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NTU CCA Singapore Exhibitions is focused on contemporary artistic production that provides a critical platform for reflection and discussion. The exhibition programme embraces artistic production in all its diverse media with a commitment to current debates in visual culture. NTU CCA Singapore presents up to four exhibitions a year ranging in format from group to solo shows giving voice to a diversity of international artists. Each exhibition is accompanied by an extensive public programme of tours, talks and workshops that foster reflections on the exhibition from various perspectives and disciplines.

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Non-Aligned

4 April 2020 — 27 September 2020

The Unfinished Conversation (2012)
John Akomfrah (United Kingdom)

Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017)
Naeem Mohaiemen (Bangladesh/United States)

Nucleus of the Great Union (2017)
The Otolith Group (United Kingdom)

 

The British Empire spanned from Asia to Australia to Africa to America to the Caribbean. The various colonial territories gained their sovereignty and independence at different times, in processes of decolonization that played out in the histories of nations, but also determined the lives of individuals. Non-Aligned brings together three moving-image works by artists, filmmakers, and writers that inquire into the challenging transition periods from colonial rule to the independence of nations.

The presented works apply archival material in different ways. The focus spans from the work and personal histories of intellectuals who experienced these unprecedented circumstances first-hand, including Jamaican-born British theorist Stuart Hall (1932-2014) and African American novelist Richard Wright (1908-1960), to the history of political organization around the Non-Aligned Movement. This process of examining the interconnected stories of place, identity, and the conscious assertion of difference from established Western narratives, is also embedded in the personal histories of the artists.

The Non-Aligned Movement was formally established in 1961 on principles such as world peace and cooperation, human rights, anti-racism, respect, disarmament, non-aggression, and justice. At the height of the Cold War, a large group of African, Asian, and Latin American countries navigating post-colonial constellations attempted a diversion from the two major powers—the United States and the Soviet Union—forming what is to date the largest grouping of states worldwide, after the United Nations. The non-aligned nations, which Singapore joined in 1970, wished to secure independence and territorial sovereignty, and fight against imperialism, domination, and foreign interference.

This history is at the core of Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017), a feature-length three-channel video installation by Naeem Mohaiemen. It explores Bangladesh’s historical pivot from the socialist perspective of the 1973 Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Algeria to the emergence of a petrodollar-funded Islamic perspective at the 1974 Organisation of Islamic Countries meeting in Lahore. Recounted by Algerian publisher Samia Zennadi, Bangladeshi politician Zonayed Saki, and Indian historian Vijay Prashad, Mohaiemen’s film considers the erosion of the idea of “Third World” as a political space that was to open the potential for decoloniality and socialism, while articulating the internal contradictions behind its unfortunate failure.

In the video essay Nucleus of the Great Union (2017), The Otolith Group traces Richard Wright on his first trip to Africa in 1953. Travelling the Gold Coast for 10 weeks, he witnessed political campaigns for independence in West Africa, yet feeling alienation at his first encounter with the continent. For this film, The Otolith Group reconciled excerpts from Wright’s book Black Power: A Record of Reactions in a Land of Pathos (1954) with a selection of the over 1,500 previously unpublished photographs the writer took on his journey. Wright’s initially intended book including both text and photos was inadequately published without images. Through this work, The Otolith Group finally honors Wright’s initial aim of seeing image and text as one single narration.

The Unfinished Conversation (2012) is an in-depth inquiry by filmmaker John Akomfrah into the personal archive of audio interviews and television recordings of the influential theorist and educator Stuart Hall. The multi-screen film installation unfolds as a layered journey through the paradigm-changing work of the late intellectual, regarded as a key founder of cultural studies, who triangulated gender, race, and class. Hall was particularly invested in black identity linked to the history of colonialism and slavery.

Amplifying and celebrating defining voices and intertwining personal lives with political movements, the featured works in Non-Aligned examine not only the new possibilities for progressive social and independence movements but also the inherent struggles that define the post-WWII period.

Non-Aligned is curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU.

