In the Gothenburg Art Biennale

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Kuxa Kanema by Margarida Cardoso, 2003

During the opening weekend of the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, the Sunshine Socialist Cinema will present screenings of films on the deck of a boat by the Quay of Dreams in Gullbergsvass. The screenings are part of the section Art & Crime (curated by Joanna Warsza). On Saturday September 7th at 18.00 we’re showing Kuxa Kanema (Margarida Cardoso), and on Sunday September 8th at 19.00 we’re showing Handsworth Songs (Black Audio Film Collective). The screenings are parts one and two in a thematic series of four; the subsequent parts are shown in October.

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Kuxa Kanema by Margarida Cardoso, 2003

Kuxa Kanema is a documentary about how the People’s Republic of Mozambique, after declaring independence in 1975, started up a National Film Institute and began producing newsreels. The aim was to spread images and stories of how a Socialist nation was built by a unified people. Mobile outdoor cinemas would drive between towns and villages screening a new ten minute newsreel each week, the Kuxa Kanema. Kuxa Kanema means ‘birth of cinema’.

In 1991 Margarida Cardoso visits the ruin of the National Film Institute, a building partially destroyed by fire, where a few remaining employees are waiting for retirement. She starts copying what’s left of the newsreels onto videotape. She calls them “…visual documents that bear witness to the first eleven years of independence – the years of the socialist revolution”. Excerpts from the newsreels are mixed with interviews with former employees at the National Film Institute, who speak of the importance of cinema in giving form to their dreams and ideals.

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Handsworth Songs by Black Audio Film Collective, 1986

(Courtesy of Black Audio Film Collective and LUX, London)

On Sunday September 8th at 19.00 we’re screening Handsworth Songs, a film by Black Audio Film Collective. The film takes as its’ starting point the riots which occurred in Birmingham and London in 1985, and the way these events were portrayed in British media. In daily newspapers and TV the people involved in the riots can only be demonised or rationalised, not understood.

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Handsworth Songs by Black Audio Film Collective, 1986

(Courtesy of Black Audio Film Collective and LUX, London)

In Handsworth Songs the filmmakers explore a number of questions dealing with race, longing and belonging, going through decades worth of images. The format of the film attempts to mirror a multiplicity of black voices and positions in Britain, to show a heterogeneous black presence within the nation. The inclusion of older newsclips in the film builds up what the filmmakers have called “…an archive of black (un)belonging,  in the expression of hopes of belonging brutally deferred”.

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Newsreels from the Gothenburg Commune, 2013

In the mobile screening unit of our cinema, we will present newly produced ten minute Newsreels from the Gothenburg Commune each week throughout the fall. The films have been recorded by a group of artists, filmmakers, and media activists, some of whom have a background in Indymedia Gothenburg. More info about these films will follow shortly!

Best Audience Ever

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Some got angry at the films, some got stiff from the cold…

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…but the debate got really good at times. Thank you everyone for coming.

Parts of the discussion concerning Tomorrow is recapitulated in the review written by Emil Schön in HD.

(link)

The discussion on Pirate is not documented anywhere, but in the latest article the interviewer Joel Winqvist keeps returning to copyright issues, provoked in part by our screening of Annika Larssons’ film and in part by our story of an outdoor cinema in Buenos Aires showing pirated films for free.

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From ad paper Lokaltidningen

Small Improvements

We’re getting ready for this years’ first outdoor screening in our original location, the village of Höja in southern Sweden. It takes place on Sunday July 14 between 21.00-23.00. We’ll be showing the video Pirate by Annika Larsson followed by a documentary on the art-activist group Voina, Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev. In the garden there’ll be posters from Formfront on display. We’ll be back with more info on these films shortly, plus some weather forecasts.

Meanwhile, some improvements made to the stationary setup since last year:

support beams

Diagonal supports for eliminating traces of wobbliness in the bleachers. And:

extra panels

Two extra solar panels, giving us a total of 720 Watts per hour under optimal conditions. Enough for the projector and our new soundsystem.

First Try For The Mobile Cinema

Munka 18 setup

The new setup: foldable screen, soundsystem, three batteries charged by solarpanel

Munka 9 setup

First stop: Munka Folk High School

Munka 8 setup

Podiums, parasols, recycled paper blankets

Munka 7 setup

People starting to arrive: students, former students, neighbours, friends

Munka 6 preparations

Front stairs of the school will be used as bleachers

Munka 10 setup

Frontal view

Munka 1 urinal

Old urinal re-tooled into a barbeque barrel

Munka 3 urinal

David Skoog, principal of the art school at Munka Folk High School

Munka 4 urinal

David Skoog working the barbeque barrel

Munka 17 intro

Audience

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Introducing the Slideshow

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Introducing the Future program

Munka 14 screening

View from the podiums

Munka 11 screening

We Have No Art begins

Munka 12 screening

David Skoog viewing from the top of the stairs

This Month and Next

This April, we’re doing a couple of talks and presentations in the south of Sweden, a public screening, a workshop, and a rave cinema (which equals a secret outdoor screening).

