Archival Assembly #2: Accidental Archivism. Shaping Cinema’s Futures with Remnants of the Past

Every look into archives changes the present, and every look into the present changes archives. Archival Assembly offers a new lens through which to view international film archives as living spaces to shape the future of cinema.

Together with the master’s program “Film Culture: Archiving, Programming, Presentation,” at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, a symposium will be held on June 9 and 10. The theme is the title of a book that will be released at the same time: Accidental Archivism: Shaping Cinema’s Futures with Remnants of the Past. The concept of “Accidental Archivism”—a term coined by Nigerian filmmaker, critic, and curator Didi Cheeka—runs through all areas of the festival as a model that shakes up established and deadlocked structures, engendering lasting change through encounters with life as it is marked by crises, but also by everyday events.

Both symposium days will end with performances at SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA: On 9.6., Vaginal Davis will revive her long-running Arsenal series "Rising Stars, Falling Stars". The starting point for Mila Turajlić's performance NON-ALIGNED NEWSREELS: FRAGMENTS #5 on 10.6. is a find in the rooms of Yugoslav Newsreels in Belgrade.

From June 8 to 30, the exhibition How to know what’s really happening will be on view at Betonhalle, curated by Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis. As part of the series Found Futures, conceived by the Goethe Institut, participants present their projects, ideas, knowledge, or questions with regard to precarious archives and archival findings, partaking in a public exchange. “Accidental archivists” share tips on how to construct archival structures, artistic and curatorial suggestions, as well as practical support.

Festival programme


Friday, June 9

10.00–10.30: Introduction by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and Vinzenz Hediger

10.30–11.00: A Non-human Archive
Keynote by Veena Hariharan (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

11.00–12.15: New Cinephilias: Is Auteurism a Manspreading Machine?
With Girish Shambu, Elena Gorfinkel (King’s College London), Skadi Loist (Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF), Moderation: Marc Siegel (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)

14.30–15.45: Generating Futures from Projections of the Past: New Archival Spaces and Places of Cinema
With Marinho de Pina (Mediateca Onshore), Tamer El Said (Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre), Nour Ouayda (Cinematheque Beirut), Moderation: Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

16.00–17.15: Was anderes machen (The Home and the Movie). Bibliothek der Bilder: Rundfunkarchive öffentlich denken
With Thomas Schärer (Historiker, Kultur- und Filmwissenschaftler), Burkhard Althoff (Redaktionsleiter ZDF „Das kleine Fernsehspiel“), Tabea Rößner (Journalistin, MdB Die Grünen, Vorsitzende des Digitalausschusses), Konzept und Moderation: Vivien Buchhorn, Merle Kröger, Volker Pantenburg

17.30–18.45: Trajectories of Restitution
With Victoria Leshchenko (DOK Leipzig), Nikolaus Perneczky, Ravi Vasudevan (Sarai/Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi), Moderation: Bert Rebhandl

More about the programme on Friday

Saturday, June 10

10.00–11.15: Cinékinships: Creating New Networks of Film Culture
With Filipa Cesar, Catarina Simão, Mike Zryd (York University), Moderation: Erica Carter

11.30–12.45: The Vast Domain of Unseen Films: Mapping the Cinema We Never Knew (and Probably Never Will)
With Hadi Alipanah (Cinema-ye Azad), Sema Çakmak (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Almudena Escobar López (Toronto Metropolitan University), Moderation: Mohammad Shawky Hassan

14.30–15.45: Retrieving Women’s Work in Egypt, Indonesia, and Nigeria
With Justina Omojevwe Akporherhe (Nigerian Film Corporation), Tamer El Said, Julita Pratiwi & Lisabona Rahman (Kelas Liarsip), Moderation: Sonia Campanini

16.00–17.15: Lost Platforms: Accidental Archivism and the Overpromise of Technology
With Özge Çelikaslan, Jasmina Metwaly, Philipp Dominik Keidl, Moderation: Vinzenz Hediger

17.30–18.45: Never Wanted to Be an Archivist: Accidental Archivism and Biographical Turning Points
With Mila Turajlić, Rebecca Ohene-Asah (University of Ghana), Didi Cheeka (Lagos Film Society), Moderation: Vincenz Hediger

More about the programme on Saturday

Archival Assembly #2 is being put on by the Kino Arsenal, silent green Kulturquartier, and SINEMA TRANSTOPIA in collaboration with the Goethe University in Frankfurt and the Goethe Institut. The festival is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10
Free admission
Festival info and dates