A Coalmine In The Garden

Wednesday October 22:nd, we’re presenting our work and collected materials on specific aspects of the coalmining industry in northwest Scania (nordvastra Skane). The presentation will be held in a greenhouse in the central park Slottstradgarden in Malmo.

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spread from På Kolgruvornas Tid, edited by Brita Hardenby

The brilliant and angry poet Elsa Grave grew up in Nyvang, in a garden next to the slagheap and the mining shafts. In the open archive of Swedish television there’s a film in which she speaks of her childhood environment (about ten minutes into the film):

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The slagheap in Nyvang and the closed down dinosaur theme park placed upon it was the subject of our first post-industrial fieldtrip, previously covered on the blog here.

We’ve also collected films recorded during the 1940’s, the Klondyke-period of the coalmines, when private citizens opened coalmines in their gardens and farmlands. Read about The Klondyke-period in an article from Ny Teknik here.

The first film was recorded by Billesholm Hembygdsforening in 1947. Billesholm I Helg Och Socken has a short segment on the private coalmines, with running commentary from a local historian. The second film was recorded by Hoganasbolaget Inc. in 1941-2. Det Svarta Guldets Klondyke has images from the early days of the Klondyke-period, when equipment  was sometimes primitive and ad hoc solutions were common. Current day Billesholm Hembygdsforening has a DVD of Billesholm I Helg Och Socken available from their website, and Stawfordska Stiftelsen are caretakers of the archives, including filmreels, at Hoganasbolaget Inc. The films made at Hoganasbolaget Inc. used to be screened in a special cinema, placed in a mine 100 meters below ground.

Read more about the event here.

About the organizers of the event, Living Archives here.

Urban Gardening In Stockholm

The cinema was asked to arrange a screening as the endpoint of a bicycle tour around urban gardening sites in Stockholm. All part of the Urban Gardening Safari-program, organized by artist Malin Lobell and Gröna Linjen.

image by Malin Lobellphoto (c) by Malin Lobell

The screening was set to take place on the rooftop of a powerstation embedded into the mountainside of the park Vanadislunden. The rooftop has a large flat area, and warm exhaust from the powerstation is pumped out onto the roof through ventilation shafts. There are already a couple of old appletrees growing on the roof, forgotten and shrunken. The site is not completely overlooked though, as there were evidence of the roof being used by homeless people. The site of the powerstation was formerly used as an outdoor theatre, with the mountainside as backdrop.

The screening was impeded by torrential rains and a thunderstorm, and for the first time since  we began, one of our outdoor screenings had to move indoors. An audience member lived across the street form the park, and opened his home to the cinema.

The films we showed were

The Return of Lenin by Kolonial Odling (Lena Ignestam, Per Gustafsson, Christel Lundberg)

A short film with Lenin visiting an allotment garden during his trip through Sweden in 1917. The film is based on an unconfirmed story about how Anna Lindhagen brought Lenin to visit Barnangens allotment garden in Stockholm. Lenin is said to have become angry that workers engaged in farming rather than revolutionary work, and saw it as a sign of false class consciousness.
Anna Lindhagen, sister of the Social Democratic mayor of Stockholm, was active in introducing allotment cultivation in Sweden. During the First World War, when Sweden was isolated from the import and export of food, the gardens would help the poorer part of the population with their food supply. Hunger Riots and looting of shops were common in Sweden at this time, and may have been the breeding ground for later reforms such as the 8 hour working day.
Hjalmar Hammarskjold, Swedish Prime Minister 1914-1917, nicknamed Hungerskjold: “I do not believe in democracy’s ability to make the people happy. Repression from above is horrible, but oppression from below, from the mass, is unbearable.”
Anna Lindhagen: “A raw and selfish nature can be refined and become helpful under the influence of that which grows and is dependent on nursing care.”

Talk about Ingeborg Holm by Victor Sjöström
Excerpts from Ingeborg Holm by Stumpenensemblen

Ingeborg Holm is a play written by Nils Krok from Helsingborg in northwest Scania. Kroks play is based on a real event, a case he was involved in as part of his social work. The play was filmed by Victor Sjöström in 1913. A striving family are working in their allotment when they are told that they have received a loan to start up a grocery shop. But the man dies, and the widow Ingeborg Holm can not feed their children, nor pay off the loan. The children are placed in foster homes, while Ingeborg has to work within the social services. She is then stricken with mental illness. The impact of the film was so great that it incited Swedish lawmakers to rewrite the Poverty Law.
Stumpenensemblen is a theater group from Helsingborg, active since the year 2000. The ensemble consists of a mixture of theater professionals and amateurs both on and behind the stage; most of the amateurs come with experiences – their own or from family/friends – of mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness and exclusion. They have annually put up new shows, such as The Threepenny Opera, Ingeborg Holm, and a specially written piece by Henning Mankell, I Thought I Heard Dogs.

