II. Decolonial perspectives

The film archive as a polyphonic network – a montage on the Mediateca Onshore project

Text by Filipa César / Tobias Hering
It’s not easy to describe the Mediateca Onshore project as it is growing over the years, uniting an ever-wider variety of initiatives and sub-projects: It is a work in process in which numerous actors have participated since its inception. Here, text passages from the website and two previously published texts by Filipa César and Tobias Hering form a kind of montage. Montage, in the sense of a multiplicity of voices bringing together the various text forms and perspectives of the authors and other participating actors, seems a most appropriate way to present the project and reflect its character. Filipa César and Tobias Hering are key players in and co-founders of Mediateca Onshore. Tobias Hering’s text “Before ʹSix Years Afterʹ. Notes on the re-emergence of a film archive in Guinea Bissau” (first published in 2012, republished with annotations in 2014), which frames the montage, is based on conversations with Filipa César. On that level, but not only, it is connected to César’s “A Grin Without Marker” (2016) the other text used in the montage.

[Focus on Nyota Inyoka]

The following articles by Amanda Piña, Sandra Chatterjee and Franz Anton Cramer give an account of experiences and insights collected in the interdisciplinary one-year project Contemporary Reflections on Nyota Inyoka. It was part of, and embedded in, the four-year research project Border-Dancing Across Time. The (forgotten) Parisian choreographer Nyota Inyoka, her oeuvre, and questions of choreographing créolité. This latter one, introduced in MAP #11 is hosted at the Department of Music and Dance at Paris Lodron University Salzburg, Austria and receives funding since 2019 by FWF (Austrian Science Fund). Contemporary Reflections, in turn, was supported by the French Centre national de la Danse (CN D; French National Centre for Dance) as part of the funding scheme “Aide à la recherche et au patrimoine en danse” between 2020 and 2021. It brought together artists, researchers and artist-researchers alike in various formats. The principal collective research phases were a one-week laboratory in Vienna at the invitation of, and with additional support by, Tanzquartier Wien, as well as a one-week workshop in Paris at the National Library to examine the written and graphic documents by Nyota Inyoka, which were at the basis of the research. Further in-depth investigations were enabled by the CHAKKARs — Moving Interventions initiative in Munich. The full details of this diverse programmation are documented at https://project-nyota-inyoka.sbg.ac.at/activities/news/contemporary-reflections-on-nyota-inyoka/.

Nyota Inyoka, Biography, Archive

Franz Anton Cramer in collaboration with Sandra Chatterjee
The dancer, choreographer, author, and pedagogue Nyota Inyoka is at the center of a research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for a period of four years, starting in June 2019. One of the three research questions of the project is related to the more traditional area of biography research. Nyota Inyoka (1896-1971), however, turns out to be a complex case of a life story suspended between fact, fiction, narrative legend-building and self-determination; it necessitates a new form of reconstructing a lived life. This biographical approach also requires a new approach to archives as a place for discovering relevant facts, a place of validation or falsification of hypotheses and assumptions.

Envisioning Future Bodies: Choy Ka Fai’s experimental practice at the interface of choreography, media art and archival processes

Choy Ka Fai and Lucie Ortmann
Berlin-based Singaporean dance and multimedia artist Choy Ka Fai experiments with digital mapping, the storage and transmission of choreography and Asian spiritual dance practices. He has built a comprehensive and growing archive of recorded choreographies from artistic, spiritual, folkloric, and pop cultural contexts. It includes avatars of dancers, field and video recordings of dances and rituals and interviews with various protagonists. Choy Ka Fai explores altered and expanded corporeal states and the relationships between bodies and both worldly and spiritual phenomena. In his work, organic, material and data-based bodies appear side by side on an equal level and futuristic and queer potentials of human and digital bodies are made visible. In conversation with Lucie Ortmann Choy Ka Fai emphasises the fundamental importance of the practise of archiving for his work. He talks about his methods of showing and sharing his extensive, collected and created material in constantly new formats, ranging from performance, video installation, lecture to digital games, and how he continues to develop it further. He also reflects on the challenging processes of transferring and translating spiritual practises and dance cultures to different contexts and audiences.

Constant changes, silent witnesses

Jasmin İhraç (Berlin)
„Constant changes, silent witnesses“ ist der Titel des Films, den ich 2018/19 in Istanbul gedreht habe und in dem ich mich mit den schnellen und stetigen Veränderungsprozessen der Stadt auseinandersetze. Der Film verweist auf mehrere thematische Diskurse: Er behandelt die andauernden Gentrifizierungsprozesse, denen Istanbul in besonderer Schnelligkeit unterworfen zu sein scheint. Gleichzeitig verweist er auf die Idee der Kontinuität, symbolisiert durch die alten Bäume der Stadt, die wie Zeugen der Geschehnisse wirken. Eine dritte Diskurslinie zeichnen die Wege der Protagonistin – von mir selbst –, die unterschiedliche Orte und Gegebenheiten durch „tänzerische Streifzüge“ in der Stadt erkundet und über das Medium Tanz im Film zu vermitteln sucht. Die Prozesse vor Ort transportieren sich über die tänzerische Bewegung durch die Stadt.