 

ONLINE RESOURCE FOR READING GROUPS

Accompanying this exhibition is a library of over 50 books on postcolonialism, decoloniality, the history of the Cold War, the Non-Aligned Movement, archiving, as well as theory of the moving image and publications on and by John Akomfrah, Naeem Mohaiemen, and The Otolith Group. Authors include Frantz Fanon, Stuart Hall, and Richard Wright, as well as Kodwo Eshun, Rosalind C. Morris, Bojana Piškur and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, among many others. In light of our Centre’s temporary closure, we have selected texts on, or in conversation with, some of them to be used for online reading groups. These additional texts including articles by Vijay Prashad and Elspeth Probyn, and book chapters by Adil Johan and S.R. Joey Long. To view the list of readings, click here.

 

Image: John Akomfrah, The Unfinished Conversation, film still with Stuart Hall portrait, 2012. © Smoking Dogs Films. Courtesy Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery.

Public programmes

Online Resource for Reading Groups, Non-Aligned
4 Apr 2020, Sat - 27 Sep 2020, Sun

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Accompanying this exhibition is a library of over 50 books on postcolonialism, decoloniality, the history of the Cold War, the Non-Aligned Movement, archiving, as well as theory of the moving image and publications on and by John Akomfrah, Naeem Mohaiemen, and The Otolith Group. Authors include Frantz Fanon, Stuart Hall, and Richard Wright, as well as Kodwo Eshun, Rosalind C. Morris, Bojana Piškur and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, among many others. In light of our Centre’s temporary closure, we have selected texts on, or in conversation with, some of them to be used for online reading groups. These additional texts including articles by Vijay Prashad and Elspeth Probyn, and book chapters by Adil Johan and S.R. Joey Long.

 

Reading list:

Abraham, Itty, “From Bandung to NAM: Non-alignment and Indian Foreign Policy, 1947-65”, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 46, no.2 (2008): 195-219. [Free download available upon account registration]

Akomfrah, John, “The Partisan’s Prophecy: Handsworth Songs and Its Silent Partners”, in Stuart Hall: Conversations, Projects, and Legacies, Julian Henriques, David Morley, and Vana Goblot. (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2017): 185–203. https://muse.jhu.edu/chapter/2060422

Bhambra, Gurminder K, “Postcolonial and Decolonial Dialogues”, Postcolonial Studies 17, no.2 (2014): 115-121. https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2014.966414

Bogues, Anthony, and Akomfrah, John, “The Black Intellectual in the African Diaspora”, Callaloo 40, no.1 (2017): 81–90. doi:10.1353/cal.2017.0054

Johan, Adil, “Decolonising Motifs,” in Cosmopolitan Intimacies: Malay Film Music of the Independence Era (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2018): 41–92. http://www.jstor.com/stable/j.ctv7h0tcd.8

Long, S.R. Joey, “Bringing the International and Transnational Back In: Singapore, Decolonization, and the Cold War,” in Singapore in Global History, ed. Derek Heng and Syed Muhd Khairuddin (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011): 205–223. https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/id/2adedfa2-d277-4dfe-bdfe-f1ef072c5898/381653.pdf

Nash, Mark, and Julien, Isaac. “Frantz Fanon as Film” in Screen Theory Culture. (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008): 185-196. [Download PDF file]

Parashar, Swati “Feminism and Postcolonialism: (En)gendering Encounters”, Postcolonial Studies 19, no.4 (2016): 371–377. https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2016.1317388

Paulson, Steve. “Critical Intimacy: Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak”, Qualitative Research Journal 18, no.2 (2018): 89–93. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-D-17-00058

Piškur, Bojana, “Southern Constellations: Other Histories, Other Modernities” in Southern Constellations: Poetics of the Non-Aligned, Bojana Piškur, Zdenka Badovinac, Chương-Đài Võ, Samia Zennadi, Teja Merhar, and Anej Korsika (Ljubljana: Moderna Galerija, 2019): 9–21. [Download PDF file]

Prashad, Vijay, “Naeem Mohaiemen’s Tragic History of the 1907s Left”, Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry 47 (2019): 59–66. https://afterall.org/journal/issue.47/naeem-mohaiemen-s-tragic-history-of-the-1970s-left

Probyn, Elspeth, “A Feminist Love Letter to Stuart Hall; or What Feminist Cultural Studies Needs to Remember”, Cultural Studies Review 22, no.1 (2016): 294–301, https://doi.org/10.5130/csr.v22i1.4919

Roberts, Brian Russell, and Foulcher, Keith, eds., “Gelanggang’s ‘A Conversation with Richard Wright’ (1955)” in Indonesian Notebook: A Conversation with Richard Wright (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016): 95–105. https://read.dukeupress.edu/books/book/2275/chapter/370904/Gelanggang-s-A-Conversation-with-Richard-Wright