Urban Farming In Kvillebäcken by Newsreels From The Gothenburg Commune

Kvillebäcken, an area of Hisingen in Gothenburg, was previously characterized by rental housing and small-scale businesses in temporary premises. When the city wished to extend its center with a showcase for sustainable urban development, the houses in Kvillebäcken were bought and the tenants were evicted. Local media and local politicians justified the demolitions with a vilification of the area, which was renamed the “Gaza Strip”.
In a film, made as a brief news report for Newsreels From The Gothenburg Commune, urban farmers who have temporarily been working on a demolition site talk about their work and their role in the area. The film was first shown in connection with Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art in 2013.

CASESTORY_Komettorgets allotments by Maria Draghici and Anders T Carlsson

At Komettorget in the Gothenburg suburb Bergsjön a group of farmers have created a green oasis. During four months in 2011, Maria Draghici and Anders T Carlsson have talked with the farmers and documented what the place means to them and others in their vicinity. Gazebos built by farmers in 2009-2010 were photographed and presented as examples of architecture, in the context of the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2011. A Dialogue Table was set up to present and discuss the Komettorget allotments, together with the farmers, some representatives from City Planning and Parks and Landscape Management, and researchers working on urban planning issues. The discussion began with a screening of this film.

 

Act As Yourself 24/7

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Whose Utopia by Cao Fei, courtesy of Vitamin Creative Space

The screening on July 30 had a program inspired by discussions our study group, where we read 24/7 by Jonathan Crary and Nights Of Labor by Jaques Rancière.

We began the evening with the film One Year Performance 1980-1981 (Time Clock Piece) which documents a year long performance by Tehching Hsieh: once every hour, day and night, for the duration of one year, the artist stamps a time clock in his studio. Every hour a photograph is taken of Tehching Hsieh next to the time clock. When the photos are run as a filmstrip through a projector, they form a stop-motion animation in which we see the physical condition of the artist changing dramatically. A year is summed up in six minutes.

For those unfamiliar with the apparatus of control: A time clock was used in workplaces to keep track of the arrivals, departures, and breaks of employees, in order to follow and control workhours with precision.

More:  Tehching Hsieh

The idea of life and performance merging was developed further in a film by Swedish artist Saskia Holmkvist. In Interview with Saskia Holmkvist we see the artist Saskia Holmkvist being drilled in self-pesentation by an expert in media relations. Saskia Holmkvist tells us over and over what her art is about, and is adviced on how to present herself with honesty and natural authority. The artist is instructed in body language and posture, voice timbre and eye contact, all the while repeating phrases about how how her art deals with how we perceive something as honest and true. The interruptions, the visible microphones, and the self-awareness of the artist all point to how one of our stereotypically most honest figures, the artist, is involved in a constant ongoing performance of representing oneself.

More:  Saskia Holmkvist

We ended the evening with a film by Chinese artist Cao Fei. In one of the new industrial zones of China, the Pearl River Delta, lies the OSRAM lightbulb factory. The region sees the overflow of global capital with provincial workers’ migration, wherein young laborers from the inland are drawn to an ongoing reform of culture, capital and forms of working. the artist Cao Fei came to the OSRAM factory to produce an art project together with some of the young workers who dream of other utopias than the one which currently controls their lives. During six months, they attempt to express and give form to their dreams, through music, dance, and in a film which gets the title Whose Utopia. All around them, work goes on as usual at the conveyor belts.

More:  Cao Fei

A heartfelt thank you to the audience at the screening!

There Were Calls Of ‘Bravo!’

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The screening on June 26:th opened with the film With Soul, With Blood by Rabih Mroué. In the film Mroué scans a grainy newspaper photograph of a massive crowd at a political protest in a futile effort to find any trace of his own presence at the event.

