from 27th February 2022 | UT Connewitz & online
#bfw22 #wirundsie #CommonGroundLeipzig
THEM AND US | US AND THEM
Last year´s Balkan Film Week program angled itself towards the notion of borders and suggested we think about the ways in which they separate and/or distinguish identities, spaces, and bodies in a historical sense. The recent resurgence of violence in the context of border control also raises several interrelated questions regarding subjectivities and its convolutedness that implies deviation, manipulation, and fragmentation. Based on these implications, the symptom of “otherness” (firmly grounded in critical theory) can be historically traced to designate those “at odds with others”. Categories of age, sex, gender, as well as personal and public spaces describe and/or mark subjectivities, implying possessions of different and diverging experiences in them and us.
The categories between themselves can seem divergent and different, yet their binary nature precisely includes the relation of one towards the other. The question of how different identities coexist and how do they come together in conversation, is the theme of this year’s Balkan Film Week. The suggested categories do not necessarily insinuate opposition or oppression, but they are measured against each other, thus interdependent of those opposed. In comparing or mirroring (identities) there is also a possibility to establish difference through quantifying a lack of something or a profusion. In this respect, the relation between our presumed subjectivity and those “outside” of us, can be seen as complimentary and diverse in the sense that its understanding suggests learning and enjoyment in that diversity.
The void between different subjectivities is often filled with content of certain political nature. In striving to erase the premise used in the public discourse where “them and us” spells out “them or us”, this year’s program observes how these different subjectivities coexist in contemporary Southeast Europe. The selected films approach topics of dichotomies between identities and the political in-between those two, as potentially socially constructed and thus not a pregiven condition in constructing difference and “otherness”.
The insinuated fronting starts early on in coming of age (Sestre, Pa Vend) and surrounds us in our social and cultural reality through questions of binary normativity and sexuality (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn), but also in times of precariousness (Frida, Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker), survival and contested geographies (Landscape of Resistance) and the privilege of migration (The Wire).
The ongoing events still yield uncertainty, loss, and change, and in these times particularly we strive to remind ourselves, and acknowledge, that “them is us” as much as “us is them”.
The Balkan Film Week is an essential part of the Common Ground – Literature from Southeast Europe project, which presents the Western Balkans as the Region in Focus at the Leipzig Book Fair 2020-2022. The overall theme this year is US AND THEM. And so, also the films selected by our programme curator Marija Katalinić for the 4th Balkan Film Week deal with themes of differences and how to overcome them.
This year’s Balkan Film Week takes place at the UT Connewitz and online. All screenings are free of charge.
The links to the films will be available shortly before each screening in the programme grid (to the right) in the description box.
Introduction by Marija Katalinić
Samir Karahoda, 2021
15', short film, Kosovo
Kukla (Katarina Rešek), 2021
23', short film, Slovenia
Radu Jude, 2021
106', feature film, Romania, Luxemburg, Czech Republic, Croatia
Tiha K. Gudac, 2021
75', documentary, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Norway, Belgium
Marta Popivoda, 2021
95', documentary, France, Serbia, Germany
Aleksandra Odić, 2021
22´, short film, Germany
Danis Tanović, 2013
75´, documentary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Slovenia
Programme Curator: Marija Katalinić | Project Manager: Barbara Anderlič | Postcard: Janett Andrejewski | Website: Matthew Morete