Wilson-Goldie, Kaelen, “Shifting Ground: On Stories and Archives in the Work of Naeem Mohaiemen”, Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry 47 (2019): 67–75. https://www.afterall.org/journal/issue.47/shifting-ground-on-stories-and-archives-in-the-work-of-naeem-mohaiemen

“A Conversation with Stuart Hall”, The Journal of the International Institute 7 no.1 (1999), http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.4750978.0007.107

Alignments from the Archive
4 Apr 2020, Sat - 27 Sep 2020, Sun

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In this period of solidarity, the Centre brings forth a collection of archival videos, featuring lectures, conversations, and discussions that relate to themes of decolonisation, legacies of colonialism, and post-war independence movements explored in the exhibition Non-Aligned.

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#1: Mise-en-Scéne and Misalignments: Resetting the Postcolonial Stage

While the Cold War raged on in the years following 1945, in the spaces between East and West, smaller theatres of war were emerging throughout the postcolonial world. This collection highlights moments of mise-en-scène that reset a global stage framed by colonial axes of power, featuring thinkers and artists such as Isaac Julien, Mark Nash, Stefano Harney, Škart, and Bojana Piškur.

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Paradise Lost: Lecture: Postcolonial critique today – Stefano Harney
7 March 2014

Referencing the works of Zarina Bhimji and Trinh T. Minh-ha in the exhibitionParadise Lost, Dr Stefano Harney investigates the renewed power of postcolonial critique today. By returning to the great thinkers of the “colonial situation” and its aftermath, Harney re-evaluates the proposition that globalisation has erased “old ideas of the lines between coloniser and colonised.”

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Theatrical Fields: Special Brunch and Screening Session with Isaac Julien and Mark Nash
26 October 2014

Dr Mark Nash and Isaac Julien discuss theatricality as criticality through Vagabondia (2000), Julien’s seven-minute film for Theatrical Fields, in which the figure of the vagabond is used to explore how the Sir John Soane’s Museum collection has benefitted from colonisation. Julien’s Playtime (2014), a part-documentary part-fiction exploration of global capital, plays following their conversation.

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Residencies Insights: Non-Aligned Movement: New Spaces of Liberty, New Lines of Alliance, New Modes of Creativity
22 November 2017

Belgrade-based collective Škart and Bojana Piškur situate the Non-Aligned Movement’s ideas, ideals, and principles in the present and apply them to exhibition-making and cultural exchange. Looking beyond the complex history of the Non-Aligned Movement, they map out possible prototypes for institutions, networks, and politics within art and culture today.

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#2: Phantasms and Futurities: Decolonial Propositions

From a global stage reset in Mise-en-Scéne and Misalignments, this collection rescripts the linear trajectories of colonial pasts and postcolonial presents, towards the realisation of decolonised futures. Prof Timothy Murray noted in his keynote lecture that “the theatrical script always opens to the arrival of the future; they are contingent and dependent upon futurity”. Artists, performers, and curators, such as Zarina Muhammad and Brigitte van der Sande enact and identify heterotopias — spatial alterities or counter-sites wherein alternative realities are constructed — that rewrite these politicised narratives through explorations of mythmaking and science fiction.

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Theatrical Fields: Symposium: Screening Theatrical Phantasms: Toward an Uncertain Futurity
Keynote Lecture by Prof Timothy Murray
23 August 2014

This talk addresses the fascination of artworks in our previous exhibition Theatrical Fields in 2014, which introduces theatricality as a critical strategy in performance, film and video. In providing a brief theoretical overview of “the politics of theatricality,” Murray will reflect on the exhibition’s screenic re-possession of cinematic characters, buried stories, and influential texts in ways that challenge the historical groundings of theatricality in the ethnocentric certainty of culture and law. 

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Lecture Performance: Flowers from our Bloodlines by Zarina Muhammad, artist; Stefania Rossett, choreographer; Vivian Wang pianist; Eric Lee, artist; and Tini Aliman, sound artist
22 September 2017

Drawing from concepts of the demonised and desired body, gender-based archetypes, and mythmaking, this lecture performance invokes family histories and revokes the lineages of colonisation in Southeast Asia. Intergenerational and cross-cultural exchanges, facilitated by storytelling, rituals, gestures, and embodied movement, are explored through the rites of the Wolf Spider and the Harimau Jadian (Were-Tiger), and their multiple translations and adaptations.

