At the occasion of the 120th birthday of Joris Ivens and the 50th anniversary of the debut of the film The 17th Parallel, The People’s War (Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan-Ivens, 1968) the VietNam Film Institute in collaboration with the European Foundation Joris Ivens are organizing an international Ivens-seminar in Hanoi on 22-24 November. Renowned (film) scholars from Vietnam, Canada, USA, Australia, Indonesia, China and The Netherlands will provide an impulse to the Ivens Studies around the world. Former Vietnamese collaborators of Ivens and Loridan-Ivens will testify about the production of the four war films made between 1963 and 1970 and its importance today. The motto of the Ivens seminar is: ‘Joris Ivens and the Vietnam War – Looking back in history for a better future’. This website offers information about this seminar: the program and schedule, abstracts of the lectures, information about scholars and signing up for people who are interested in attending the seminar at the Hanoi Trade Union Hotel.


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PROGRAM

Dedicated to Joris Ivens (1898-1989) and Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928-2018)

November 22-24, 2018, Hanoi, Vietnam
Venue : Vietnam Trade Union Hotel
Address: 14 Tran Binh Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
 

______________________________________________________________
DAY 1, Thursday 22nd of November


Inaugural Session
Chief Guest: Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Government of Vietnam
Chair : Mr. Vu Nguyen Hung, Director of Vietnam Film institute (VFI)
Rapporteur : Mr. Harko Wubs, European Foundation Joris Ivens (EFJI)
     
08.30 - 09.25 :  Guests arrival and registration
09.25 - 09.30 :  Guests take their seats
09.00 - 09.15 :  Welcome address by the Director of the Vietnam Film Institute
09.15 - 09.30 :  Address by the Former Director of the European Foundation Joris Ivens
09.30 - 09.45 :  Address by the Representative of the Netherlands Embassy  
09.45 - 10.00 :  Address by the Vice Minister of Culture
10.00 - 10.30 :  Documentary Joris Ivens and Vietnam

10.30 - 10.45 :  Tea break

Session 1
10.45 - 12.00 :  Papers presentation:
- Mr. Bui Dinh Hac (Vietnam), former member of Ivens’s crew to Vinh Linh ( Memories of Teamwork with Joris Ivens on the battle field) ;
- Mme. Nguyen Xuan Phuong (Vietnam), Former assistant and Translator to Joris Ivens (Memories of the Journey with Joris Ivens and Marceline to Vinh Linh);
- Mr. André Stufkens (The Netherlands) : Joris Ivens: ‘Politics & Art’ (also Dutch Art)
12.00–12.20 : Open discussion
12.20 -12.15 : Closing remarks by the Chair

12.15 -13.30 :  Lunch

Session 2
Chair : Mrs. Hoang Nhu Yen, Former Director of Vietnam Film Institute
Rapporteur : Mr. Harko Wubs, European Foundation Joris Ivens
14. 00-15.30 : Papers presentation
- Prof. Thomas Waugh (Canada) - Genre, Gender and Technology: the Indochina chapter (1965-1970) in the context of the Ivens oeuvre ;
- Mr Nguyen Nhu Vu (Vietnam) - The influence of Ivens ‘spontaneous mode’ on Vietnamese Documentary filmmakers during the war and afterwards ;
- Mr. Ad Spijkers (The Netherlands) : Western world reactions and the Solidarity Movement in the Netherlands in the 60’s and 70’s towards the Vietnam War;
Open discussion:
Closing remarks by the Chair

 15.30 – 15.45 : Tea break

 15.45 – 16.30 : Papers presentation    
- Prof. Ariel Heryanto (Australia), Indonesia Calling and Unfinished Decolonisation
- Dr. John Hughes (Australia) :  Joris Ivens in Australia, history and and its  impact ; Australian film culture today and future perspectives
- Mr Pham Hong Thang (Vietnam), Vietnamese Documentary Development and its approach method in new context for young generation.
16.30 : Open discussion
16.45 – 17.00 : Closing remarks by the Chair
_______________________________________________________________
DAY 2 , Friday 23rd of November

Session 3
08.30 - 09.00 : Guests arrival
Chair : Mr. Harko Wubs
Rapporteur : Nguyen Hoang Mai, Vietnam Film Institute
09.00 – 10.30 : Papers presentation:
- Prof. Jane Gaines (USA),(theme ): Comintern, the workers movement in the 1930s and Joris Ivens
- Ass. Prof. Liang Luo (China) - The Avant-Garde in China and global networks; Chinese documentary film culture today and its future perspectives ;
- Mr. Lam, Film Director , Some Thoughts on making the Documentary “Joris Ivens and the Wind from Vietnam”
10.30 – 11.00 : Open discussion
11.00 – 11.30 : Closing ceremony by the representatives of the Ministry of Culture and of the European Foundation Joris Ivens

Miscellaneous
An information stand with brochures, catalogues and other printed material can be prepared. As background a screen can be installed which shows film footage of the films of Joris Ivens produced on Vietnam and other relevant film material from earlier days.

