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United Screens | Rushes #1

WITH Jihan El-Tahri, Juan Pablo García Sossa, Tunde Giwa
MODERATED BY Abhishek Nilamber, Laura Kloeckner
In its third summer of researching and connecting, UNITED SCREENS is threading a new series of conversations on cinema, community, distribution and film culture in the Global South: Each month, RUSHES programmes virtual conversations, curated and hosted by our network partners in different part of the world and contexts. We invite film practitioners and technologists to learn from different contexts and practices of resistances, subversions, appropriations, cooperations, documentations, financing and accomplishments to integrate these learnings into working towards a decentralized cinema circulation ecosystem.
For the opening session of our RUSHES series, we invite filmmaker and artist Jihan El-Tahri, technologist and educationalist Tunde Giwa, curator and writer Bonaventure Ndikung as well as designer, coder and new media artist Juan Pablo García Sossa to unpack the concepts of technology, collectivity and space from the intersections of their respective practices. What should the networks and technology we use look like and what interests and needs do we need to accommodate? We are looking forward to learning from their anecdotes on appropriation of technologies for cinema circulation where larger bandwidths and expensive hardware is a luxury. What informal film distribution ecosystems have shaped the experiences and realities of the Tropics?[1] How can we explore new high-tech possibilities through the lense of analog and low-tech practices? And does the accelerated speed of interconnectedness formulate a new cinematic language/aesthetic, also freed from regressive regionalities and worn-out tropes?
RUSHES are programmed virtual conversations hosted by the UNITED SCREENS network and its affiliates, based in varied parts of the world and contexts. Curated by the individual host spaces, we invite film practitioners and technologists to reflect on and beyond the questions posed previously. Through these moderated virtual conversations we are hoping to learn from different contexts and practices of resistances, subversions, appropriations, cooperations, documentations, financing and accomplishments to integrate these learnings into working towards a decentralized cinema circulation ecosystem. Between each Rushes, we would encourage the audience to send us feedback and questions that will be incorporated into the programming of the content as well. All of these learnings will be the prelude to the physical programme envisioned to bring these voices together in a physical space to forge in discussions, workshops, symposia, screenings over the course of 2021/2022 on how we can collectively shape reality.
JIHAN EL-TAHRI is a multi- award-winning film director, writer, visual artist and producer. She currently serves as the General Director of the Berlin based documentary support institution DOX BOX. Jihan has been a member of The Academy (Oscars) since 2017. She has directed more than 15 films and her visual art exhibitions have travelled to renowned museums and several Biennales around the world. She continues to mentor in various documentary and filmmaking labs. Jihan has served on the boards of several African film organisations including the Federation of Pan African Cinema and The Guild of African Filmmakers in the Diaspora.
JUAN PABLO GARCÍA SOSSA is a designer, researcher and artist fascinated by the clash between emerging technologies and popular culture in tropical areas. His practice explores how emerging technologies are remixed and reappropriated in tropical areas and develop alternate understandings and systems. He researches and develops future and alternate realities with real and semi fictional organizations in a wide range of media such as graphics, interfaces, web, installation, and other visual experiments. He explores ways of sensibilization through narrative experiences of interaction – and envision tropical futures.
TUNDE GIWA is passionate about technology, higher education, content creation, and distribution. He believes that simple technologies and processes, expertly integrated, can solve everyday problems, promote efficiency, and enhance one’s overall quality of life. As CEO and co-founder of Orchestrated Solutions Inc. — a for-profit social enterprise — Tunde assists educational institutions across Africa to rapidly transform themselves by providing affordable technologies and related services to enhance teaching, learning and campus operations. For nearly two decades, Tunde served as the Chief Technology Officer at the Juilliard School in New York City where he was responsible for all aspects of academic, administrative, and performance technologies. During his tenure, he guided the institution’s transition from a high-touch, paper-based environment to one that featured cutting-edge automation and innovative web technologies.
Tunde is an avid NBA fan who resides with his family in the people’s republic of Brooklyn and can be reached via email at tundegiwa@gmail.com or on Linkedin
UNITED SCREENS is a long term research, networking and exhibition project, conceived at SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, that intends to create a platform through which a network of community cinema programmers can be enabled to screen quality alternative cinema and video art. These films would be hosted on a de-centrally curated database of alternative cinema/video art. We are working towards a new technology-based platform to distribute independent films produced across the Global South, comprising of African and Asian continents at large, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Indian subcontinent
Drawing from the combined spirit of the anti-neocolonial Third Cinema proposition of South America, film cooperatives of Indian subcontinent, avant-garde movements of Eastern Europe, as well as, decolonial resistances of the African continent, we at SAVVY Contemporary were inspired to look into cinema practices active in the contemporary “Global South”, and inquire into the challenges and opportunities in their transnational exhibition