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Residencies Insights: Speculations on other futures by Brigitte van der Sande, former Curator-in-Residence
6 December 2018

Brigitte van der Sande explores how science fiction is used to envision alternative futures and critique existing power structures while shunning censorship, within countries where continuous change is the status quo because of war or political instability. Her long-term project Other Futures, “a multidisciplinary online and offline platform for thinkers and builders of other futures”, features non-Western science fiction makers and thinkers.

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#3: Tidalectic Topographies, Counter Cartographies  

Extending the exploration of counter-sites from Phantasms and Futurities, this collection carries postcolonial inquiry from landlocked cartographies to liquid liminalities. Reflecting on shifting geopolitical, sociocultural, ethnoreligious, and environmental rhythms that ripple throughout the global hydrosphere, artists, curators, and scholars including Ade Darmawan, Shubigi Rao, Melati Suryodarmo, Prof Philippe Pirotte, Tita Salina, Irwan Ahmett, Dr Cresantia Frances Koya Vaka’uta, and Dr Cynthia Chou introduce a tidalectic worldview – in the tradition of Barbadian poet and historian Kamau Brathwaite – as a way of troubling territorial borders that became embedded during the post-Cold War wave of nationalist independence movements.

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In Conversation Part I: Arus Balik with artists Ade Darmawan, Shubigi Rao, and Melati Suryodarmo, Moderated by curator Philippe Pirotte
23 March 2019

This panel discussion focuses on the Indonesian epic Arus Balik (1995) – loosely translated to mean “turn of the tide” – by revolutionary writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer, which served as the starting point for the eponymous exhibition Arus Balik – from below the wind to above the wind and back again (2019). Three of the participating artists – Ade Darmawan, Shubigi Rao, and Melati Suryodarmo – join exhibition curator Philippe Pirotte in a discussion on Pramoedya’s body of work, its influence and legacy, as well as notions of censorship and the forbidden book.

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Performance: A Tumbling Inch by Former Artists-in-Residence Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina
11 June 2019

A Tumbling Inch is a performative action by Jakarta-based artists Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina, which crystallised in the hydrospheric spatiality between Batam, the Indonesian island closest to Singapore, and the undulating maritime borders between the two countries. The work revolves around a nostalgic longing for the Lion City. Following the free movement of sea waves across the Straits of Malacca, the performance addresses archipelagic histories and the impact of global economic development.

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The Current Convening #3 Tabu / Tapu – Who Owns the Ocean?
Rights of Cultures, Rights of Nature: Case Studies by Dr Cresantia Frances Koya Vaka’uta, Director, Oceania Centre for Arts, and Dr Cynthia Chou, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Iowa
27 January 2018

Rights of Cultures, RIghts of Nature features case studies that position oceanic spaces as charged relational spaces. Dr Cresantia Frances Koya Vaka’uta’s exposition on tabu/tapu – the Fijian indigenous practice of taboo – outlines the relationality between environment and peoples, complicated by histories of colonial extractivism and the globalising project of cultural and environmental commodification. Dr Cynthia Chou brings these relationalities closer to home with a study of the Orang Suku Laut of the Riau archipelago. The practices of oceanic indigenous communities presented explore how a tidalectic way of living can inform modes of engagement with the hydrosphere, challenge conceptions of land-based embeddedness, and contribute to a vision of fluid futures.

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#4: Summoning Spectres: Historiography as Hauntology

This month’s curated selection of NTU CCA Singapore’s past programmes draws on Jacques Derrida’s concept of hauntology – the return or persistence of elements from the past manifesting as ghosts and apparitions. – Summoning Spectres: Historiography as Hauntology speaks to the remnants of personal and collective cultural memory incompletely erased by imperial and colonial violence. These traces of erasure remain inscribed in post-Cold War regional histories and embedded in their lexicon and legacy. Using historiography as a method of inquiry, this playlist showcases the ways in which curator Dr June Yap, artists Sung Tieu, Amy Lien, and Enzo Camacho approach the subjectivation of colonial spectres through their practices, to surface historical narratives of oppression and to summon the ghosts of lost futures.

