Program 2018: We Just Do As We’re Told

The Swedish employment agency has registered 400 000 unemployed, and there are 40 000 jobs advertised – what then is the true function of the employment agency? And how do the people who work at the employment agency feel about the meaning of their work?

Vi Bara Lyder _ foto Fredrik Wenzel copy

Vi Bara Lyder, foto Fredrik Wenzel

In 2015 sociologist researcher Roland Paulsen published his study of the Swedish employment agency in the format of a reportage book, Vi bara lyder (We just do as we’re told). The book was turned into a script for Malmö Puppet Theatre, and the play Funktionell Dumhet (Functional stupidity) debuted the same year. In the play, the authentic lines from Paulsen’s study were voiced by cardboard puppets. Now the play has been filmed, and edited into a 30 minute documentary, by director Erik Holmström and filmmaker Fredrik Wenzel.

Vi Bara Lyder Roland foto Fredrik Wenzel

Vi Bara Lyder, foto Fredrik Wenzel

What is the true function of the employment agency? Well for one thing, they have provided us with a number of statistics which we will go through in connection with the screening on Thursday!

Vi Bara Lyder Väntrum foto Fredrik Wenzel copy

Vi Bara Lyder, foto Fredrik Wenzel

Program 2018: Are You Team Aniston Or Are You Team Jolie?

Screening in Höja on Thursday 19 July, and it’s an Election Special! Come by and help us make sense of this thing? We can talk about pizzas and personal voting, about hope found in demographics, about morality in the face of material reality.

Among the films shown will be Team Jolie by Hannah Black.

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Hannah Black, Team Jolie, 2014 (still). Courtesy the artist and Arcadia Missa.

In the video Team Jolie we get to consider a number of statements which at first seem like arguments pro and con the two actresses Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie – not just regarding which of the two is a better soul mate for Brad Pitt but also everything concerning what they mean and stand for as icons. Are you Team Aniston or are you Team Jolie?

Hannah Black_Team Jolie 001.png

Hannah Black, Team Jolie, 2014 (still). Courtesy the artist and Arcadia Missa.

Rather than recounting a sexist media narrative, Team Jolie becomes both a poetic reflection and a theoretical analysis, point by point and line by line. Quoting from the script of the film:

Single bass beat. [Image of Jennifer Aniston’s left eye and text that reads “Team Aniston”]

I wanted to like her but I couldn’t. I could not stand her desire to be liked. I punished her minutely by withholding my affection as if this could do anything but affirm her power. Her achievement was the mirror of an indescribable failure. Even though when it became clear that although she was a machine for producing affection, she too had failed to be loved, I was not sure that I could forgive her the ease that she had previously been.

Single bass beat. [Image of Angelina Jolie’s lips and nose and text that reads “Team Jolie”]

Because pain is for everyone, she represented the fierce enjoyment of pain with whatever necessary emptiness in present social conditions. Someone who once really made me suffer or who was the premise for suffering I somehow may have wanted sent me some lines from Marx where Marx seems to suggest that in communism we might experience pain and pleasure differently. I was pleased to see a solution to the problem of who in communism would work in the sewers—perhaps even the smell of shit will be experienced differently then. Perhaps, like animals, we will no longer be alienated from what Benjamin calls “the most lost forgotten land of our own bodies.”




Screening: The Free Election

On Thursday July 19 we’ll be screening a micro-filmfestival at our main facility in Höja. Gates open at 21, screening begins at 21.30. Since this is an election year in Sweden, our screening has been themed and titled as Det Fria Valet – translated as The Free Election or The Free Choice.

We’ve got films and videos from Malmö Dockteater, Hannah Black, and David Blandy. Check back with us at the blog for more info on the films over the next few days. To figure out how they relate to the Swedish election, though, you’ll have to come on over to the screening on Thursday! It’s free.

The What And The How: Sebastian Dahlqvist And A Cinema Of The People

Folkets_Bio_-_Malmö-1989 utomhusvisning

Folkets Bio arranging outdoor screenings, here at Lilla Torg in Malmö, 1989. Photo by Jonn Leffmann (CC, from Wikipedia).

