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Liberation struggles, the ‘Falling of the Empire’ and the birth [through images] of african nations

Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures, University of Reading, Reading

27th January 2016

Camões Centre for Portuguese Language and Culture, King’s College, London

28th January 2016

The fortieth anniversary of Portuguese decolonisation of Africa has acted as a catalyst in discussing how Portugal ‘imagined’ colonial politics through moving images and how these propagandist portrayals began to be questioned by the Portuguese ‘Novo Cinema’.  This can be seen in works that were censured and prohibited. Portuguese colonial cinematographic representations were later challenged by films made in the context of the liberation movements and by images that emerged out of the national cinematographic projection (Frodon) of the new Portuguese-speaking African countries.  

This conference intends to go some way in highlighting common aspects in the emergence of cinema in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, which have all been studied individually.  In addition, it will provide a reflection on the roots of the emergence of the ‘New Cinema’ from the militancy that uses film as a means of changing society and focussing on the birth [in images] of new nations, being projected by the programs of the Marxist parties that assumed power. The aim of the conference is also to analyse how, through ‘Third Cinema’, the ‘Cinema Novo’ of Brazil and Cuban Cinema, more specifically, in addition to the authors of the French ‘Rive Gauche da Nouvelle Vague’, all played a role in questioning and rupturing the colonial representations of the Portuguese dictatorship and, most of all, in the formation of the projects and cinematographic archives of emerging African nations. 

This conference also intends to question, apart from the reasoning of nationalist propaganda, how did these new countries tell the story of their own history through film and cinema (Godard/Ishaghpour)?  Finally, it will be discussed how, given the ‘urgency of the present’, the redemption of the past (Benjamin) is realised through a ‘cinema of resistance’ (Deleuze), such as that of Pedro Costa, and by other moving images artistic practises?  

© Rute Magalhães / Luhuna Carvalho - Ruy Duarte de Carvalho e Beto Moura Pires na rodagem de Ofícios© Rute Magalhães / Luhuna Carvalho – Ruy Duarte de Carvalho e Beto Moura Pires na rodagem de Ofícios

Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures, University of Reading, Reading

27th January 2016

10h-10h45 Studio Space, Minghella Building room 102

Maria do Carmo Piçarra (Lisboa/Minho/Reading) – Colonial reflections: Aleph as an action-research platform to criticize colonial imaginaries

11h00-13h00 Studio Space, Minghella Building room 102

Panel I (De)constructing the projection of African nations through cinema

Chair: Alexandre Figueiroa (Recife)

Paulo Cunha (Coimbra) – Cinephilia and film culture in the “Portuguese Africa”: film societies and amateur film

Raquel Schefer (Paris) –Mueda, Memory and Massacre by Ruy Guerra and the cultural forms of the Mueda Plateau

Catarina Laranjeiro (Coimbra) – In the past the future was better

13h00-14h30 Lunch break

14h30- 16h30 Studio Space, Minghella Building room 102

Panel II Memory and gazes upon the “colonial archive”  

Chair: Tiago de Luca (Liverpool)

Lúcia Nagib (Reading) – Colonialism as atmosphere in Tabu and The murmuring coast

Nuno Barradas Jorge (Nottingham) – To die a thousand deaths: historical memory and the representation of personal narratives in the cinema of Pedro Costa

Teresa Castro (Paris) – The afterwardness of the colonial image: artists-researchers and the Portuguese colonial archive

16h30-17h30 – Studio Space, Minghella Building room 102

Presentation of Daniel Barroca’s work by Teresa Castro

Drawing and undrawing images and memories by Daniel Barroca

18h00-20h30 Cinema, Minghella Building G4

Presentation by Nuno Barradas Jorge

Cavalo dinheiro (Horse money, Pedro Costa, 2015)

Projection and debate with the Portuguese Film Archive – Museum of Cinema director, José Manuel Costa, and the director of CFAC, Lúcia Nagib.

Camões Centre for Portuguese Language and Culture, King’s College London, 28th January

King’s Building

9h-9h30 Registration and welcome

9h30-10h45 River Room – King’s Building

Chair: João Paulo Silvestre (London)

9h30-10h Lee Grieveson (London) Colonial Film – moving images of the British empire

10h15-10h45 José Manuel Costa (Portuguese Film Archive – Museum of Cinema director) Colonial collection of the Portuguese Film Archive. Shot, reverse shot, off-screen

10h45-11h Coffee break

11h-13h River Room – King’s Building

Panel III The birth [through images] of African nations

Chair: Teresa Castro (Paris)

Ros Gray (London) – Attempts at a paradigm shift: filmmaking in the Mozambican revolution

Robert Stock (Konstanz) The many returns to Wiriyamu. Testimony and filmic negotiations of colonial violence

Maíra Zenun de Oliveira (Goiás, Lisboa) – FESPACO and decolonization: on the persistence of freedom (post-colonial) fight through the biggest and most ancient African film festival

Maria-Benedita Basto (Paris) – From the colonial to the imperial archive: transnational resistances and decolonizations of the image in India by António Faria and Acto dos feitos da Guiné by Fernando Matos Silva

11h-13h Small Committee Room – King’s Building

Panel IV (Post-)colonial filmic representations

Chair:  Paulo Cunha (Coimbra)

Rosa Cabecinhas, Isabel Macedo, Ana Cristina Pereira (Minho) – Cinema, Memory and Intercultural Dialogue: (post)-colonial representations

Pedro Andrade (Minho) – Postcolonial hybrid meanings within resistance cinema

Katy Stewart (Sheffield) – Reclaiming the archive: contesting history and memory in Zézé Gamboa’s O grande Kilapy

Jorge Cruz, Leandro Mendonça (Rio de Janeiro) – Cinemas in Portuguese language: a methodological proposal

13h-14h00 Lunch break 

14h-16h River Room – King’s Building

Panel V  – Propaganda and liberation struggles: foreign gazes

Chair: Catarina Laranjeiro (Coimbra)

Raquel Ribeiro (Edinburgh) – Angola, independent nation through the Cuban (filmic) gaze

Iolanda Vasile (Timisoara) – The party, the leader, Romania: colonialism and independence within the Socialist Republic of Romania photographic frame

Afonso Ramos (London) – ‘Rarely penetrated by camera or film’: revisiting the first documentary about the Portuguese Colonial War, NBC’s Angola: a journey to war

14h-16h Small Committee Room – King’s Building

Panel VI – (De)construction of the “colonial archive”: artistic practices

Chair: Raquel Schefer (Paris)

Ana Balona de Oliveira (Lisboa) – Decolonization in, of and through the archival ‘moving images’ of artistic practice

Hugo Dinis (Lisboa) – Notes on the other

Ricardo Mendonça, Lisandra Mendonça (Lisboa) – The postcolonial de(construction) of Portuguese overseas memorials

16h-16h30 Coffee break

16h30-17h30 River Room – King’s Building

Luta ca caba inda (The struggle is not over yet)

Presentation of collective project by Filipa César

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