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Message posted on 01/11/2018

CFP – Filmic Forms and Practices of Autochthonous Struggles

Dear colleagues and friends

please find below the Call for re-presentations for the colloquia Filmic
Forms and Practices of Autochthonous Struggles. We are looking forward to
your applications. Please feel free to forward the Call to other friends and
colleagues of your networks.

Very best wishes,

Filmic Forms and Practices of Autochthonous Struggles

Paris, February 27-28, April 8-9, May 2-3, 2019

La Fmis / PSL Research University


Call for (re)presentations

These three colloquia set out to bring together filmmakers, activists, and
researchers to discuss the use of film and media technologies in the social
movements of autochthonous populations. In the company of those involved in
these communities and social movements, our aim is to map the film and media
forms and practices employed within recent and ongoing autochthonous
struggles. These exchanges will investigate the different situations and
experiences that produce these filmic forms, their vernacular histories and
roles within these political and social movements of resistance. The colloquia
are organized under the auspices of the research project For a Global Study
of Filmic Practices within Autochthonous Struggles, lead by Nicole Brenez at
the French national film school La Fmis and funded by PSL Research
Universitys Global Studies initiative.

We are looking for proposals for both presentations that fit the more
traditional academic format of a 20-minute talk, but also experimental forms.
The latter can entail media works or performance pieces, presented and/or
performed either in person or submitted to the organizers to be
screened/played (video, sound recording) or as notes and directions to be
interpreted by the bodies and voices of those present at the events. The
proposals for presentations and experimental forms should follow the themes of
one of the following events.

#1: Autochthonous Cinema against Occupations [North America]

February 27-28, 2019, with:

Alanis Obomsawin (filmmaker and musician)

Myron Dewey (filmmaker and activist, Digital Smoke Signals)

Sky Hopinka (filmmaker and visual artist)

#2: A Long View on Colonizing Practices and their Amnesia [Pacific/West

April 8-9, 2019, with:

John Gianvito (filmmaker and professor at Emerson College)

Myrla Baldonado (activist, Pilipino Workers Center)

#3: Autochthonous Futures, Our Future [Oceania/North America]

May 2-3, 2019, with:

Karrabing Film Collective (artist and activist collective)

Lisa Rave (filmmaker and visual artist)

Erik Blinderman (filmmaker and visual artist)

The research project and its central concerns

Collectively, we aim to create a space for the study and promotion of the role
and forms of filmic and media practices, enlisted during times of adversity
when the effects of global processes intersect with the lives of indigenous
and rural communities.

These autochthonous communities their identity and ways of life embedded in
deep historical and cultural bonds to their lands are often the first in
line to bear witness, suffer and endure political disenfranchisement, state
violence, economic exploitation, pollution and contamination of lands and
living beings, environmental injustice, expropriation, and displacement.
Behind these experiences and instances of plight are large-scale ecological,
macroeconomic, and geopolitical processes, which take decades or centuries to
play out, encompass continents, and whose origins are largely human. An
environmental catastrophe, a negative economic development, or a series of
hostile political decisions can lead to situations of intense distress and
struggle where autochthonous communities need to mobilize in order to ensure
their existence and protect their environment. During these times of conflict,
they require tools to frame and render tangible the impacts of global
processes. In creating and employing compelling figurative and
representational forms, the communities can make their voices heard and raise
awareness about their causes, allowing them to reach society at large, which
bears a great share of responsibility in begetting and sustaining large-scale
processes. Since the 1960s, many of these communities have made use of various
media practices as a way to document and engage with the struggles they are
involved in.

We are interested in studying how the act of image and sound making becomes a
part of the dynamic of the struggle; what effect do the filmic and media
practices have on the course of the struggle; how are the figurative and
representational forms conceived and adapted to the particular situation; in
what ways does the community participate in or influence the process of
devising these forms; how are the works lent a historical depth, given a sense
of the larger processes at work, while also conveying the urgency of the
situation; how and where are the resulting works distributed and what is their
effect both within the community and outside?


