Themes and Interests

The films and art videos we’ve shown so far and the films we will show in the upcoming season, although chosen according to fancy, reflect our specific interests, and a couple of themes have emerged.

rainbow

We debuted last summer with Workers Leaving the Factory by the brothers Lumière, thinking that the first film shown in a cinema in 1885 should also be our first film shown. The image of workers leaving the factory was then used to introduce our interest in post-industrial survival. Images from societies which depended on a local industry, thrown into a crisis condition when that industry was outsourced or closed down. What actions do people take, what are their strategies for survival? And maybe even more interesting to us is the question of what attitude you adopt in order to survive? How do you think about society, work, friendship, the future; how do you respond to the overwhelming apparatus geared towards dismantling your life? And how do you present yourself and your attitudes – as opposition, optimism, off-grid drop-out autonomy, absurdist artistic activism, active participation or desperate compassion? We’re looking around for films and videos depicting the results and future projections of the current austerity measures imposed on European societies. We are also looking at examples from other parts of the world and other points in history when crisis has hit a society, to find ideas and strategies already used, with or without success.

Another theme we’re interested in is the relationship between an artist and a political collective. An artist joins a collective in the capacity of a citizen, same as everybody else, but 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. We’re taking a special interest in professional filmmakers working to teach other members of the collective how to express themselves through filmmaking and art, to idealistically help found a cinema of the people, where the images of the people are made by the people.

These are just some of our interests. If you share them, please send us your links.

It’s the Economy, Cupid!

We’ve done  a couple of public appearances during the fall to introduce and talk about the Sunshine Socialist Cinema, and recurring questions from the audience usually include “How much did the equipment cost?” and “How do you finance it?” Well – the solarpanel cost around 600 Euros and the projector cost around 500 Euros. We’ve worked without any financing so far (meaning we’ve paid for the equipment through working other jobs). But – we get free electricity now. What does that mean for our economy?

A solar panel of this kind will generate electricity for around 25 years (and after that too, only not at full capacity anymore). Let’s make a couple of assumptions before jumping into a mathematical calculation:

1. The price of electricity will remain the same from now on. It will not increase due to shortage of natural resources or demands for higher profit margins in power companies. It will not increase due to taxation in order to protect the environment. If the price of electricity were to increase, as it has for the last decade, solar panels would become more cost efficient than in our example below.

2. The cost of producing solar panels will remain the same from now on, and they will not become more efficient due to research into the technology behind solar panels. This is a s good as it ever will get. If a later model of solar panels would be more efficient than the models available today (if they were to produce more electricity at the same cost or at a lower cost), well, yes, they would be more cost efficient than in our example below.

On to the calculation. We’re looking at this really long-term. Let’s say we invest in one solar panel, spending 600 Euros. After ten years, it will have produced enough electricity to earn us back our initial investment (after ten years, it will have earned us 600 Euros). It will still work for another fifteen years, so everything from now on is bonus (another 900 Euros).

Let’s say we re-invest the 600 Euros we just earned back after ten years, buying another solar panel. We now have two of them, one of which will work for another fifteen years, one of which will work for another twentyfive years. After only five years, they will have earned us back our initial investment (the two of them together will have earned us 600 Euros in five years). To sum up – fifteen years after the initial investment, we have two solar panels, both of them paid for. One of them will work for another ten years and one of them will work for another twenty years. Everything from now on is bonus.

Let’s say we re-invest the 600 Euros, the same money as fifteen years ago. We now have three solar panels. After three years and nine months, they will together have earned us back our initial investment. Let’s say four years, to make it easier for us to count! So, nineteen years after the initial investment, we have all our money back, and three solar panels paid for. One of them will work for another twentyone years, one of them will work for another sixteen years, and one of them will work for another six years, producing free electricity.

Let’s just do one more round, even though we could obviously continue on and on. Here we go. We re-invest the original amount of 600 Euros, the same money as nineteen years ago. We add another solar panel, and now have four of them. The four of them together will earn us back the 600 Euros in just two and a half years. So. Twentyone and a half years after the initial investment, we have all our money back and four solar panels paid for. One of them will produce free electricity for another twentytwo and a half years, one will work for another eighteen and a half years, one will work for another thirteen and a half years, one will work for another three and a half years.

This is where we’re going.

Alternative Economics Debated in Copenhagen

As part of the Copenhagen Art Festival, on September 15:th a debate was held on economy and alternative economic practices with artist Kalle Brolin (one of the initiators of the Sunshine Socialist Cinema), chairman of Landsforeningen for Økosamfund Ditlev Nissen, Die Zeit journalist and editor Thomas Fischermann, and economist at Danmarks Nationalbank Niels Peter Hahnemann. Moderated by Judith Schwartzbart. The brief read:

“What is our economic reality? What views characterize the different economic agendas? What are the current considerations with regard to economy and alternative economic practice? How can we think economy in the future? And what economic communities can we and do we want to develop?”

Thomas Fischermann argued for the necessity of economic growth but using other standards of measurements, whereas Ditlev Nissen argued for a voluntary reduction of consumption. Look for both of these guys online.

And the Sunshine Socialist Cinema was introduced to a Danish audience.

Post-industrial Fieldtrip

The Sunshine Socialist Cinema arranges occasional fieldtrips. In nearby Nyvång and Åstorp, just next to the E4 motorway, lies a slagheap atop what used to be the largest coalmine in Sweden. The mine was active between 1911 and 1966.

When the mine was open, about 400 people worked here underground, and 100 people aboveground. There’s a small museum in the building that sits on top of the miningshaft.

The slagheap has been declared a landmark and part of our cultural heritage.

More recently, the slagheap hosted a dinosaur themepark, Dinoland, which presented around 30 lifesize models of dinosaurs.

One of the carts from the themepark sports two pairs of re-used wheels.

Previously placed on two separate mining carts, possibly.

The dinosaur themepark has also closed down. It’s featured as one of the sites in the upcoming film Äta sova dö (Eat sleep die) by Gabriela Pichler.

For our studygroup, this site gets to represent an attempted transition from industrially based local economy to one based on culture and entertainment. A slideshow of images from the slagheap was presented at one of our screenings this summer.