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Symposium: Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History
In the Interest of Time by Dr June Yap, Director of Curatorial Programmes and Publications, Singapore Art Museum

28 October 2017

Through a survey of historiographical works by artists Nguyen Trinh Thi and Ho Tzu Nyen, Dr June Yap addresses how cinematic works engage their medium specificity in a play of historical phantoms and repressed collective memories. These works contribute to a broader artistic tradition involving the subjectivation of histories, which is at its heart a process of self-determination: “in subjectivation there is constitution — the constitution of the self and or an identity… as a rising, as produced or perpetuated… as temporal, as arising from relations, as produced in a struggle”. As Yap aptly phrases, “in temporal consciousness, an identity is arrived.”

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Residencies Insights: Two Worlds, Four Spirits by Sung Tieu, Former Artist-in-Residence

3 December 2019

Central to the artistic practice of Sung Tieu is a personal experience of migration from Vietnam to Germany, which impels her to address Post-Cold War histories and the multiple negotiations that underpin a diasporic identity haunted by the spectres of French colonialism in Vietnam and Cold War military violence during the American-Vietnam wars. In this talk, the artist discusses recent projects — Memory Dispute (2017), Coral Sea As Rolling Thunder (2017), Remote Viewing (2017) and Loveless (2019) — which variously employ text, performance, installation, moving image, and sound to convey a sense of dislocation while offering deliberate interventions into canonical readings of history.

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Behind the Scenes: On Alfonso Ossorio’s Angry Christ mural by artists Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho 

1 December 2018

In this talk, collaborating artists Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho present their research on the Filipino-American modernist painter, Alfonso Ossorio (1916–1990), focusing on his 1950 mural, Angry Christ. For the artists, this mural, located in the province of Negros Occidental, the “sugar bowl of the Philippines”, is a “multivalent cipher”. When it is decoded, spectres of sixteenth century Spanish colonial violence — from the accorded name “Negros” to enforced religious, economic, and environmental functions — and the ghosts of indigenous people who were displaced or exterminated materialise. Lien and Camacho question whether the Angry Christ can be “radically reprogrammed” from the specific and highly privileged subjectivity of Ossorio, its maker, and the Ossorio family’s sugar dynasty, its commissioning patron.

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Film Programme: Third Way / After Bandung
7 Apr 2020, Tue - 27 Sep 2020, Sun

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This film programme originally intended to be screened on-site in parallel with the exhibition Non-Aligned, has moved online! Selected films are being made available to be streamed on our website for limited periods of time. Scroll down for more details on Online Screenings or click hereNTU CCA Singapore gratefully acknowledges the collaboration of the curators, filmmakers, and distributors in making this transition to an online film programme possible during the global COVID-19 crisis.

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This programme features films that engage post-colonial processes covering different moments and geopolitical contexts. The Asian-African Conference in 1955, known as the Bandung Conference, amidst the complex processes of decolonization, established self-determination, non-aggression, and equality as part of the core values that then formed the Non-Aligned Movement. This history is unpacked and contextualised through this series of screenings.

Co-curated by writer and curator Mark Nash and film researcher Vladimir Seput.

Screening on loop during opening hours.

 

Joris Ivens, Indonesia Calling, 1946 
35mm transferred to digital file, b&w, sound, 22 min

This film shows the role trade union seaman and waterside workers in Sydney played in Indonesia’s independence struggle after World War II. Comprising different nationalities and races, they united together to prevent the departure of Indonesia-bound Dutch ships that carried weapons meant to bring the Indonesian National Revolution to a halt. The film seeks to distil aspects of the historical context of the events depicted in the film and gives insight to the major re-alignments in the relationship between Australia and Indonesia.

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First conference of Non-Aligned Movement, 1961
Archive footage, colour, sound, 10 min 51 sec

Archive footage from the first conference of the 1961 Non-Aligned Movement, otherwise known as the Belgrade Conference, presenting historical events from the meeting. The inaugural conference was initiated by three key figures: Josip Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia; Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt; and Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India. Attended by 25 countries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the conference is a direct response to the division of sphere of influence settled between the major world forces after WWII and the Cold War, enabling members to independently formulate their own position in international politics.