Next we screened two parts of a film made by Fia-Stina Sandlund, An Idealistic Attempt and Reconstruction Of An Action That Never Took Place. While planning a protest action together with Danish activist Ulla Roder, the artist asks herself to what extent she is prepared to take risks for the sake of ideals. When Ulla Roder gets arrested, the artist produces a reconstruction of the action that they had planned together: an opera performance with lyrics about Maersk McKinney Moller transporting arms.

While introducing this film, and talking about some earlier works of the artist, there were shouts of ‘Bravo!’ from the audience. Read more about these works at www.fiastinasandlund.se

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The evening concluded with a slideshow of images by photographer Tod Seelie, who accompanied the streetartist Swoon and her allies while constructing and sailing their armada of rafts across the Adriatic Sea, from Slovenia to Venice, Italy. The work is called The Swimming Cities Of Serenissima. Read more about this work at www.swimmingcities.org

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Protests And Mines

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Lisa Berlin photographed in Ojnare forrest, Gotland, by Joel Nilsson

We’ve compiled a video program for the Gotland Art Museum in Visby. The program will run from February 8 to March 5 2014. Art videos will be shown parallell to a compilation of videos we’ve received after an open call, in which we asked for films made by anyone involved with the protests against prospected slake mining in the forrest of Ojnare in northern Gotland. Among the Ojnare videos we have for example information films made by local environmentalists, a video shot on a mobile by a woman sitting in a tree on the day the forrest was to be cut down, and five short clips shot by the police to be used as evidence against the protesters in upcoming trials.

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Faire Le Mur by Bertille Bak

When it is announced that the mining area in northern France is due for renovation, which will lead to drastic increases in rent and effectively force people to move out, inhabitants of Barlin city n°5 in Pas-de-Calais organize the last revolt of  the mining territory. Artist Bertille Bak is the granddaughter of a coalminer from Barlin. Her film Faire Le Mur shows the people of the town involved in surreal and playful acts of resistance: banners passed from house to house so that everyone can contribute with their sewing; communication lines drawn with cans and string; bumper cars borrowed from the fun fair and driven through the streets. All the while the town is under siege by construction machinery, come to tear the old houses down. The compositions in the film are based on paintings by Poussin, Goya and Girodet, classical images of revolution and lost paradises.

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Faire Le Mur by Bertille Bak

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The world’s smallest bible thrown in the biggest man-made hole by Cecilia Parsberg

The film documents an action from the year 2000, when Cecilia Parsberg met bookbinder and rastafari Jabulani Dube from Kimberley in South Africa. In the film we see Jabulani Dube make a copy of the world’s smallest bible, the original of which is found in Stensele church in Luleå, Sweden. Cecilia Parsberg and Jabulani Dube meet in a discussion about life in two very different parts of the world, and they decide to try to make these parts meet up also in action. Jabulani, his daughter and Cecilia travel to his hometown, where the Big Hole is located. This is one of the holes resulting from diamond mining run by the De Beers company. All of Jabulanis relatives, as well as all black people from the area, have worked in the mines and dug these holes. Cecilia and Jabulani meet some people who have a small airplane, and who are open to the idea of helping them get the bible thrown in the hole. In the film we see what happens next.

The Big Hole has a circumference of 1,7 km, a diameter of 460 m. The mine was active between the years 1717-1914, and 14,5 million carats of diamonds were produced.

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The world’s smallest bible thrown in the biggest man-made hole by Cecilia Parsberg

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The Weavers by Anna Molska

The Weavers by Anna Molska is a short film based on a play by Nobel Prize Laureate Gerhart Hauptmann written in 1892. Hauptmanns’ play portrays a revolt by weavers working in textile mills, which occurred in Silesia 50 years earlier. The film by Anna Molska is also recorded in the Silesian mountains, nowadays a region in Poland. Here, coalminers await notice of redundancies and the closing down of the mining industry. When the coalmine in Bobrek Centrum was closed, there were no protests from the miners, rather a sense of resignation. Anna Molska has used coalminers as actors, with the coalmines and the surrounding landscape as scenography. In her shortened version of the play, the revolt itself has been cut out. What is left is a dialogue amongst three men, and a doleful chorus singing at the end: ‘Oh, you villains, Satan’s spawn, you eat the bread but send hunger down’.