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Extremely lightweight portable cinema screen

On April 4, Kalle Brolin will present the Sunshine Socialist Cinema at the public library in Bromolla. The talk starts at 19.30 and is free of charge. There will be trailers for the films of the upcoming season, among other things. On the day before the talk, Paula Von Seth will hold a workshop for local youth, on the theme of images of the future. These videos may become part of our screenings further down the road.

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Screen snaps on

On April 17, we’re doing a screening of the Enthusiasts Archive, a collection of amateur films made by Polish workers within the context of the film clubs under socialism. The archive has been compiled and the films restored by artists Marysia Lewandowska and Neil Cummings.

From the website Chanceprojects:

“With 16mm film stock, cameras and editing tables supplied by the factory/state, a large number of clubs were created throughout Poland from 1950’s onwards. The films made, range from 2-minute animations, short experimental films, documentaries on family, village, city or factory life; to historical dramas, features and ambitious mini epics.

We are aware of around 300 clubs registered since 1960 in a number of different industrial zones e.g. Nowa Huta, Biesko Biala, Poznan, Oswiecim, Bialystok, Warszawa, Katowice, Szczecin and Gdansk.”

The screening is arranged in cooperation with the International Cafe of Angelholm.

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Widescreen format

Throughout April and May we’re doing a workshop with the artstudents of Nordvastra Skane Folk High School. The students will work on art videos imagining The Future, and these videos will be screened to the public by the end of May. The outdoor screening takes place on the evening of May 25, on the lawn in front of the folk high school, and will celebrate the 100 year jubilee of the school. A folk high school is a form of popular adult education, and originated as part of the peoples movements of 19th and 20th century Sweden. The screening will start with a slideshow of old glass print photographs of the school from when it was newly built. As part of the screening, we will also show the film We Have No Art by Baylis Glascock, a documentary made in 1967 about Sister Corita Kent. Sister Corita was a Roman Catholic nun who taught at an art school in Los Angeles.

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Fits in a coffin-sized box on wheels

On April 25th, Kalle Brolin will present the Sunshine Socialist Cinema at the Glimakra Folk High School. There will be trailers for the films of the upcoming season, among other things.

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Screen measures 4 meters wide and 1,80 meters high

As we’ve received a large sum of money to produce a portable version of our solar powered cinema and take the show on the road, we will begin in mid-April with a secret outdoor screening, part of our Rave Cinema series. More info on this momentarily.

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Portable screen in full glory obscures house

Our program this summer is starting to take shape, and we’ve got confirmed screenings of Centaur by Tamás St. Auby, Tomorrow by Andrey Gyazev, and Todos Vos Sodes Capitans by Oliver Laxe. More to come as summer approaches.

The Birth of Cinema in Mozambique

Luis Patraquim, who was scriptwriter and voiceover for the Kuxa Kanema newsreels in ’70s Mozambique (interviewed Feb. 2013).

Kuxa Kanema, meaning ‘Birth of Cinema’, were newsreels produced by the National Film Institute in Mozambique after independence was won from Portugal in 1975. The newsreels pictured the people of Mozambique building a nation from the ground up. They were shown in cinemas in Maputo, and in mobile outdoor cinemas in villages in the countryside.

We are now working on editing recorded interviews with people who were involved with Kuxa Kanema, and hope to be able to screen these in the near future.

Both Luis Patraquim and Americo Soares were members of a leftwing group and fled Mozambique in the early 1970’s, moving first to Portugal and from there to Sweden, where they found refuge. In Stockholm they hung out at the Swedish Film Institute. After Mozambique became an independent nation, they moved back to Maputo and founded the first National Film Institute of Mozambique.

Americo Soares, who was director of the National Film Institute in ’70s Mozambique, where Kuxa Kanema was produced (interviewed Feb. 2013).

Solar Cinema and more

More and more solarpowered cinemas around the world! The Dutch project Solar Cinema is touring Latin America right now, setting up local solarpowered cinemas all over the continent.

Solar Cinema

Solar World Cinema

Servers seem to be down temporarily, but you can also check out their Rio-workshop on this blog.

 

Then there’s the Sol Cinema, “World’s smallest solar movie theatre”, housed in a caravan.

Sol Cinema

And Gorilla Cinema, which will “take film where it has never been before”.

Gorilla Cinema

There’s OneWay Theatre.

OneWay Theatre

And Groovy Movie Picture House Solar Cinema, “the world’s first mobile solar powered cinema”.

Groovy Movie Picture House

 

Finally, Swedish artist Ida-Britta Petrelius has worked out an ingenious art installation with solar powered projections.

Ida-Britta Petrelius

 

Stalin By Picasso shown at Socialist Forum

“If they had been here I would have looked down upon both of them – even without heels” – filmstill from Stalin by Picasso or Portrait of Woman with Moustache by Lene Berg

On December 1 2012 we’ll do a brief presentation of the Sunshine Socialist Cinema and screen the film Stalin by Picasso or Portrait of Woman with Moustache by Lene Berg during the Socialist Forum 2012 in Stockholm. The screening takes place at 15.45 in the ABF house at Sveavägen 41.