This symposium is made possible thanks to the support of the Netherlands Film Fund

                        
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ABSTRACTS & INFO ABOUT THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

1 Memories of the Journey with Joris Ivens and Marceline to Vinh Linh
Mme. Nguyen Thi Xuan Phuong, President of the Association of Vietnamese Veteran Filmmakers


abstract
 

About Xuan Phuong
Ms. Xuan Phuong was born near Hue in 1929. She left home at the age of 16 joining the Vietminh and becoming a barefoot revolutionary in the jungle. She studied medicine and has been a chemist, physician, journalist, filmmaker, touring service operator, and art gallery owner/director as well as a wife and mother of three sons. In 1964 she was asked to assist Joris Ivens during the shooting of his films as his translator (French-VietNamese), but soon she did much more. Inspired by Ivens she became a filmmaker herself. After her retirement she opened one of the first private art galleries in Ho Chi Minh City of which she is the owner and manager active until today. With this Lotus Gallery she presents Vietnamese painters around the world, especially in France. In 2004 she published her autobiography ‘Ao Dai: My War, My Country, My Vietnam’. The French government awarded her in 2011 with the Legion d’honneur for her efforts improving the relationship between Vietnam and France through art and culture.

Joris Ivens with the film crew of Le ciel, la terre, 1963. Second from right: Ms. Xuan Phuong


2 Genre, Gender and Technology: the Indochina chapter (1965-1970) in the context of the Ivens oeuvre
Thomas Waugh, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec Canada.


Joris Ivens’ and Marceline Loridan’s five Indochina films (1965-1970) constitute a unique episode in a prolific career of documentary production spanning almost 80 years: Le Ciel, la terre [The Threatening Sky /the sky, the earth], 1966; Loin du Vietnam [Far From Vietnam], 1967; Le 17me Parallèle [The 17th Parallel], 1968; Le peuple et ses fusils [The People and their Guns], 1970; and Rencontre avec le président Ho Chi Minh [Meeting with President Ho Chi Minh], 1970. But these films also embody much continuity, of course, with the artistic and political themes and tendencies of an exceptional contribution to world cinema. In this brief overview, I would like to trace certain generic continuities in these works in relation to other chapters in Ivens’ career, accent emerging themes and structures around gender that he discovered and reinforced in Vietnam, and cast light on the shifting technological and political landscape of the 1960s—in Europe and around the world. Although three of these films suffer from neglect and almost total inaccessibility, together the five works offer an opportunity to historicize and revisit a remarkable artistic testimony and collaboration.



About Thomas Waugh

Thomas Waugh is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus, School of Cinema and Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec Canada. His PhD dissertation from 1981 (Columbia University, New York), entitled ‘Joris Ivens and the Evolution of the Radical Documentary’, already focussed on Ivens’ film oeuvre – although only his films until 1945 – and the role of political committed cinema. His research publications and teaching on documentary have also touched on Quebec direct cinema, the National Film Board of Canada, independent work from India, and committed cinema. His interests in sexual representation span queer film and video, pornography and homoeroticism in moving image media as well as photography and graphic art,Canadian and Quebec cinema, and HIV/AIDS. Waugh's books include the anthologies, Show Us Life: Towards a History and Aesthetics of the Committed Documentary (1984) , Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada (with Michael Baker and Ezra Winton, 2010), The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson (with Brenda Longfellow and Scott MacKenzie, 2013), and I Confess: Constructing the Self in the Third Sexual Revolution (with Brandon Arroyo, forthcoming 2017); the collections The Fruit Machine: Twenty Years of Writings on Queer Cinema (2000) and The Right to Play Oneself: Looking back on Documentary Film (2011);the monographs Hard to Imagine: Gay Male Eroticism in Photography and Film from their Beginnings to Stonewall (1996), The Romance of Transgression in Canada: Sexualities, Nations, Moving Images (2006), Montreal Main (2010), and the edited art books Outlines:Underground Gay Graphics From Before Stonewall (2002), Lust Unearthed: Vintage Gay Graphics from the Dubek Collection (with Willie Walker, 2004), Gay Art: A Historic Collection (scholarly edition, with Felix Lance Falkon, 2006), and Comin' At Ya! The Homoerotic 3-D Photographs of Denny Denfield (with David L. Chapman, 2007). Waugh’s current research interests are an interdisciplinary approach to confessionality. He is also co-editor with Matthew Hays of the series of 19 monographs Queer Film Classics (Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver). He was the founder of the Concordia Community Lecture Series on HIV/AIDS 1993-2017, and of the Queer Media Database Canada-Quebec, 2006-.
His The Conscience of Cinema: The Works of Joris Ivens 1912-1989 (2016) was awarded with the Katherine Singer Kovács Book Award for outstanding scholarship in cinema and media studies on March 28th, during the 2017 annual meeting of The Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) in Chicago. This book can be read through Open Access: http://en.aup.nl/download/9789048525256.pdf