Colloquium #1 Autochthonous Cinema against Occupations [North America]

This first meeting will examine the filmic tactics developed by the
autochthonous resistance movements in response to land spoliations and the
extraction and transportation projects of the mining and petroleum industry.
In their masterclasses, filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin of the Abenaki nation,
activist and videographer Myron Dewey of the Newe-Numah and Paiute-Shoshone
nations, and filmmaker Sky Hopinka of the Ho-Chunk and Pechanga nations, will
reflect on the confrontations between autochthonous communities and armed
forces in Oka, in 1990, and at Standing Rock, between 2015 and 2017. Both the
Oka Crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at once lay bare the
willingness of the government to forcefully deprive the autochthonous
communities of their rights and demonstrate how employing filmic practices and
media tactics allows the communities to represent themselves and their plight.
The proposals for this section could focus on filmic practices developed
during these ongoing struggles or on the diversity of filmic forms related to
intertribal and pan-Amerindian political movements in North America.

Colloquium #2 A Long View on Colonizing Practices and their Amnesia
[Pacific/West Indies]

These two days will be dedicated to the constitution of a first cartography
and chronology of filmic practices that document the ongoing autochthonous
struggles in the regions historically marked by the colonial influence and
practices of the United States. Collective amnesia regarding the colonial
history of the Philippines will be the starting point of this colloquium.
Filmmaker and professor of visual and media arts at Emerson College, John
Gianvito will discuss the films where he explores the political and visual
history of American imperialism. Activist Myrla Baldonado, one of the founders
of the NGO People's Task Force for Bases Clean-Up (PTFBC) in the Philippines,
will present the history of collective local and international mobilizations
against the U.S. military bases Clark and Subic. The conversation will then be
extended to all contemporary autochthonous struggles in the Pacific and the
West Indies: Okinawa, Micronesia, Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico. We are
inviting proposals that will take an empirical or historical (from 1980 to
today) perspective on those issues. Special attention will be given to
proposals dealing with social mobilizations against American bases, on filmic
practices of contemporary environmental struggles in the Pacific or Caribbean
regions, as well as on insurgent movements in the southern Philippines.

Colloquium #3 Autochthonous Futures, Our Future [Oceania/North America]

During this last meeting, we will reflect on the filmic, collective, and
essayistic forms that represent the present-day experiences of autochthonous
communities in contexts marked by the contamination of ancestral lands and the
displacement of populations, and that also explore and employ alternative
narratives, forms of history, and ideas of coexistence. Karrabing Film
Collective will present its work borne of its community in Northern Australia,
and filmmakers Lisa Rave and Erik Blinderman will talk about their
investigation on Yucca Mountain, a Western Shoshone territory in Nevada, which
has been the subject of a continuous colonization process since the Ruby
Valley Treaty in 1863. As part of this discussion extended to the
autochthonous peoples of Oceania and North America the proposals could
consider filmic forms that document the intensive exploitation of natural
resources and the threats it poses to both autochthonous and all of our
futures. Presentations exploring filmic forms that incorporate the ideas of
uchronia, utopia, and futurism will be appreciated.

Two forms of presentation

Our wish is to include in our discussions all possible voices. Therefore, this
call is open to both academics and non-academics alike, to those who either
study the issues related to this research project or those who are involved in
and touched by the experiences of struggle. We thus welcome contributions that
follow a traditional 20-minute academic presentation but also proposals for
experimental forms where the author(s) have a wide range of means to convey
ideas and experiences.

Academic presentations

Besides exploring the issues articulated above, or discussing the work of one
of the invited filmmakers or collectives, the academic presentations may
address one or several of the following themes:

Histories of filmic practices. A study of the practices and/or legacies
(archival or other) of an individual filmmaker or an activist collective.

Empirical and ethnographic study of filmmaking, exhibition, and reception

Issues and forms of visual sovereignty (Michelle Raheja). Ethics of
shooting, decision making processes relative to what and when can or cannot be
represented (e.g. ceremonial rituals, behind-the-scenes deliberations).