In 1953 Joseph Stalin died. Pablo Picasso was asked to draw a portrait of Stalin for a commemorative issue of the French Communist weekly Les Lettres françaises, which was edited by Louis Aragon, a friend of Picasso. The drawing provoked strong reactions from the French Communist Party, and the party’s Central Committee published a condemnation of both Picasso and Aragon on the front-page of the daily L’Humanité. The major criticism of the portrait was that the style in which it was drawn did not do justice to “the moral, spiritual, and intellectual personality of Stalin”.

Stalin by Picasso or Portrait of Woman with Moustache consists of a video, a book and three façade-banners. The project deals with the so-called ‘Portrait Scandal’, or `L’affaire du Portrait`, which later has been named the first consequence of Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953. It centers around two great, short men and a drawing that created strong reactions. On one level, it is about how two icons from the 20th Century, Stalin and Picasso, once were perceived and how much their public personas have changed since then. On another level, it is about art and artistic freedom, or un-freedom, and of ways of reading and using images, particularly images of so-called great men. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this anecdote from the beginning of the Cold War, is how one simple charcoal drawing can initiate so many feelings, discussions and intrigues as this one did – both in 1953, and in 2008.

The reactions towards Picasso’s drawing in 1953 expressed a need to control what was
presented in public, and strong demands for obedience towards common beliefs in something
particular, in this case Joseph Stalin. Seemingly these are thoughts from a distant past. But the project proved to be less nostalgic than expected when the party-secretary of the governing Norwegian Labor-party unexpectedly withdrew the permission to use the façade of the People’s Theatre Building in Oslo for the public part of the project, a permission that had been granted by the board of the building some months before.This attitude was later more or less repeated when I was invited to show the project at Cooper Union in New York in October 2008. After two days of a planned 6 weeks show, the three façadebanners were taken down from the façade without a warning and without discussing it neither with me nor with the curator before hand. In 1953 one of the problems with Picassos drawing was that it was considered bad propaganda for Stalin and thus for the communist cause. In 2008 one of the problems was that the façade-banners were not clear publicity, and that some people found it unacceptable that the project did not express a clear critique of Joseph Stalin.

Stalin by Picasso or Portrait of Woman with Moustache was first presented on the topfloor of
the People’s Theatre in Oslo March 2008 (without the façade-banners). Later that year it
was part of the show Headlines and Footnotes at Henie Onstad Artcenter in Oslo and the
Taipei-Biennial. It has later been shown among other places at the Bienale Cuvée in Linz
2009 and Contour, Mechelen 2009.”

– Lene Berg, New York, November 2008

The Sunshine Socialist Cinema will be sharing the stage with artist Nina Svensson and writer Margareta Ståhl, who’ll be presenting a graphics portfolio made by Albin Amelin and Ruben Blomqvist in 1933, Humanitet, with images protesting against the rise of fascism. We’ll look at similarities and differences in how a political work of art can be constituted and distributed.

The Socialist Forum takes place between 10-18 on December 1 2012 in the ABF house at Sveavägen 41. The program includes talks, presentations, discussions, debates and recitations by people like Nina Björk, Stina Oscarsson, Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Liv Strömqvist, Stefan Jonsson, Mattias Gardell, Jenny Wrangborg, Guy Standing, Ann Ighe, Anna-Klara Bratt, and a hundred more. The full program for the Socialist Forum 2012 can be found here.

Free entrance, open to all.

Kuxa Kanema in Mozambique

During the symposium CIRCULAR GROUNDS #1 the Sunshine Socialist Cinema will introduce a couple of clips from Kuxa Kanema newsreels, recorded in Mozambique in the mid 1970’s. Kuxa Kanema means “Birth of Cinema”. When Mozambique gained independence in 1975 after nearly 500 years of colonial rule, the Marxist FRELIMO party and the president Samora Machel founded the National Institute of Cinema in order to produce and distribute images of the country re-building itself into an independent nation. The 10 minute Kuxa Kanema newsreels were screened weekly in cinemas and through mobile screening units transported around the country in old VW buses.

The people working on these newsreels were all novices, educated by foreign filmmakers invited by FRELIMO from Yugoslavia, Cuba, Brazil and the Soviet Union. Jean-Luc Godard attempted to help set up a national television system, teaching people in rural villages to film using video cameras. The anthropologist Jean Rouch set up documentary filmmaking workshops which shot so-called Cartes Postales every morning on 8 mm and then screened them the same evening, in the first instance of what became known as Varan Workshops. Postcards on film, of the people, by the people, and presented to the people.

In Kuxa Kanema, film was meant to be an educational tool used to create an independent  Marxist state. Its’ example has inspired several contemporary artists to comment upon it. Kuxa Kanema speaks of jilted idealism and of conflicting desires, of a wish for art to get to play a part in the construction of a new society.