3 Indonesia Calling and Unfinished Decolonisation
Ariel Heryanto, Monash University, Melbourne (Australia)


Indonesia is the world’s first colony of Europe to declare its independence in 1945, soon after the end of World War II. In the years that followed, this self-proclaimed independence was met with military aggression from its former colonial power, The Netherlands. Indonesia survived the attack, and it gained full sovereignty in 1949, thanks to the trans-national support and solidarity from many governments and non-government groups. One of the earliest and critical forms of support was the collaborative efforts of multi-national maritime workers in Australia and Joris Ivens-led team who produced a documentary film, Indonesia Calling (1946).
However, Indonesia’s decolonisation did not complete in 1949. In fact, contemporary public life in Indonesia appears to be stuck in a semi-colonial state of mind. In the pursuit of an ‘authentically Indonesian’ nation-state, for decades Indonesians have denied the civil rights of fellow citizens for allegedly being less authentically Indonesian. A key to the longstanding efficacy of such exclusionary ethno-nationalism is the failure to recognise the trans-national solidarity that helped give birth to independent Indonesia. For these reasons, revisiting the broader context of Ivens’s Indonesia Calling has the great political value in looking at Indonesia today, and imagining a better Indonesia in the future.



About Ariel Heryanto
Ariel Heryanto is Herb Feith Professor for the Study of Indonesia, and Director of Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre. He is also affiliated Anthropology at the School of Social Sciences.
Ariel’s long-standing contribution to the international scholarly community has been distributed in three broad and related areas: (i) the everyday politics of identity; (ii) trans-regional collaborations for building a post-Cold War Asian studies; and (iii) a search for innovative dialogues between area studies and the “new humanities”, particularly cultural studies, media studies, and postcolonial studies. While Indonesia is the country he knows best, he is keen on comparative studies across Asia and beyond. In 2016 he was invited to study and teach for half a year at the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies about decolonisation in Indonesia and its relationship with Australia and Joris Ivens first anti-colonial film Indonesia Calling. It resulted in the lecture ‘Decolonializing Indonesia: The Left and Indonesia Calling’. In the summer of 2017 he lectured about the same subject in Jakarta. Video recording of his lecture on YouTube has attracted more than 81,000 views..
He is the author of Identity and Pleasure; the politics of Indonesian screen culture, Singapore: NUS Press (2014); State terrorism and political identity in Indonesia: Fatally belonging, London: Routledge (2007), editor of Popular culture in Indonesia: Fluid identities in post-authoritarian politics, London & New York: Routledge (2008. His current research investigates Indonesia’s postcoloniality. Hundreds of his published writings, in English and Indonesian, are available for download at https://arielheryanto.wordpress.com/.