Technical autonomy and technological sovereignty. Filmmaking and media
production in situations marked by digital divide and in the conditions of
surveillance and tracking across content and social media platforms.

Financing and distribution of films. Government funding, aboriginal media
and television stations, self-financing, and the impact of these forms of
production on filmmaking and the autonomy of the filmmakers.

Appropriation and adaptation of film and media technologies. Studies on past
and new ways to indigenizing film and technology through Indigenous Eyes
(Myron Dewey).

The historicity of images and their ability to capture the evolving
conditions of autochthonous struggles. The capacity of films at once to
document the urgency (occurrences of state violence) and to construct in the
long run the vernacular memories of autochthonous struggles.

Sonic ecology of struggles. Oral histories, chants and protest songs in

Uchronia, utopia, futurism. The futures and alternative realities
imagined, forgotten, or reinvented by the filmic practices of autochthonous

Experimental forms

We invite proposals for experimental forms that can be constituted of media
works (e.g. moving image, sound), involve a performance (e.g. monologue,
dialogue, reenactment, dramatization). To encourage and facilitate the
participation of those who are unable to travel to Paris, we also welcome
proposals for performative forms that could be staged and directed from a
distance following notes submitted by the author(s). For the latter, the
author(s) would have at their disposal the bodies and voices of the organizers
and participants of the colloquia and the entire space where the event takes
place (depending on the day, a movie theater, a conference room).

The piece can last up to 20 minutes. The authors can use the language of their
choice while the non-English works should be accompanied by an English
translation. Thematically, the authors have complete freedom in their
proposals as long as they touch upon the central concerns of this research
project and follow the regional boundaries of one the three colloquia. For
works to be directed from a distance, the organizers commit to discuss the
directions/staging beforehand and, if necessary, organize a rehearsal. The
performative forms could be filmed/recorded by the organizers following the
authors instructions and within the technical means at our disposal. The
unedited rushes will then be sent to the authors who can freely archive, edit,
or distribute these materials.

The proposals for experimental forms should specify:

the form of the piece (sound recording, video, dialogue...);

the technical and/or human means necessary for the production of the piece
(number of participants, props, technical requirements for the presentation of
sound and moving images...);

a 300-word summary of the performance/stage piece;

if applicable, indications as to the recording and possible uses of the

The authors should be aware of the aforementioned constraints, the specificity
of the resources at their disposal, adapt their works to them accordingly, and
keep in mind the importance of notations and instructions to be included with
their final work if it is to be directed from a distance.

In order to ensure that the work be presented in the best possible conditions
the final work should be received by the organizers at the latest three weeks
before the event.

Calendar and Practical Questions

Please submit your proposal before December 1, 2019, to: alopai@hotmail.com
and larcherj@hotmail.fr. The proposals should specify the chosen colloquium,
the presentations format (performance / video / academic presentation, etc.),
include a summary of the academic presentation (500 words) or the experimental
form (300 words), a short biographical note, and, if applicable, the human
and/or technical means necessary for the production/presentation of the work.
The participants will be notified of acceptance by December 17, 2018, and the
final program will be published on January 20, 2019. We are unfortunately
unable to provide financial aid, the participants will assume transportation
and accommodation expenses. For any questions regarding the presentations
please write to the email addresses above.

Organizing committee

Nicole Brenez (La Fmis / Sorbonne Nouvelle)

Daniel Cefa (EHESS)

Giovanni Careri (EHESS)

Jonathan Larcher (EHESS)

Sbastien Lechevalier (EHESS)

Ricardo Matos Cabo (Birkbeck University of London)

Alo Paistik (EHESS)

Perrine Poupin (EHESS)

Caroline San Martin (La Fmis)

Skaya Siku (Academia Senica)

Marko Tocilovac (EHESS)

Barbara Turquier (La Fmis)

Eric Wittersheim (EHESS)

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