 

Ousmane Sembène, Borom Sarret, 1963
35mm transferred to digital file, b&w, sound, 18 min

Borom Sarret, considered to be the first African film by a black African, is a portrayal of poverty and inequality in postcolonial Africa. It follows the daily life of a Dakar “borom sarret”, or cart driver in Wolof (a language of Senegal), who is constantly being taken advantage of by others. Feeling hopeless about his situation, he compares modern life to that of a working slave, imprisoned in a cycle of poverty.  

Restored in 2013 by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in association with Institut National de l’Audiovisuel and the Sembène Estate. Restoration work was carried out at Laboratoires Éclair and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. Restoration funding provided by Doha Film Institute. 

 

Mikhail Kalatozov, I am Cuba (Soy Cuba), 1964
35mm transferred to digital file, b&w, sound, 141 min

Narrated by Raquel Ravuelta, a seminal figure in Cuban theatre, film, television and radio, as “The Voice of Cuba,” I am Cuba follows four stories of Cubans during the Cuban Revolution. Maria works at a Havana nightclub; Pedro is a tenant farmer; Enrique, a young university student, is part of the intellectual resistance; and Mariano is a peasant who joins the rebel army. The script was co-authored by the Cuban novelist Enrique Pineda Barnet and the Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

 

Ousmane Sembène, Black Girl (La noire de… ), 1966
35mm transferred to digital file, b&w, sound, 60 min

The film chronicles Senegal’s first years of independence by following a young ambitious woman, Diouana, who moves to the French Riviera with a bureaucrat and his wife who return to France after working in Dakar. Originally hired as the family nanny, she becomes enslaved as a maid in France. A human drama and a radical political statement, Black Girl critiques the enduring colonial mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world. Black Girl was Ousmane Sembène’s first feature film and the first black African feature film which screened at Cannes. It alsowon the Prix Jean Vigo and top prize at the Carthage Film Festival. 

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Film Foundation. 
Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with the Sembène Estate, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, INA, Eclair laboratories and the Centre National de Cinématographie. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. 

 

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Memories of Underdevelopment, 1968
35mm transferred to digital file, b&w, sound, 97 min

The film’s narrative, based on the novel Inconsolable Memories by Edmundo Desnoes, is presented through the lens of Sergio, a wealthy bourgeois aspiring writer, during the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. His family decides to retreat to Miami during the turmoil of social changes. The film is interspersed with real-life documentary footage of protest and political events in which Sergio’s life and personal relationship unfolds. As the threat of foreign invasion looms over Sergio, his desire for companionship also intensifies. 

Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna at L’ Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC). Restoration funded by the George Lucas Family Foundation and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.

 

Želimir Žilnik, Early Works (Rani Radovi), 1969
35mm transferred to digital file, b&w, sound, 58 min

Winner of the Golden Berlin Bear Award at the 19th Berlin International Film Festival, Early Works (Ravi Radovi) focuses on the June 1968 student demonstrations in Belgrade, as well as the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in the same year. Both incidents happened against an international backdrop of student protests, political movements and anti-colonial struggles around the world. In the film, three young men and a girl called Yugoslava attempt to start a revolution in the countryside after being inspired by the early writings by Karl Marx, but are unsuccessful.

 

Želimir Žilnik, Shorts: Black Film (Cri Film), 1971
16 mm transferred to digital file, b&w, sound, 14 min

An example of the Yugoslav Black Wave, the film movement in Yugoslavia in the 1960s to 1970s, Shorts: Black Film (Cri Film) is a spontaneous effort by Žilnik to highlight socio-political issues. In the wee hours, he approaches six homeless men on the streets of Novi Sad. Žilnik interviews them and allows them to sleep over at his home. Over the next few days, he speaks to members of the public, social workers, and the police, but nobody is able to offer any solutions.

 

Karpo Godina, Litany of Happy People (Zdravi ljudi za razonodu), 1971 
35mm transferred to digital file, colour, sound, 15 min

The Litany of Happy People is a song-film about the diverse group of people living harmoniously in rural Vojvodina, an autonomous province of Serbia known for its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic identity. The film presents families with multi-ethnic backgrounds, standing in front of their seemingly similar but colourful rural houses. The film won numerous awards at short film festivals.

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Karpo Godina, About Art of Love or a Film with 14441 Frames (O ljubavnim veštinama ili film sa 14441 kvadratom), 1972 
Colour, sound, 10 min
Screening on Loop

This film presents an almost journalistic report of the female textile workers and male military soldiers in the Macedonian village of Stip. Interwoven with military footage and shots of the village, the alternating scenes present the two groups in proximity, while being completely isolated.  The film went through a thorough restoration process in 2016 and was shown at the 30th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy.