4   Joris Ivens and the International Film and Photo Leagues
Jane M. Gaines, Columbia University (USA)

A century ago, the Internationale Arbeithilfe (IAH) was founded by Lenin in Berlin in with the goal of supporting workers and their families worldwide. The Comintern-linked IAH also began to take on cultural responsibilities, in Soviet Russia distributing German films around 1922. By 1929 in Germany, Weltfilm, a group connected to the IAH, expanded to make workers’ newsreels as well as short documentaries. The same year, The Proletarian Film League of Japan or Prokino was founded, lasting between 1929 and1934. From exhibiting and distributing Soviet films they evolved into still photography and newsreel production groups. When they became producers, the IAH was by 1930 supporting these workers’ photo leagues established not only in Germany and Japan but in Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, the Soviet Union, the United States, and the Netherlands.  
As part of a larger project that revisits the connections between these leagues, I look at Joris Ivens and the Netherlands where the Vereeniging voor Volkstuur (VVVC) began by exhibiting and distributing Left-wing films and were by 1930 producing  newsreels. With his trips to the Soviet Union and later the U.S. Ivens contributed to this international effort and in re-tracing his 1930s activities we begin to grasp the utopian political goals shared across continents. Here is what Ivens’s scholar Tom Waugh calls the “utopian dream of community use of film as an instrument of change.” How exactly did Ivens contribute to the internationalization of this dream? As German Comintern organizer Willi Muzenberg expressed it at the 1925 Berlin congress, they wanted above all to “link the Western proletariat with the proletariat of the East.”




About Jane M. Gaines    
Jane Gaines is professor in the Film Program and the Institute of Comparative Literature and Cultures School of the Arts at Columbia University in New York. She is the award-winning author of two books: Contested Culture: The Image, the Voice and the Law and Fire and Desire: Mixed Race Movies in the Silent Era, both of which received the Katherine Singer Kovacs prize from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She received an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholarly Award for her book on early cinema, Fictioning Histories: Women Film Pioneers and is working on The Documentary Destiny of Cinema. She has published articles on intellectual property, documentary theory, feminism and film, early cinema, fashion and film, and critical race theory in Cinema Journal, Screen, Cultural Studies, Framework, Camera Obscura, and Women and Performance. She founded the Women Film Pioneers digital archive published by Columbia University Libraries in 2013. This research was supported as well by a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship.
Biography
She received her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University.
Prof. Gaines taught at Duke University where she founded the film program and was Luce Distinguished Professor at Vassar College as well as Kersten Hesselgren Honorary Chair at the University of Stockholm. Together with Michael Renov she founded in 1993 the Visible Evidence: Strategies and Practices in Documentary Conference, which has been one of the most influential conferences for film and media professionals all over the world. Visible Evidence is a “collective” in the best sense of the term—representing a wide and interdisciplinary range of global documentary scholarship—and has become the annual travelling event attended by film and media scholars, critics, filmmakers, film programmers, curators, and other professionals involved in the study and practice of documentary film and media. Visible Evidence today has a membership of nearly nine hundred, spread over a large part of the globe.

5    The Legacies of Joris Ivens and the Interwar International Avant-Garde
Liang Luo, University of Kentucky, USA


As a transnational agent of avant-garde documentary and international socialism, Joris Ivens connected the interwar avant-garde with socialist cultural production in East Berlin, Paris, Beijing, and Hanoi. Before his departure for Paris in 1957, Ivens was orchestrating documentary films on international women’s and workers’ movements in East Berlin, collaborating with Paul Robeson, Bertolt Brecht, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Pablo Picasso across the “Iron Curtain.” His documentary Zao chun (Before Spring, or Lettres de Chine), shot in China and narrated in Chinese, produced by the CNDFS in Beijing in 1958, brings to mind Chris Marker’s landmark work Lettre de Sibérie (and Dimanche à Pékin), as well as Ivens’s own poetic love letter to Paris, La Seine a rencontré Paris, an award-winning documentary made right before his departure from Paris for Beijing.
Joris Ivens and his generation of interwar international avant-gardists such as Bertolt Brecht, Hanns Eisler, Sergei Eisenstein, Yokomitsu Riichi, Federico García Lorca, and Tian Han were active in Amsterdam, New York, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Madrid, and Shanghai at the post-WWI moment. For those who survived WWII, they became key players in the field of cultural production in East Berlin, Moscow, Paris, New York, Beijing, and Hanoi. This paper presents Joris Ivens and his contemporary international avant-gardists as protagonists in a shared political and cultural struggle from the post-WWI moment to the condition of the Cold War, with the Vietnam War serving as a “proxy war” at the center of the political divide, and probes their legacies for today’s interconnected world.