Sebastian Dahlqvist, artist and curator, used to be the chairperson at Folkets Bio (the Peoples’ Cinema) in Lund We asked him about a debate within the Folkets Bio-organization about ten years ago, regarding a formulation in the statutes drawn up by the founders of the organization in 1973. The original founding document claims that Folkets Bio is intended to be “a socialist cinema”.

The definition of the organization as socialist was taken out of the statutes around the same time that we started our own socialist outdoors cinema in 2012. The reasons for the proposition to take this term out of the statutes were several. It was claimed that the financing of local cinemas within the organization was becoming more and more dependent on sponsorships, and that it would be impossible to find sponsors for a cinema which called itself socialist. It was claimed that not all people might feel welcome to visit screenings and to discuss films afterwards if they felt that their political views were not aligned with those of the cinema, which meant that a socialist cinema might not be a cinema for the people (Folkets Bio means The Cinema of the People). It was claimed that most people working within the organization in the noughties had only a vague notion of what socialism was, and no idea at all about what a socialist cinema might be. How could a cinema be socialist?

Kalle: We wanted to ask you about this, since you were chairperson of Folkets Bio in Lund, I don’t know which years?

Sebastian: It was later, maybe 2014-2015. Not that much later, two years after the change was made.

Kalle: So it was still a bleeding wound for Stefan Jarl?

Sebastian: Yes. But it was also an ongoing discussion when I went to the annual congress. It was a question which was continuously debated through propositions to the annual meeting.

Kalle: By people who wanted the original wording put back in the statutes?

Sebastian: Some/several people wanted it put back, people discussed it over coffee afterwards or at the dinner in the evening, saying: have we not lost something vital when this term has been taken out or blurred over?

Kalle: Why did they want it back then?

Sebastian: I think that many of the people I met who wanted it back were mainly older socialists, who maybe worked at older Folkets Bio cinemas around the country for a long period of time. These were people who, according to their own opinion, and it was probably true, had built Folkets Bio into a nationwide organization. And they hadn’t just built a cinema but also they had worked together with an idea about the role of cinema within the body of society, and the possibility of cinema providing perspective or offering us new glasses, or of cinema becoming an interface for meetings and discussions which wouldn’t happen after a visit to SF (ed: SF is a nationwide commercial cinema). And more than anything, to them the work of the cinema was ideologically grounded, it was a part of a socialist movement, or a socialist struggle.

Kristina: Where the cinema-part was just one of the pillars.

Sebastian: Yes, I imagine many people saw it that way.

Kristina: If you Sebastian were to imagine a socialist cinema, what would it be like, what could it be, potentially? What would be the best possible socialist cinema you could imagine? How would it work?

Sebastian: I imagine a socialist cinema as a cinema which could emerge anywhere whenever someone needs it. Out of necessity and need. I don’t know if it would be centrally directed or if it would be comepletely decentralised and what that would mean to the work. But that is how I would like to imagine a possible socialist cinema. One where everyone owns equal shares of the projector, or of the possibility, of the cinema. And then it could scale up or down the concept of cinema, and understand it in different ways. But it would be a cinema which is owned by everyone, and which could emerge anywhere, anytime.

Kalle: And what would be the need that it responds to?

Sebastian: I imagine it would fill this need for an interface for debates and discussions, which one may feel is difficult to create without anything which is held in common. I mean that there is a room and a time which is set aside, which is shared and which is common, and that creates conditions for a conversation which one might feel the need for having. Or that one has the need of showing something, and sharing an experience, to show something which has happened and which must be seen, told or heard of, which a non-socialist cinema would not bother with or which official media would not bother with.

When I attempt to answer your question I feel I’m moving away from a material reality, but if I were to say something about that, I think that if this were to be an activity which needs financing in order to create proper working conditions for those who choose to start up the cinema where it was needed, then I imagine some sort of common… I like and admire your and others work that deals with redistribution of resources, and I think a socialist cinema would be financed by having a large number of people paying a little, to create common pots of resources.

Kristina: Nice to think that the cinema is needed, that it emerges when there’s a need. Seeing film as a form of concentration.