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The Weavers by Anna Molska

10 Minutes With The Working Class

the weaversstill from The Weavers by Anna Molska

Under the theme of Workers Leaving the Factory, we’re screening a filmprogram embedded within the installation Zoo at Skogen, Gothenburg.

weavers7still from The Weavers by Anna Molska

The Weavers by Anna Molska is a short film based on a play by Nobel Prize Laureate Gerhart Hauptmann written in 1892. Hauptmanns’ play portrays a revolt by weavers working in textile mills, which occurred in Silesia 50 years earlier. The film by Anna Molska is also recorded in the Silesian mountains, nowadays a region in Poland. Here, coalminers await notice of redundancies and the closing down of the mining industry. When the coalmine in Bobrek Centrum was closed, there were no protests from the miners, rather a sense of resignation. Anna Molska has used coalminers as actors, with the coalmines and the surrounding landscape as scenography. In her shortened version of the play, the revolt itself has been cut out. What is left is a dialogue amongst three men, and a doleful chorus singing at the end: ‘Oh, you villains, Satan’s spawn, you eat the bread but send hunger down’.

10 minutes with the working class

still from 10 Minutes With The Working Class by Florin Iepan

10 Minutes With The Working Class by Florin Iepan is a form of farewell to the industrial documentaries recorded in Romanias Communist times. Filmmakers were employed to portray the heroic collective of industrial workers. These documentaries were screened in cinemas before the beginning of the main event, which accounts for their standard length of ten minutes. The title of Florin Iepans film, as well as the film itself, is both ironic and nostalgic. Various absurd sketches are performed by the workers of a collapsing factory, which at one time was the largest in Romania. The narrator of the film begins his introduction with a comparison to Jurassic Park and the words: “This factory is one of the last remaining places on Earth where one can still encounter a sample of Europe’s now extinct working class.”

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The Making Of A Demonstration by Sandra Schäfer

The Making Of A Demonstration by Sandra Schäfer portrays the recording of a scene in the film Osama, the first film produced in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime. During the first day of shooting, the team reconstructed a demonstration in which Afghan women had demanded the right to paid employment. Around 1000 women participated as extras in the scene. In the short video by Sandra Schäfer we see the director passing instructions to the women before their re-enactment of the demonstration, and how they receive their paychecks at the end of the day on set.

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still from The Making Of A Demonstration by Sandra Schäfer

Thank you to Simona Buzatu at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm and to Anna Tomaszewska at the Polish Institute in Stockholm!

 

In The Shadow Of A Cloud

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Still from Centaur by Tamas St.Auby

Centaur by Tamas St.Auby was made in Hungary in 1973-75, filmed in various workplaces and everyday situations. The accompanying dialogues appear to be spoken by the people in the documentary images. The centaur of the title refers to the nature of the talking film as such, the image as reality and the voice as utopia. The language of the dialogue is reminiscent of a situationist critique of working life.

The film was banned by Hungarian censors before it could be shown. Tamas St.Auby was arrested and expelled from Hungary for neo-avantgarde activity and participating in the Samizdat movement, and settled down in Geneva in 1975.  The Centaur was found by friendly hands and stolen out from the vault of the secret police in 1983. St.Auby returned to Budapest only after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The damaged original 16 mm film was digitized and restored for inclusion in the 2009 Istanbul Biennale.

The Sunshine Socialist Cinema is proud to present Centaur at an outdoor screening beneath the public sculpture I skuggan av ett moln (In The Shadow Of A Cloud) by Charlotte Öberg Bakos. The sculpture consists of a cloud formed by neon tubes, floating above a pillar (or chimney, as we see it). The sculpture has influenced our programming, under the theme of ‘Workers Leaving The Factory’:

Hello My Name Is Rita by Rita Winde begins with a personality test which the artist took at the Swedish Employment Agency in order to find out which jobs she might be suited for. With the results of this test as her only merit, she set about applying for the jobs that the computer at the agency had recommended. The result is a series of slightly absurd meetings with various employers and workplaces, and a video where the unschooled film technique of Rita Winde brilliantly mirrors the lack of merits in her job application process. The film was recorded in 1996, but has contemporary topicality due to the various employment policies implemented in Sweden over the last years.

The Crowd Is Your Element by Paula von Seth is a filmed dance performance based on Workers Leaving The Factory (1895) by the brothers Lumière. The movement of the workers in the film is turned into a streaming catwalk choreography, developing into a vision characterised by negotiations between distances and revolutionary densities. An important component was the relation between individual and mass, marked by simultaneous fear and attraction. The performance was made specifically for the Malmoe festival in 2010, a festival which draws around 1,5 million visitors. The Crowd Is Your Element was produced in collaboration with among others the musician Sophie Rimheden, fashiondesigner Bea Szenfeld, and choreographer and dancer Cicilia af Dalmatinerhjarta.

