Cause of Death
Femicide and exploration of images of women marginalised historically in the archive or how they were depicted. The file card of an anonymous autopsy report documents violent attacks as the "cause of death". The film constructs five miniature vignettes to the rhythm of evocative spoken word poetry by Napo Masheane, accompanied by an extremely incompatible collection of archival bits and pieces from the EYE-Filmmuseum –¬ ethnographic film footage, chorus-line films, and physical culture films. Femicide, witch hunts, stonings. Disciplined and undisciplined bodies, cheerful and exuberant and careful and anonymous. Visual spectacles and impertinences intertwine in an uninterrupted stream of loops and accelerations, circular and collective dance movements, girl group ornaments. Sketchy markings and check marks on the images evoke characteristic and discriminatory power. Flashes or embedded x-rays of skeletal structures that appear among treated and mistreated bodies, accompanied by blows, breaking sounds, clattering stones. Intense gazes into the camera convey pride and broken pride, expectations and the presence of profound experience.
Collaboration with EYE Film Archive collection (in the Netherlands) Funding from South Africa: Blackboard Trust and Austria: Sued Nord Film
Description of project
Implementation: research with archive and collaborative proves with spoken word artist Napo Masheane. Use of graphics and animation to create layers of historical and political commentary in relation to the colonial archival material. Realisation: The editing and use of archival material is part of an artistic research project on decolonizing archival practices working with the Dutch colonial archive. Reflection: The film has been screened at multiple international film festivals since its world premiere at the Berlin film festival in 2020. It has generated numerous platforms for discussion on intersectional politics, gender construction historically and in a contemporary context. The film was invited to the University of Vienna film programme at the University of Performance and Music as part of the artistic research projects and its research approach in film practice .Public Eye, Private hosted by the Bucharest film festival programmed a special focus on gender and the status of gender programs shout-downs at Universities in Romania. The film will continue to be used to generate discussions on gender issues in a historical and contemporary context. It will be used to address artistic research strategies in film practice and pedagogy.
Type of work
World Premiere at Berlinale 2020
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