Forum & Forum Expanded

Jan 13, 2022
Forum Expanded: Closer to the Ground

One Big Bag by Every Ocean Hughes

Moving closer to the ground, getting to the bottom of things, looking and hearing with precision, perceiving what’s happening close by, oft-unnoticed: these are the ideas that inform the 17th edition of Forum Expanded and the selection of films, installations and performances that will be presented as part of the Berlinale at the Arsenal cinema, silent green Kulturquartier, the Embassy of Canada, SAVVY Contemporary as well as at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium for the very first time.

In his film Kumbuka, Petna Ndaliko Katondolo once again grapples with the legacy of colonial images: two Congolese filmmakers attempt to reedit a Dutch documentary in which they appear as protagonists and that they believe represents them in distorted fashion and from a Eurocentric perspective. Ndaliko Katondolo makes use of this true story for a broader examination of cinematic representational tropes of the African continent. The way in which colonial, racist stereotypes become inscribed into image-creating technologies themselves is explored by Musquiqui Chihying in his installation The Lighting, which draws on both digital and analogue media. Alongside Kodak film from the 1970s and the exposure characteristics of digital photo cameras, the installation is also about a skin brightening algorithm that enjoys huge popularity as a mobile phone app in Africa.

The lasting effects of political and economic postulations — and not just colonial ones — also correspond to the engagement with radioactivity in both metaphorical and practical terms. Through the Wismut AG, Alex Gerbaulet and Mareike Bernien examine a piece of German nuclear history in Sonne Unter Tage, retracing at the same time a political history of the divided Germany based on the uranium deposits found in Thuringia and Saxony. And traces of uranium mining can be found in the Canadian provinces too, alongside holy cows and adolescent zombies, in the essay film Surface Rites by Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour and Ryan Ferko.

Half-lives beyond the capacity of human imagination conjure up images of possible futures. Filmmaker and performer Liz Rosenfeld does this in 360° in White Sands Crystal Foxes: at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium in Prenzlauer Berg, she will be showing a futuristic queer fantasy as a dome projection which is set at a time in which foxes are the only species still capable of reproduction and crystals bursting with energy are obtained from human secretions. A performative reading by the artist expands the film screening.

The working life of an end-of-life doula — a woman whose profession it is to prepare dead people for their last journey — is the subject of the performative film One Big Bag by Every Ocean Hughes. In Majmouan (Subtotals), Mohammadreza Farzad asks himself and us the question of how a life can be narrated in numbers. Grief and forced absences are also a central motif in other works — the ongoing pandemic has left its mark. It is also reflected in decentralised production contexts and cinematic collaborations via social media and Zoom. The conversation in and about three languages held in If from Every Tongue It Drips (Sharlene Bamboat) is conducted between Sri Lanka, Canada and Scotland, while for Diva, French artist Nicolas Cilins makes contact with a Vietnamese social media star via fan letter. Just two examples of working against geographical borders and those forged by the pandemic.

The group exhibition at the Betonhalle of silent green Kulturquartier features installations by Abdi Osman and Siska in addition to the piece by Musquiqui Chihying and the works selected for the 2021 Forum Expanded.

The video work VCR’s Choice by Charlton Diaz is showing at the Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Embassy of Canada and carries out a process of queer media archaeology via obsolete VHS technology.

SAVVY Contemporary presents the exhibition The Wind in Your Body Is Only Visiting, Your Breath Will Soon Be Thunder by artist Pallavi Paul as part of Forum Expanded.

Curated by Ala Younis and Uli Ziemons (co-section heads), Karina Griffith, Shai Heredia and Maha Maamoun. SAVVY Contemporary: Hajra Haider, Abhishek Nilamber and Laura Kloeckner.


Devil’s Peak
by Simon Liu
International premiere

by Nicolas Cilins
World premiere

Fire Emergencies
by Kevin Jerome Everson
World premiere

Gazing... Unseeing
Netherlands / Egypt
by Mohamed Abdelkarim
World premiere

Home When You Return
by Carl Elsaesser
International premiere

If from Every Tongue It Drips
Canada / United Kingdom / Sri Lanka
by Sharlene Bamboat
European premiere

If Revolution Is a Sickness
USA / Poland
by Diane Severin Nguyen
World premiere

Instant Life
by Anja Dornieden, Juan David González Monroy, Andrew Kim
World premiere

Jail Bird in a Peacock Chair
Germany / USA
by James Gregory Atkinson
European premiere

USA / Netherlands / Democratic Republic of Congo
by Petna Ndaliko Katondolo

Majmouan (Subtotals)
Iran / Polen
by Mohammadreza Farzad
World premiere

Moune Ô
by Maxime Jean-Baptiste
World premiere

Mun koti (My Home)
by Azar Saiyar
World premiere

United Kingdom
by Esther Kondo Heller

O dente do dragão (Dragon Tooth)
by Rafael Castanheira Parrode
World premiere

One Big Bag
USA / United Kingdom
by Every Ocean Hughes
World premiere

Parasite Family
by Prapat Jiwarangsan
World premiere

Sab changa si (All Was Good)
by Teresa A Braggs
World premiere

Sol in the Dark
by Mawena Yehouessi
World premiere

Sonne Unter Tage (Sun Under Ground)
by Mareike Bernien, Alex Gerbaulet
World premiere

Surface Rites
by Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko
World premiere

by Lydia Nsiah
World premiere

Colombia / Portugal
by Andrés Jurado
World premiere

Screening and performance at Zeiss-Großplanetarium

White Sands Crystal Foxes
by Liz Rosenfeld
World premiere
Presented in conjunction with the peformance The Shimmer.

Group exhibition at Betonhalle silent green Kulturquartier

09.02. - 13.03.2022

All of Your Stars Are but Dust on My Shoes
by Haig Aivazian
International premiere

Black Beauty: For a Shamanic Cinema
United Kingdom / Belgium / Spain
by Grace Ndiritu

Jole Dobe Na (Those Who Do Not Drown)
India / USA / Japan / Sweden
by Naeem Mohaiemen

Das Kino Projekt
by Siska
World premiere

The Lighting
Germany / Taiwan / Togo
by Musquiqui Chihying
European premiere

Medicine and Magic
by Thirza Cuthand
European premiere

Onder het witte masker: de film die Haesaerts had kunnen maken (Under the White Mask: The Film That Haesaerts Could Have Made)
by Matthias De Groof

Se hace camino al andar (The Path Is Made by Walking)
by Paula Gaitán
European premiere

by Abdi Osman
International premiere

The Song of the Shirt
by Kerstin Schroedinger
World premiere

Voices and Shells
by Maya Schweizer

The Wake
Haiti / France / United Kingdom
by The Living and the Dead Ensemble

The Zama Zama Project
USA / South Africa / Canada
by Rosalind Morris
World premiere

Exhibition at Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Embassy of Canada

10.02. - 20.02.2022

VCR’s Choice
by Charlton Diaz
European premiere

Exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary

09.02. - 06.03.2022

The Wind in Your Body Is Only Visiting, Your Breath Will Soon Be Thunder
India / Germany
by Pallavi Paul
World premiere

Press Office
January 13, 2022