Presented by Assistant Professor Dr. Ella Raidel, School of Art, Design, and Media, and Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, NTU.
Venue: NTU CCA Singapore Screening Room, 38 Malan Road, #01-06, Gillman Barracks.
Date: 21 April 2023, 7.00pm
Three films on The Auroville Project (2017)
What is Auroville?, 55 min
Auroville Archives, 12 min
Nine Palms, 23 min
The three films by Heidrun Holzfeind and Christoph Draeger that are part of their Auroville Project explore the potential for an alternative way of living. These films showcase how engaging in alternative practices and thinking can foster conviviality, ultimately shaping human relations and transforming society into a more welcoming home.
Auroville is an ambitious intentional community located in Southeast India, founded in 1968 by French philosopher Mira Alfassa, who is also known as “The Mother”. The community is designed to bring people of all nationalities and creeds together to live in peace and harmony, making it an experiment in both self-knowledge and collective living. The project explores how the utopian ideals of the community— no private property, no money, no rules, and no religion, in short: divine anarchy—are being realized almost 50 years later.
What is Auroville?, 2018, 55 Min.
What is Auroville? is a film that explores how the utopian ideals of the community are being lived today, almost 50 years after its establishment. In the past, Auroville residents designed utopian living environments that embodied their visionary ideas. The film delves into how Auroville keeps promoting an ecological and sustainable lifestyle while also embracing spirituality and political ideals of self-development and collectivism. It offers insights into how these ideals can be applied in the present day, as we seek to navigate a rapidly changing world.
The Auroville Archives, 2017, 12 Min.
The Auroville Archives juxtaposes film footage produced by and about Auroville over the past decades with an interview with the archivist while giving a tour of the catacombs.
Nine Palms, 2018, 23 Min.
Nine Palms portrays two generations of a German family who settled in Auroville’s greenbelt in 1973. The parents’ radical lifestyle, which rejected the conveniences of modern life and technology, has strongly influenced their seven children in their life choices and their quest for living freely.
Heidrun Holzfeind is an Austrian artist and filmmaker who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and Cooper Union in New York. Her work focuses on how architecture interacts with people’s everyday lives, questioning inherent architectural and social utopias and exploring the relationships between history and identity, individual histories, and present-day political narratives. Her films have been screened at various prestigious events and institutions, including the Istanbul Biennale 2022, MOMA New York, NTUCCA, Mumok Vienna, MAK Vienna, Belvedere-21 Vienna, and Shibaura House Tokyo. Through her films, Holzfeind continues to push boundaries and challenge traditional perspectives on architecture and society.
Christoph Draeger is a Swiss multimedia artist who works with installation, photography, and video. His work explores our media-saturated culture and society’s struggle with climate change. He is currently a senior lecturer at YALE-NUS Singapore, having joined the faculty in 2022. Draeger’s works have been exhibited worldwide in galleries and institutions such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, KW-Kunstwerke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and MoMA PS1. Some of his recent solo exhibitions include Garage Sale at Y Gallery in New York (2014), Unforced Errors at Lokal 30 in Warsaw (2014), and Destroyin’ L.A. at the Young Projects, in Los Angeles (2015). He also received a scholarship from P.S.1’s International Studio Program in 1996. Through his art, Draeger continues to make powerful statements about the state of our world and its future.
Dr. Ella Raidel is a filmmaker and visual artist. She is Asst. Professor at NTU Singapore (ADM/WKWSCI). In her interdisciplinary works, she focuses on the socio-cultural aspects of globalization, urbanization, and the representation of images. Her hybrid practice is to create a discursive space for filmmaking, art, and research.