About Liang Luo
Liang Luo is Associate Professor, Chinese Studies at the College of Arts (Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures) and Faculty Director, International Village Living and Learning Program. She is editor of the Journal of Asian Studies and board member of the European Foundation Joris Ivens.
Biography
After receiving my BA in Chinese language and literature and MA in comparative literature from Beijing Normal University, I completed a Ph.D. program at Harvard University with the support of a Harvard-Yenching Doctoral Fellowship. I studied Japanese at Harvard and went to Tokyo with the support of a Reischauer Institute Fellowship, where I participated in research seminars led by the late Professor Maruyama Noboru and Professor Fujii Shozo at Tokyo University. A leave from the University of Kentucky allowed me to conduct research at Stockholm University, visit archives in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and deliver lectures at Heidelberg University. A National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend enabled me to exchange ideas with Professors Russell A. Berman, Ban Wang, and participants at the NEH summer seminar on interwar modernisms in Shanghai and Berlin at Stanford University.
I have been teaching modern and classical Chinese language, modern and contemporary Chinese literature, comparative East Asian literature, gender politics in Chinese literature and culture, and Chinese film and popular culture since 1997 in China and since 2002 in the United States. I received a “Certificate of Distinction in Teaching” at Harvard University for my contribution to undergraduate teaching, working with Professor Leo Ou-fan Lee in “Cultural China in Contemporary Perspectives,” a course on Chinese cultures from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia and throughout the world. I was also honored with a Presidential Instructional Technology Fellowship at Harvard, and worked closely with other instructors to bring technology into classroom teaching. Over the past ten years, I have supervised students and advised theses in East Asian Studies, Social Studies, modern Chinese literature, media representation of the Chinese Diaspora, cultures of the Second Sino-Japanese War, among other subjects and fields.
Research
My research is centered on three interrelated threads: the intersections of performance, politics, and popularity in modern China, modern Japan, and the international avant-garde; the interactions among folk, urban, and popular cultures and political propaganda; and gender and class representations in literary, performing, cinematic, and visual arts. For the past fifteen years, I have conducted interdisciplinary, multilingual and multi-site research in Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Furukawa, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Stockholm, Nijmegen, Leipzig, Heidelberg, Leiden, Taiwan, and Seoul in the broadly-defined fields of modern Chinese literature and culture, modern Japanese studies, performance studies, modernist studies, comparative literature, and cultural studies.
My first book, The Avant-garde and the Popular in Modern China: Tian Han and the Intersection of Performance and Politics (Michigan 2014), reveals avant-garde performance as an important political force shaped by, and in turn shaping, popular culture in modern China. The insights gained from writing my first book informed two ongoing projects. In my second book and web project, The Legend of the White Snake: From Folk Tales to Popular Culture, I set out to further explore the intersections of feminine performance, gender politics, and popular culture through the multimedia metamorphoses of the White Snake tale in the context of the Cold War and contemporary culture. In my third book and documentary film project, Joris Ivens, the International Avant-garde, and Modern China, I attempt to harvest the rich findings regarding the relationship between the international avant-garde and modern China in my first book and extend its critical engagement both historically and globally.

6-     Western world reactions and the solidarity movement in the 60’s and 70’s towards the Vietnam War. The case of the support from the Netherlands.
Adrian Spijkers, former official F.A.O. of the United Nations, advisor Medical Committee Netherlands Vietnam (MCNV) and European Foundation Joris Ivens


After World War II the former allies, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, became rivals for world domination. This led to the cold war. With the direct USA military involvement in Vietnam in the 1960´s, the country became a battle field of atrocities. To understand the truth of this war a movement in the West tried to bring the answers. Despite the danger to life, Joris Ivens and Marceline Jordan went to the frontlines in Vietnam. They filmed the daily reality of the struggle of the Vietnamese people to show this in the West. Their conscious work produced results. The film "Far from Vietnam" is showing the fight for justice and expressing the solidarity with the Vietnamese.
The British philosopher Bernard Russell convened in 1967 the Stockholm Tribunal. The Tribunal investigated and evaluated American foreign policy and military intervention in Vietnam. Film footage of Joris Ivens and Marceline were shown during this Tribunal. Joris Ivens supported the Dutch working group ‘Film for Vietnam’ and film equipment like Super 8 and 16 mm recording, projection were shipped to Vietnam. In the Federal Republic of (West) Germany there was also an active movement supporting Vietnamese cineastes. Jane Fonda, was invited to the Netherlands for several Vietnam manifestations. The Medical Committee Netherlands Vietnam was founded in 1968 to provide medical assistance to North Vietnam and the liberated areas in the South - 600 medical doctors, dentists and pharmacists supported the committee. Nijmegen, Joris Ivens´ city of origin, was an important focal point of the Vietnam movement. The victory of the Vietnamese people cannot fail to mention the international support and solidarity towards Vietnam during this war.