A Ruda Road Movie by Marie Bondeson closes the filmprogram. In 2002, the Konsthall in Virserum produced two exhibitions about local industries shutting down. One was the papermill Silverdalen, the other was Moteco in the small town Ruda. Moteco benefitted from the Telecom boom, but eventually laid off all employees in Ruda and moved its’ production to Malaysia. For the second exhibition at Virserum, the artist Marie Bondeson was asked to visualise the term outsourcing. In the film A Ruda Road Movie, she follows unemployed Douglas Fransson around Ruda, while he laconically details the effects of outsourcing upon his hometown. We also get to hear about Hogsby city council making plans for the survival of the region.

A short interview with Kristina Müntzing from SSC regarding the screening is found at Konstensvecka.se

On Sunday September 29 we begin with an artist talk at 18.30 outside the Stinsen Travel Centre in Soderkoping.

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!

Upcoming Films: An Artist Joins A Collective

On July 14 we’re showing the films Pirate by Annika Larsson, and Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev.

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Still from Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev
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Voina means war in Russian. Voina is the name of a group of artists and activists who’ve managed to gather around 200 participants in various actions, anti-authoritarian performances aimed at the elite of Putin’s Russia. In the documentary Tomorrow director Andrey Gryazev follows Voina members Vor, Koza, and their two years old son Kasper who comes along to the actions riding in a backpack. When Gryazev saw the first early lo-res films from Voina on Youtube, he offered to handle the documentation of their future activities, so that the quality of the filming would match the importance of their actions. At the same time, he shot a lot of material from private moments between the different members. Voina live underground, hiding from the police, and get by without using money, and one condition for Andrey Gryazev’s work was that he had to make Tomorrow without any budget for the filming. After the film started screening in international film festivals, Gryazev was sued by the members of Voina.
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A theme we’re interested in developing over the course of our screenings is the relationship between an artist and a political collective. Let’s say an artist joins a collective in the capacity of a citizen, same as everybody else, but s/he can also participate and work with the collective in the capacity of an artist or filmmaker, hir chosen vocation. We’re looking at films made by artists wishing to document the collective they belong to, and films made by artists who try to give form to the voice of the collective. But we’re also interested in artists describing their personal experiences, talking about what happened to them and their art when they chose to join a collective, whether the relationship between individual and collective produces conflict, disillusionment, euphoria, evolution, conformity, or new possibilities. This is part of what got us interested in the film Stalin by Picasso or Portrait of Woman with Moustache by Lene Berg, for example, and we will return to this topic in future screenings.
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Still from Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev
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About the stills:
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Early in the film we follow the preparations for an action in which Voina flip over a police car in order to retrieve a child’s ball which has rolled under the car. The filmclip becomes a Youtube hit, and the Russian police start paying more attention to Voina. A couple of the members of the group get arrested and are put on trial, charged with hatecrimes against a social group (the police). The film ends with one of the more well-known actions of Voina, Dick Captured By The FSB, a gigantic Fuck You at the FSB, the security police, in St. Petersburg.
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Still from Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev
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Still from Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev
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Sister Corita in We Have No Art, by Baylis Glascock

Sister Corita
All images are (c) Corita Art Center
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For the outdoor screening we’ve arranged at the Munka Folk High School, we’ll present We Have No Art, a film about Sister Corita made by Baylis Glascock in 1967. The film covers the teaching methods and ideas of artist-teacher Sister Corita Kent at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. It shows classroom conversations about art and teaching, and includes a scene with the students going on a field trip to a local car wash. We see Sister Corita explain to a full auditorium what a Happening is. The film also covers her list of Ten rules for students, teachers and life, otherwise commonly attributed to John Cage.
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Sister Corita
Corita Kent (1918-1986) became known for her silkscreen prints during the 1960s and 1970s. She was an innovative and unusual pop artist whilst living and practising as a Catholic nun in California. As a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles, she ran the Art Department at Immaculate Heart College until 1968 when she left the Order to work on her art.
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Sister Corita
Sister Corita
All images are (c) Corita Art Center