rodrigo nunes on Thu, 3 Dec 2009 20:10:15 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> Politics, poetics and popular education in Brazilian cinema, 1962-1979

âStronger are the powers of the peopleâ: politics, poetics and popular education in Brazilian cinema, 1962-1979ÂDecember 4 (6.30pm - 10pm)Â
December 5th and 6th (2pm to 10pm)at No-w-hereFirst Floor, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road

ÂFull programmeÂ

Friday, December 4thÂ
6.30pm â Opening talk: âStronger are the powers of the peopleâ (45 minutes)Â
7.15pm - Screening ofÂCinco vezes favelaÂ(Five times favela), various, 1962, 92 min8.45-9.45pm â Discussion initiated by Janna Graham and Robert Sember (Ultra-Red)
Saturday, December 5thÂ
2pm - Introductory talkÂ
2.15pm - Screening ofÂOs FuzisÂ(The guns), Ruy Guerra, 1964, 80minÂ
3.45pm - Discussion initiated by Ros Gray
5pm - BreakÂ
5.30pm â Introductory talkÂ
5.45pm - Screening ofÂTerra em transeÂ(Land in anguish), Glauber Rocha, 1967, 106 minÂ
7.25pm - Discussion initiated by Esther Gabara and the Otolith Group
9pm â End of dayÂ