About Ad Spijkers
Adrianus (Ad) Spijkers' career, dedicated to the farmers of Asia and Africa, spans over more than three decades. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recognized his services by according the prestigiousB. R. Sen Award (2010), for his leadership in innovative interventions towards comprehensive food security. He worked in Vietnam, China, Cambodia, DR Congo, Bangladesh, Ghana, Zambia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.  
Before joining FAO, he worked for the University of Nijmegen and NUFFIC (Netherlands University Foundation for International Cooperation) in the Hague during 1970’s, especially covering Vietnam, Cambodia and Mozambique. Early in his career, he worked in the field in Portugal.
In the late ‘60’s & ‘70’s  he coordinated several solidarity movements against the Vietnam war in the Netherlands. These were based in Nijmegen, (the hometown of Joris Ivens). The intellectual class were joining the need for the establishment of humanitarian organizations to help Vietnam. He assisted in the building of a large pre-fabricated hospital in the Centre of Vietnam. In the first decade after the war, the universities in the Netherlands set up programmes and provided scholarships for Vietnamese: hundreds of scientists and engineers working in the fields of health, pharmacy, technology, agriculture and irrigation were trained in the Netherlands through several large universities’ projects.
His achievements in the UN include, among others, the expansion of FAO country programmes in challenging situations like those in Vietnam (covering 40% of UNDP's then annual country budget), China (promoting innovative pest control methods), Cambodia (fighting against illegal logging) and DR Congo (persuading FAO’s ‘peace boats’ to carry humanitarian assistance and food to and from conflict zones).
Since his retirement from FAO/UN he continued his activities for several countries. He champions the principles of inclusive dialogue, people’s participation and building multidisciplinary teams for novel interventions towards sustainable food security, natural resources management and inclusive social development. He assisted in the development of the Mekong Delta Plan in Vietnam, together with the Netherlands Cooperation. He did his M.A in Development Studies, Agriculture and Rural Development from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague. As a retiree consultant Ad Spijkers is based in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and Hanoi, Vietnam. He is an advisor for the Medical Committee the Netherlands Vietnam and the European Foundation Joris Ivens.

7- Joris Ivens in Australia; Indonesia Calling and the voice of independence
John Hughes, University of Melbourne / RMIT University


Joris Ivens arrived in Australia early in 1945 as the Film Commissioner for the Netherlands East Indies government-in-exile, located in Australia, as during WW2 this Dutch colony – later to become Indonesia - was occupied by the Japanese. On August 17, 1945, two weeks after the USA atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese surrender, independence leaders Sukarno and Hatta declared the Republic of Indonesia. Two weeks later Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (September 2, 1945). When the Dutch moved to reoccupy their former colony, Indonesians in Australia under Dutch command went on strike, and Australian, Indian and Chinese workers supported them. Joris Ivens also ‘walked off’. He resigned as Film Commissioner, in protest against his government’s actions, and, with a diverse team of creative collaborators, began to make Indonesia Calling. The film helped to create a fertile ground for later independent filmmaking. It also provoked a covert response from the state, both in the Netherlands and in Australia. Ivens was exiled and considered a traitor for decades until finally the Dutch acknowledged he was right to defend struggles against colonialism. Indonesia Calling (22 minutes, 50 seconds, 35mm) was a militant independent film made with limited resources but with passion and commitment. It showed that Independent filmmaking can give voice to resistance ‘against the grain’ of power. Today in Australia documentary filmmakers continue to seek an independent voice. [With excerpts from Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia, John Hughes, 90 minutes, 2009]



