75 years ago, on 17 August 1945, Indonesia declared its independence as a nation. In support of the young republic Joris Ivens filmed in October and November 1945 the boycot actions of maritime workers (the Black Armada) from various nationalities in the harbour of Sydney: Indonesia Calling. On August 26th 2020 the Indonesian ambassador opened in the National Maritime Museum of Australia, situated on Sydney's waterfront, an on-line exhibition about the relationship between Austra ...
On Friday 7 February students at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf will see historical footage, films, documentaries and interviews, with among others Regen/Rain (Joris Ivens/Mannus Franken, 1929). Teacher and filmmaker Claudia von Alemann will show her own work and discuss the films of others. The Academy of visual arts at Düsseldorf was itself the filmset of 'Werk ohne Autor' (Never Look Away; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2018).
On Thursday 16th of January H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, conferred the Order of Friendship posthumously to Joris Ivens. Mrs. Annemiek Nooteboom received the Friendship Medal on behalf of the Ivens-family. She gave the medal and certificate to the European Foundation Joris Ivens to keep and treasure it forever in the archives.
On Friday 23 October a film crew of Chinese broadcasting (CCTV-9) shoot some footage in Nijmegen for a four-part series on Joris Ivens and China. Prof. Zhang Tong Dao from Beijing University Beida, teacher as well as filmmaker, is the director. Each episode will focus on one of the Chinese films Ivens made between 1938-1988. Dutch filmmaker René Seegers, who made Joris Ivens Old Friend of the Chinese People in 2008, assisted this film crew during the shooting.
Documents and photos from the collectio ...
On 30 and 31 October a delegation from Quang Tri province (central Vietnam) visited the city of Nijmegen, at the invitation of the municipality of Nijmegen, The Economic Board and the European Foundation Joris Ivens. Ms. Ngo Thi Hoa, ambassador of Vietnam in The Hague, attended the meetings. In Quang Tri the Ben Hai River is situated on the 17th parallel, where Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan-Ivens in 1967 shot the long documentary Le 17e parallele. The delegation was headed by mr. Hoang Nam, the vice-president of the Peoples C ...
Recently two new books were published in Vietnam about Joris Ivens. The first one describes the life and career of Joris Ivens as a filmmaker with a special focus on Vietnam, the second book is the result of the International Joris Ivens Symposium, held in Hanoi in November 2018. All lectures of Vietnamese filmmakers and friends/assistents of Ivens as well as international film scholars are included.
Matera in the Italian region of Basilicata is this year’s European Capital of Culture. The exhibition ‘Visione Unica’ of the design group Formafantasma includes Joris Ivens’ documentary l’ Italia Non è un Paese Povero (1960) as part of a visual archive about the very rich patrimony of this region. The last decades Matera shows a remarkable switch from poor and subordinated region towards a spectacular cultural pinnacle, praised by UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund and used by many famous ...
On 16 November at IDFA Amsterdam the documentary Marceline. A Woman. A Century made by German director Cordelia Dvorak will be premiered. This portrait of the strong-minded filmmaker Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928-2018) and fourth wife of Joris Ivens, saw its final editing two days before she passed away. In this film we see Marceline serving her guests coffee or vodka in her Paris apartment at the rue des Saints Peres.
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 co ...
On Monday May 28th the VietNam Film Institute presented a new documentary film about Ivens in VietNam at the occassion of a ceremony in Nijmegen celebrating 50 years of solidarity between Nijmegen and VietNam. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of VietNam in The Hague, Mr. Hubert Bruls, mayor of Nijmegen, and activists from the 1960s and 70s supporting VietNam, attended this meeting. The theme 'Looking back for a better future' was illustrated with specialists presenting innovative technologies from Nijmegen in nowadays projects in Viet ...
The DEFA Foundation in Berlin released a new German DVD with Ivens-films in conjunction with the book Günter Jordan published about these films. DEFA already had launched a DVD with Song of the Rivers in and now presents The Wind Rose, Friendship Will Win and The Peace Cycle Tour Warsaw-Berlin-Prague 1952.
The long awaited book (in German) about Ivens and his East-German films, written by thé specialist in this field, Günter Jordan, has been published by the DEFA Foundation. This beautiful book describes in 680 pages the triumph in the 1950’s, the condemnation at the end of the 1960’s when Ivens became persona non grata in the GDR, until the resurrection of Ivens’ DEFA-films.