Sunday, December 6thÂ
2pm â Introductory talkÂ
2.15pm â Screening ofÂO DragÃo da Maldade contra o Santo GuerreiroÂ(AntÃnio das Mortes), Glauber Rocha, 1969, 110 minÂ
4pm â Discussion initiated by Frances Rifkin
5pm â BreakÂ
5.30pm â Introductory talkÂ
5.45pm - Screening ofÂA QuedaÂ(The Fall), Ruy Guerra, 1976, 120 minÂ
7.45 â Discussion initiated by Alberto Einstein Durango and Pedro LaschÂ
8.30 â Screening ofÂABC da greveÂ(The ABC of the strike), Leon Hirszman, 1979-90, 85 minÂ
10pm â End of day
More info:ÂThe late 1950s and early 1960s were a period of intense social and economic transformation in Brazil. It was also a period of political upheaval, curbed by the 1964 military coup, and one in which the relations between politics, poetics and popular education, the role of the cultural producer, the vanguard-popular-mass culture nexus, were absolutely central to the cultural and political debate.ÂâStronger are the powers of the peopleâ, a programme of films and debates curated and presented by Brazilian philosopher, artist and political activist Rodrigo Nunes, uses Brazilian films from 1962 to 1979 as âmonumentsâ whose animating forces can be put again into play to understand how the problems posed by the period are expressed in the aesthetic and political choices of filmmakers.ÂIn particular, it examines one of the most neglected experiences of that time â the
 Popular Culture Centres (CPCs) â as a central node of the practical and theoretical articulation of those debates. With this, the programme addresses them not only in their historical situatedness, but above all in relation to those problems that animate artistic and political practice in the present, when so much is made of the intersections between politics, art, and pedagogy, and there is a growing interest in recovering past experiences of this convergence â above all, from the 1960s, and increasingly, from peripheral countries such as Brazil. What can the problems of those years teach us regarding what we are or would like to be doing today? How can the proposals emerging in this field then â Paulo Freireâs pedagogy, Liberation Theology, Augusto Boalâs Theatre of the Oppressed,Âtropicalismo, Helio Oiticicaâs, Lygia Clarkâs and Lygia Papeâs researches,Âcinema novoÂâ resonate with us today?ÂThe programme includes the rare
 collective workÂFive Times Favela, the only CPC-produced film, and the first film for many of that generationâs directors; Glauber Rochaâs internationally acclaimedÂLand in AnguishÂandÂAntonio das Mortes;ÂRuy GuerraâsÂThe GunsÂand its sequel,ÂThe Fall; and Leon HirszmanâsÂABC of the Strike.ÂThis project is supported by the Brazilian embassy in London, andÂÂÂÂFilmsÂÂCinco vezes favelaÂ(Five times favela), various authors, 1962The only film the Popular Culture Centre (CPC) brought to completion, it comprises five episodes directed by Miguel Borges, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Caca Diegues, Marcos Farias and Leon Hirszman, and was responsible for a split between the CPC and theÂcinema novoÂgroup. Some of the key figures in the CPC reportedly considered the film both a commercial and a political flop, and filmmakers such as Diegues and Arnaldo Jabor (though not Hirszman) left after decrying a narrow, instrumental
 conception of the relation between aesthetics and politics. With a cast including many of Augusto Boalâs colleagues from Teatro de Arena (and, most notably, CPC founder Oduvaldo Viana Filho), it captures a group of young filmmakers grappling with the same problems â how to create a form adequate to the specificity of Brazilian content? How to do so in a way that reaches beyond a middle-class audience, and plays a role in the transformation of Brazilian society from below? What is popular culture, and how must the artist deal with it? â while working through a host of influences, from Russian revolutionary cinema to neo-realism. Joaquim Pedro de AndradeâsÂCouro de gatoÂ(Catgut) was included in a list of the 100 best shorts of all times selected by the Clermont-Ferrand Festival.ÂOs FuzisÂ(The guns), Ruy Guerra, 1964One of the greatest achievements of the first crop ofÂcinema novoÂâ alongside Nelson Pereira dos SantosâÂVidas
 secasÂ(Barren lives) and Glauber RochaâsÂDeus e o Diabo na Terra do SolÂ(Black God White Devil) (1964) â, it showcases many of the periodâs defining traits: the rural Northeastern setting, the use of location, natural light and non-professional actors. At the same time, in its plot about the existential and moral crises undergone by a group of soldiers sent to a small town to stop the starving victims of the draught from attacking a food warehouse, it provides in arguably the clearest way the keys to reading some of the political limitations ofÂcinema novoÂat this stage. It won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Festival.ÂTerra em transe (Land in anguish), Glauber Rocha, 1967PartÂroman à clefÂabout the Joao Goulart government and the 1964 military coup, part schematic description of the dynamics of the post-colonial world, part baroque allegory about the destiny of Latin America, part gauntlet thrown at the right and left of post- coup Brazil:
 one of Rochaâs most celebrated films, it finds the effects of his âepic-didacticâ cinema all the more effective because its target is much clearer. A whole generation at a crossroads appears in the vacillations of the main character, his multiple allegiances to social transformation and to his own class, to aesthetics and to politics, to utopia, the heat of the struggle, and his professional situation as a hired pen; the choice for armed struggle, which the film suggests in ambiguous fashion, was already brewing as it was produced. Nominated to the Palme dâOr at Cannes, best film at the Havana Film Festival.ÂO DragÃo da Maldade contra o Santo GuerreiroÂ(AntÃnio das Mortes), Glauber Rocha, 1969Rochaâs first international co-production, first film in colour, and first using direct sound. He would often refer to it as âmy westernâ, but, despite some nods at John Ford and Howard Hawks, it is clear that the oeuvre in question here is above
 all his own. Like a revision of his two earlier films that relaunches its questions, but also seems to run out of answers, it already points towards some of the procedures (such as the long, semi-improvised takes) that would characterise his work in the exile that immediately follows it. The plot finds AntÃnio das Mortes, the gunman hired by landowners to killÂcangaceiros(highwaymen), brought out of retirement for one last job which, once executed, causes him to question the side on which he has fought over the years. Won best director and a nomination to the Palme dâOr at Cannes.ÂA QuedaÂ(The Fall), Ruy Guerra, 1976An accident at a construction site, resulting in one death, sets one worker off on a struggle for justice that exposes the mechanisms of exploitation and the class relations of a country that had undergone one decade of fast-paced âconservative modernisationâ at the hands of the military. As a sort of sequel to the classicÂThe
 GunsÂ(1964), following the fate of those characters as they move from enforcers of exploitation to exploited, it offers more than a snapshot of the period: the correspondent time lapses in fiction and reality capture the passage of a chunk of Brazilian history between the two films, and, therefore, also the transformations in cinematographic approaches to the social and political between the two moments. Equally daring in content and form, and in the originality of the adequacy of one to the other, it won the Silver Bear at Berlin.ÂABC da greveÂ(ABC of the strike), Leon Hirszman, 1979-91While preparing the cinema version of groundbreaking 1957 Teatro de Arena playÂEles nÃo usam black tieÂon location in the ABC (the auto industry belt around SÃo Paulo), Hirszman has the opportunity to document the most powerful strikes in over a decade of Brazilian history. The latter would become a catalyst and a convergence point for the opposition to the
 military regime, intellectuals, artists, returning exiles, eventually leading to the creation of the Workerâs Party â whose biggest leader, Lula, was the president of the metalworkers union who led the strikes. Running into problems with the regimeâs censorship because of the material, Hirszman dies in 1987 leaving the film unfinished until 1991, when his two daughters and son eventually release a final cut. The narration and text are provided by Ferreira Gullar, poet, who was president of the CPC at the time of the military coup.ÂÂRodrigo NunesÂhas a PhD in philosophy from Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he prepared a thesis on immanence and philosophy in Foucault and Deleuze with a grant from CAPES â Brazilian government. As an organiser, popular educator and artist, he has been involved in many political initiatives in Latin America and Europe, including the organisation of the first three editions of the World Social
 Forum. He is a member of the editorial collective ofÂTurbulenceÂ( His work, as writer and translator, has appeared in such publications asÂephemera,ÂMute,ÂTransform, and he has forthcoming papers inÂRadical PhilosophyÂandÂThird Text.
Ultra-RedÂare a soundÂart collectiveÂfounded in 1994 by two AIDSÂactivists. Originally based in Los Angeles, the collective has expanded over the years with members across North American and Europe. Members in Ultra-red range from artists, researchers and organizers from different social movementsÂincluding the struggles of migration, anti-racism, participatory community development,Âand the politics of HIV/AIDS. Collectively, the group have produced radio broadcasts, performances, recordings, installations, texts and public space actions (ps/o). Exploring acoustic space as enunciative of social relations, Ultra-red take up the acoustic mapping of contested spaces and histories utilising sound-based research (termed Militant Sound Investigations) that directly engage the organizing and analyses of political struggles.Ros GrayÂis lecturer in Fine Art Practice (Critical Studies) at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her research concerns
 revolutionary cinema and its global filmmaking networks, the screen as site of radical gathering, postcolonial and political theory, urban cultures and spatial theory, and contemporary film and video art. She is currently guest editing (with Kodwo Eshun) a forthcoming issue ofÂThird Texton Chris Marker and Third Cinema.Esther GabaraÂis Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University. Her main area of specialization is the relationship between literature and visual culture in modern and contemporary Latin America. Her research has examined photography in the Americas in terms of its impact on theories of ethics and aesthetics, the formulation of non-mainstream modernisms, and questions of race and gender. Her publications include the book,ÂErrant Modernism: The Ethos of Photography in Mexico and BrazilÂ(Duke University Press, 2008); and articles such as âFighting It Out: BeingÂNacoÂin the
 GlobalÂLuchaÂLibre,âÂJournal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, 26 (2009), 277-300; ââCannon and CameraââPhotography and Colonialism in the AmÃricas,âÂELNÂ44.2 (2006), 45-64; and âFacing Brazil: The Problem of Portraiture and a Modernist Sublime,âÂCR: The New Centennial ReviewÂ4.2 (2004), 33-76. She is currently working on book manuscript entitled âNon-literary Fiction: Invention and Interventions in Contemporary American Art.â
TheÂOtolith GroupÂis an artist-led collective that was founded in 2001 by the London based artists Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun. It was established to create moving image works, to curate exhibitions and programmes and to initiate platforms for discussion on the history and the future of moving image practice.ÂWorking with media archives, histories of futurity, the legacies of non-alignment and tricontinentalism, its work explores the moving image, sound and text. It also functions internationally as a public platform for curatorial practice and discussion on contemporary artistic production.Â