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Isaac Julien, Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask, 1995
35mm transferred to digital file, colour, sound, 70 min
12pm, 1.30pm, 3.00pm, 4.30pm, 5.45pm

This film interrogates the life and work of Frantz Fanon, a highly influential anti-colonial writer, civil rights activist, and psychoanalytic theorist from Martinique. The docudrama is interspersed with archival footage of Fanon as well as interviews with family members and colleagues. Reflecting on the black body and its representations, the film is rooted in the black arts movement in Britain and North America.

 

 

Image: Production still from Želimir Žilnik, Early Works (Rani Radovi), 1969, 35mm transferred to digital file, b&w, sound, 58 min. Courtesy Andrej Popovic.

Exhibition (de)Tour: Nonlinear Trajectories by Dr Itty Abraham, Professor and Head, Department of Southeast Asian Studies, NUS
18 Jun 2020, Thu 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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The lecture will be streamed live on Zoom. Here is the link and sign-in details:

https://ntu-sg.zoom.us/j/95002713474
Meeting ID: 950 0271 3474
Password: 816199

The following are guidelines for the lecture:

  • Please be punctual to prevent any disruption during the event.
  • Please keep your video turned off throughout the session.
  • As with our onsite public programmes, this event will be recorded, for future streaming, archival and education purposes on our official online platforms.
  • Please complete the survey which you will receive after the event. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Taking the dis-connections between the three cinematic projects in the exhibition as points of departure, Professor Abraham will engage in a critical conversation about the multiple pasts of what is today called the Global South. A historical overview of the Bandung Conference and its links to the Non-Aligned Movement, real and imagined, will help contextualise different Cold War trajectories as structure and as possibility. 

 

BIOGRAPHY

Dr Itty Abraham (United States/Singapore) is Professor and Head of the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Earlier, he was director of the South Asia Institute at the University of Texas at Austin and program director at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York. He was a Fulbright-Nehru senior fellow in 2011 and has received research grants from the US National Science Foundation, Ford, Rockefeller, and MacArthur foundations, among others. He has written about nuclear power, criminal borderlands, foreign policy, digital cultures, and postcolonial technoscience. He is currently working on a book on refugees and forced migration in Asia.

Online Screening: Joris Ivens, Indonesia Calling, 1946
10 Jul 2020, Fri - 15 Jul 2020, Wed

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Register here to receive the password to view the film.

 

This film shows the role trade union seaman and waterside workers in Sydney played in Indonesia’s independence struggle after World War II. Comprising different nationalities and races, they united together to prevent the departure of Indonesia-bound Dutch ships that carried weapons meant to bring the Indonesian National Revolution to a halt. The film seeks to distil aspects of the historical context of the events depicted in the film and gives insight to the major re-alignments in the relationship between Australia and Indonesia.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Joris Ivens (Netherlands) is a documentary filmmaker whose career spanned over sixty years. He filmed more than 50 international documentaries that explored leftist social and political concerns during the 20th century. Named film commissioner in 1944 for the Dutch East Indies, he later resigned in protest over the Dutch’s resistance to decolonisation. Among the notable films he has directed or co-directed, there are A Tale of the Wind (1988), The Spanish Earth (1937), and Far from Vietnam (1967). In 1988, Ivens received the Golden Lion Honorary Award at the Venice Film Festival and in 1989, he was knighted in the Order of the Dutch Lion.

 

Video Introduction by Vladimir Seput

The above pre-recorded video introduction was made before the temporary closure of our Centre.

 


We have expanded the scope of our educational programming to include online film screenings in an effort to make our programmes more accessible and reach our audiences beyond the walls of our Centre, in light of the limitations on onsite screening at the Centre.

Selected films from our film programme Third Way / After Bandung, curated by Mark Nash and Vladimir Seput, and originally intended to be screened on-site in parallel with the exhibition Non-Aligned, are being made available to be streamed on our website for limited periods of time. Third Way signifies the third force that emerged during the Cold War, as a diversion from the United States and Soviet Union, and After Bandung refers to the period after the 1955 Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference. This was the period of rising decolonisation after World War II, with nations declaring their own independence and defending their own positions from colonial powers.

