with the aid of the computer [1]. There are photographs of landscapes in different scales [2], some fogged by distant memory of Tarkovsky’s 1972 film Solaris, others sunburned by overlayers of hot gradients and one surprising moving image (!) repeated over three moments. It looks glossy, but it is a critic to our manipulations of light and nature to keep a socioeconomical model that is destroying our planet. Meanwhile, there is a real sunset remembering us that Sun existed before us, and it will exist after us. Warmly, patterns of light and shadows appear too, characteristic of real Sun imprints. Shadow-sun I saw the Sun in a vase when reading about mother Nature’s cycles and a mind map in hopeful blue intertwined with Spanish texts, including portmanteau words. Modern houses and sewage systems deprive us of the joy of seeing our personal excrement return to the earth and become an agent of growth. We poo into a ceramic bowl, and our production is flushed away. Not only do we never see it again, most of us have no idea where it goes and what happens to it. The closest substitute we can have to this cycle in an urban setting is compost. There...

Read More
The Word for World is Forest: Writers Rebel Workshop
May27

The Word for World is Forest: Writers Rebel Workshop

Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash 5 June 2021, online At Writers Rebel, we believe it's time to write new stories, and find new ways of telling them. But how to begin?  Well, we believe it's important that writers get together, to exchange ideas and experiences, to learn from one another. To that end, we've organised The Word for World is Forest – a full day of masterclasses and writing workshops with four acclaimed writers. Each will give a unique and compelling vision of alternatives to conventional narratives. In his masterclass, novelist and CCL member Toby Litt will offer alternatives to the dominant screenwriting model of the Hero's Journey, while Laline Paull, acclaimed author of The Bees, will explore the radical empathy of writing from the non-human mind. Mythology, water, and rebellion are the starting-points for writer Charlotte Du Cann, from the ground-breaking Dark Mountain Project. And award-winning poet Dom Bury will dig deep into how our bodies and emotions can feed into verse.  All this is taking place online, on June 5th 2021. You can book here...

Read More