Award winning Canadian documentary filmmaker Peter Davis presented his documentary Digging the Spanish Earth. Thanks to his interviews with Joris Ivens, Martha Gellhorn, Helen van Dongen and George Seldes, this film is of historical importance itself. Peter Davis also revisited locations in Madrid and Fuentedueña de Tajo where The Spanish Earth was shot in spring 1937.
Name curator: Alisa Lebow
Name artist: Jasmina Metwaly
Title of the work you have chosen: Remarks on Medan (#haiku)
Year of production:
Read about the film and the curator down here:
About the curator
Alisa Lebow is a documentary filmmaker, scholar, and writer. She holds a doctorate in Cinema Studies from New York University. She currently teaches both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in film studies at the University of Sussex, UK, and conducts research that explores the intersection of the aesthetic and the political in documentary film and related media. She has written extensively on first person film as a culturally and ideologically imbricated practice of identity production. She is intrigued by the intersection between practice and theory, and her most recent work attempts to perform film studies intermedially. Alisa is originally from NY and currently lives in London.
Alsie Lebow organized 'The Poetics and Politics of Documentary symposium' in 2017 at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, .
About the film and the filmmaker
I would like to propose several very short ‘haiku’ videos by artist/filmmaker Jasmina Metwaly, made during the height of the Egyptian Revolution. Remarks on Medan is a one hour cycle of 12 5 minute videos, which comprise a type of video meditation on the occupation of Tahrir Square. Some of the videos are on Vimeo.
These shorts are the antithesis of activist media, made by an artist who was also an activist media maker. It is as if, in order to remind herself that she was still an artist, and not simply a video activist, she had to make these quiet meditations that notice patterns, oblique views, shadows and abstractions where the activist media sees political realities and facts on the ground. A haiku is a very strict, formally structured, poem with absolute parameters that cannot be broken. These videos are perhaps less formally stringent or consistent except in their length (e.g., some have sound, some don’t), and the rules that do bind them do not necessarily correspond to the same logic of the written haiku. They do make a nod to the 5/7/5 syllabic structure, in that each is 5 minutes long and their are 12 of them (12 being the sum of 5 + 7). And like the traditional written version, they do all indicate place and time, preferring allusion to direct communication. They also visualise in ways that allow us to see things differently. In the video simply known as #Haiku for instance, there is an extreme high angle shot looking down on a pattern of bodies, which turns out to be hundreds of men praying during the occupation of Tahrir. The move in sync, even though we don’t hear their prayers. Without any audio, they simply appear to be moving like a wave, completely choreographed and in time with one another. We understand the prayer service is being held during the occupation of Tahrir Square mainly because so many men are kneeling on either newspapers or the Egyptian flag, in a clearly improvised service out in the street. The ubiquity of the flag reminds us of the tremendous civic engagement, and yet its repurposing as a prayer rug simultaneously imbues it with a religious aspect while contradictorily making it a less than sacred cloth, one that can be placed on the pavement and kneeled or stood upon. Certainly for a western viewer those are actually sacrilegious uses of that particular symbolic banner. None of this would have made itself nearly as apparent had this footage been incorporated in a more news oriented context. It is the steady, unwavering gaze, that lingers on the image far longer than a traditional documentary shot, that admits for such rumination.
Similarly, the video entitled #Metro Vent is another meditation on the flag, this time functioning as a screen or a veil, hiding what lies both behind and in front. Behind it seems to be several men, discussing and gesticulating passionately, and in front is a very loud fan that is causing the flag to wave, though not in a way we are accustomed. It’s more like a billow than a wave. But the flag is also, as I say, a screen, upon which shadows are projected, reminding us of the excessive mediation of the events in the square, even while the video refuses to admit those images. Just as #Haiku, the deceptively simple structure holds these paradoxes almost effortlessly, and allows the viewer to linger on the image long enough to be rewarded with such complex associations.
The series is extremely unusual for the time, when there was such a rush to represent the activities of the Egyptian Revolution, that barely anyone actually paused to look. Metwaly is a unique artists who could both be active in political documentary making of that time, and still look to the side of all the activity, to see and reveal, in some sense, so much more.