The original sequence of Third Way / After Bandung begins with Indonesia Calling by Joris Ivens, already a well-known Dutch filmmaker at that time, who arrived in Australia in 1945 as the Dutch East Indies Film Commissioner. Originally engaged to document the re-occupation of Indonesia by the Dutch, Ivens resigned from his position to join the anti-colonial movement in Australia. In the following year, he made Indonesia Calling, a significant work in this programme, that unpacks and contextualises the history of the Non-Aligned Movement, from the immediate post-war events, to the Bandung Conference in 1955 and thereafter the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961.

To learn more about this programme’s original scope and sequence, please click here. CCA gratefully acknowledges the collaboration of the curators, filmmakers, and distributors in making this transition to an online film programme possible during the global COVID-19 crisis.

 

Image: Joris Ivens, Indonesia Calling, film still, 1946. Courtesy the artist.

Workshop: Discovering Histories, Designing Stories by artist Robert Zhao and filmmaker Andre Quek
22 Aug 2020, Sat 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

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How can physical traces of the past help us visualise new narratives? This workshop begins with a nature trail by artist Robert Zhao through the secondary forest surrounding Gillman Barracks. Unearth the history of the Queen’s Own Hill from a plantation to military barracks, and to its current status as a visual arts precinct. Be inspired to create visual narratives about the area under the guidance of filmmaker Andre Quek. Learn basic principles of film language and visual storytelling, composition, and production design, and bring home your very own beatboard.

Workshop fee: $12
Sign-ups will open soon. Stay tuned!

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Andre Quek (Singapore) is a filmmaker who specialises in 2D hand-drawn animation. Quek graduated with honours from the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University (2014), and co-founded Finding Pictures in 2018, an animation studio in Singapore. He draws inspiration from all walks of life, believing that abstracting the details of reality enlivens his animations. Quek’s film Princess has been screened at over 50 international film festivals, winning multiple awards for best animation short film, including Best Animation Award at the National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) 2015, and Gold award in the Crowbar Awards 2015. He has since focused on directing commercial shorts and produced Automatonomy (2017) that won Best Animation at NYFA 2019.

Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore) is a multidisciplinary artist and the founder of the Institute of Critical Zoologists. Persistently twisting reality and fiction, his artistic practice addresses the human relationship with nature, challenging accepted parameters of objectivity and scientific modes of classifications. Zhao received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Photography from Camberwell College of Arts and London College of Communication respectively. He has exhibited in solo shows and biennales internationally. He was awarded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council in 2010. He was named as a finalist for the Benesse Prize 2019, and the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award 2017.

This is an education programme of the exhibition Non-Aligned.

Image: Courtesy Robert Zhao.

 

Note: NTU CCA Singapore is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation while adhering to government advisories. This includes implementing contact tracing and safe-distancing measures. We seek your understanding and cooperation in ensuring the safety of our staff and visitors.

Workshop: Personalising the Political by writer Balli Kaur Jaswal
5 Sep 2020, Sat 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

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How can we personalise the political? What is the role of storytelling in our understanding of current events? Narrative writing can distill headlines and issues to individual experience, and remind us of our personal stake in a world of multitudes. In this creative writing workshop, participants will draw from the global sociocultural landscape to create fictions that illuminate the stories of individuals in the context of wider events. Activities will include guided writing exercises and critical feedback sessions to deepen our understanding of character, form, tension, and resolution.

Workshop Fee: $12
Sign-ups will open soon. Stay tuned!

 

BIOGRAPHY

Balli Kaur Jaswal (Singapore) is the author of four novels, including Singapore Literature Prize finalist Sugarbread, and the bestselling Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, which was a selection of Reese Witherspoon’s book club. Her debut novel Inheritance won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist award. A former writing fellow at the University of East Anglia, she teaches creative writing at Yale-NUS College. Jaswal’s non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan.com, Harper’s Bazaar India and Salon.com, among other publications. Her latest novel The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters was released internationally in 2019.

 

This is an education programme of the exhibition Non-Aligned.

Image: Courtesy Balli Kaur Jaswal. Background: The Otolith Group, Nucleus of the Great Union (film still), 2017. Courtesy the artists and LUX, London.

 

Note: NTU CCA Singapore is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation while adhering to government advisories. This includes implementing contact tracing and safe-distancing measures. We seek your understanding and cooperation in ensuring the safety of our staff and visitors.