Frances RifkinÂis a theatre director and participatory theatre practitioner currently working across diverse communities using theatre arts and legislative theatre in social and health contexts. She was director of Recreation Ground Theatre Company 1972-9 and Artistic Director of Banner Theatre, Birmingham 1979-1988. She was part-time lecturer, University of Warwick, 1992-5; lecturer, Lancaster University, 1995-7; theatre consultant PPRU at Queen Mary University of London, 1999-2001. She currently chairs Equityâs Independent Theatre Arts Committee.ÂPedro LaschÂisÂan artist, educator, and cultural producer whose preoccupation with the theory and practice of a socially engaged art has led to the formulation of an aesthetics based on public interventions, social interactions, games, and temporal rearrangements. In addition to his individual work in a wide range of disciplines including drawing, painting, video, installation and performance, he
 leads on-going projects with immigrant communities and art collectives, such as the16 Beaver Group. Born and raised in Mexico City. He is an Assistant Research Professor of Visual Art in the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University, currently on a research sabbatical in London.ÂAlberto Einstein DurangoÂis a Colombian activist and organiser who has been involved in various struggles of Latin American migrant workers in London over the last years. He became involved in UniteâsJustice for CleanersÂcampaign in 2006, until dissatisfaction with the unionâs inactivity led him, with a group of other Latin American workers, to start fostering self-organisation and autonomous actions among other cleaners, under the umbrella nameÂCleaners for Justice. This led him to being targeted not only by the Home Office, but eventually by Unite itself; he has, however, remained fully committed and active in the struggle of migrant workers
 and the Latin American community.ÂÂ

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