About John Hughes
John Hughes (PhD, FAHA) is an Australian documentary filmmaker whose projects include television, media art practice, gallery installation and film work. His documentary film projects explore Australian film, Indigenous rights and political and cultural activism and histories. His published work advocates for the creative documentary. Hughes was Commissioning Editor, Documentary with SBS Independent (1999-2001). He has served on festival juries (IDFA 2001, Pacific Meridian, Russia, 2004, FIFO Tahiti 2011) and taught with Visual Arts Monash University, Victorian College of Art and Music, University of Melbourne, RMIT University and elsewhere. His documentary practice is acknowledged with industry and critical awards: the Stanley Hawes Award (2006), Joan Long Award, achievement in film history (2006), NSW Premier’s History Prize (audio-visual 2007), Critics Circle Best Feature Documentary (2006) Australian Writer’s Guild Best Broadcast Documentary (2010).
A producer, writer, director based in Melbourne John Hughes’ film Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia (90 minutes, 2009) premiered at IDFA, Amsterdam and screened on ABC TV in 2009. It was the third in a trilogy of films reflecting on film on the left in Australia: Film-Work (45 minutes, 1981) on the Waterside Workers Federation Film Unit (1954-58) and The Archive Project (98 minutes, 2006) on the Realist Film Unit in early post-war Melbourne. Other recent works Love & Fury: Judith Wright and ‘Nugget’ Coombs (2013, 28 minutes) ABC TV and for cinema Trespass 9:16 (Adelaide Film Festival commission 2015). His recent publications include The Archive Project: the Realist Film Unit in Cold War Australia (ATOM 2013), essays as book chapters and journal articles for Arena Magazine, Studies in Australasian Cinema, Senses of Cinema, Southpaw and Studies in Documentary Film. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2016. He is an Adjunct Professor, School of Media and Communication, College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University and Honorary Fellow, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne and is currently a Research Associate with the University of Canberra contributing to an ARC Research Project: 'The Utilitarian Film in Australia 1945-1980'. The Films of John Hughes: a history of independent screen production in Australia (Cumming, 2014) is published by ATOM. John Hughes’ website: www.earlyworks.com.au

8- Joris Ivens: 'Politics & Art' (especially in the light of Dutch Art)
André Stufkens, senior advisor European Foundation Joris Ivens


The film oeuvre of Joris Ivens with some eighty films between 1912 and 1988 is extreme and unique, reflecting an extreme 20th century, the age of ideological wars, connecting countries, cultures and migrants with each other on a global scale. Ivens is one of the global nomads, crossing geographical, political and cultural borders, who created modernity in art & culture. In the reception of his work scholars often present the extremities of his oeuvre as seemingly insurmountable oppositions. For instance: documentary film versus fiction, poetry versus politics, propaganda versus art, avant-garde versus committed documentary or communist versus capitalist. Joris Ivens himself more then once opposed strongly to this analysis and declared that there is no difference between Ivens the poet, Ivens the political filmmaker or Ivens the activist. In fact his entire body of work show an extraordinary strong organic consistency from the very beginning until the end, relating a rich variety of completely different film styles, modes, themes, subjects and film technologies with each other. According to this concept politics and art are intense connected. Which role did art play in Ivens’ films and how is art connected to politics? And what similarities can be seen between Ivens’ films and Dutch art, this world famous tradition in the visual arts with familiar names as the Van Lymborch brothers, Breughel, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Mondriaan?



About André Stufkens

André Stufkens has been director of the European Foundation Joris Ivens in Nijmegen between 1997 and 2017. He studied at the Academy for Visual Arts in Arnhem and teached arts, photography, film and art history. As an archivist he succeeded in expanding the Joris Ivens collection with 200% and created a platform for on-line consultation of the Ivens-documents. The Foundation initiated and/or supported during the past twenty years activities in 43 countries. He published about Joris Ivens books, like: Passages (1999), Cinema without Borders. The films of Joris Ivens (New York 2002), Joris Ivens Wereldcineast (translated in German, Czech), organized exhibitions, restored 21 of Ivens’ films for the award winning Joris Ivens, Filmmaker of the World DVD box (Il Cinema Ritrovato Best DVD Award 2009, Bologna). He is the co-founder, president and director of the Maelwael Van Lymborch Foundation, promoting the art of these world famous medieval artists, originating from Nijmegen, who created highlights of the International Gothic like the Book of Hours Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry (1411/12-1416). He initiated and produced an international scholarly series of books about their art and lives, the Maelwael Van Lymborch Studies, in conjunction with the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) and Radboud University (Nijmegen). In 2016 he published a history of the Netherlands Filmmuseum (EYE, Amsterdam), the national filmarchive and its founder Jan de Vaal. At the moment he is senior advisor of the European Foundation Joris Ivens in Nijmegen. In 2010 he was awarded with the royal medal Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau and received the Culture Prize of the Prince Bernhard Fund in the Province of Guelders. 

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