HaFI 018 – Skip Norman: On Africa. Skip Norman. Harun Farocki Institut; Motto Books

Posted in critique, film, history, Motto Books, writing on November 17th, 2023
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HaFI 018 reprints a document containing the script of Skip Norman’s film On Africa (1970). Norman, born in Baltimore in 1933, had left the U.S. in the early 1960s to study German, theater, and medicine in Göttingen. In 1966 he moved to Berlin to join the newly founded German Film and Television Academy (DFFB). By 1969, he had made the films Riffi (1966), Blues People (1968), Cultural Nationalism (1969) and the graduation film Strange Fruit (1969). He shot On Africa together with Joey Gibbs after graduating from the school. The filmmaker about his film: “The starting point is the relationship between Europe’s prosperity and Africa’s poverty; Europe’s destruction of societies and cultures, and the simultaneous use of Christianity and racial theories as justification for a massive exploitation of the colonized.” On Africa was first shown at the Festival in Mannheim in 1970 and then broadcast on television by WDR in 1972.
The script is accompanied by images from the film, and followed by five short commentaries by Sónia Vaz Borges, Madeleine Bernstorff, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Tom Holert, and Volker Pantenburg.

Das Heft enthält das Skript für Skip Normans Film On Africa (1970). Norman, 1933 in Baltimore geboren, hatte die USA zu Beginn der 1960er Jahre verlassen, um in Göttingen Deutsch, Theaterwissenschaft und Medizin zu studieren. 1966 zog er nach Berlin, um an die neugegründete Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) zu wechseln. Bis 1969 entstanden die Filme Riffi (1966), Blues People (1968), Cultural Nationalism (1969) und der Abschlussfilm Strange Fruit (1969).
On Africa entstand gemeinsam mit Joey Gibbs nach Normans DFFB-Abschluss. In Normans Worten: „Der Ausgangspunkt dieses Films ist das Verhältnis zwischen Europas Wohlstand und Afrikas Armut; Europas Zerstörung von Gesellschaften und Kulturen, und gleichzeitiger Einsatz von Christentum und Rassentheorien als Rechtfertigung einer gewaltigen Ausbeutung der Kolonialisierten.“ On Africa wurde am 7. Oktober 1970 bei der XIX. Internationalen Filmwoche Mannheim in der „Informationsschau“ aufgeführt; 1972 lief der Film im WDR.
Das Skript wird begleitet von zahlreichen Bildern aus dem Film und kontextualisiert durch fünf Kurzessays von Sónia Vaz Borges, Madeleine Bernstorff, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Tom Holert und Volker Pantenburg.

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La résistance des bijoux – Contre les géographies coloniales. Ariella Aïsha Azoulay. Ròt-Bò-Krik

Posted in critique, decolonization, geography, politics, writing on July 24th, 2023
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À la mort de son père, Juif d’Oran naturalisé français puis israélien, Ariella Azoulay découvre dans un document que sa grand-mère portait le prénom Aïcha. En deux récits mêlant autobiographie et théorie politique, l’autrice serpente entre les catalogues de bijoux, les photos trouvées et les collections d’objets pillés, pour déployer par fragments l’histoire de sa famille et mettre en parallèle les colonialismes français en Algérie et sioniste en Palestine. Entre ces projets impériaux, elle saisit bien des continuités, à commencer par la volonté obstinée de détruire l’enchevêtrement séculaire des mondes juifs, arabes et berbères, un entrelacs qu’elle revendique pour mieux le restaurer.

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Ariella Aïsha Azoulay est écrivaine, chercheuse, cinéaste expérimentale et commissaire d’archives anticoloniales. Née en 1962 dans la colonie sioniste de Palestine, elle est professeure à l’université Brown où elle enseigne la théorie politique, la résistance aux formations impériales et les imaginaires anticoloniaux réclamant le retour, la restitution et le tikkoun olam, la réparation du monde. Autrice d’une dizaine de livres parus dans de nombreux pays, elle a publié entre autres Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (Verso, 2019) et From Palestine to Israel: A Photographic Record of Destruction and State Formation (Pluto Press, 2011). Inédit, La Résistance des bijoux est son premier livre traduit en français.

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Radical Pedagogies. Beatriz Colomina, Ignacio G. Galán, Evangelos Kotsioris, Anna-Maria Meister (Eds.) The MIT Press

Posted in architecture, art, books, design, pedagogy, research on October 7th, 2022
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Experiments in architectural education in the post–World War II era that challenged and transformed architectural discourse and practice.

In the decades after World War II, new forms of learning transformed architectural education. These radical experiments sought to upend disciplinary foundations and conventional assumptions about the nature of architecture as much as they challenged modernist and colonial norms, decentered building, imagined new roles for the architect, and envisioned participatory forms of practice. Although many of the experimental programs were subsequently abandoned, terminated, or assimilated, they nevertheless helped shape and in some sense define architectural discourse and practice. This book explores and documents these radical pedagogies and efforts to defy architecture’s status quo.

The experiments include the adaptation of Bauhaus pedagogy as a means of “unlearning” under the conditions of decolonization in Africa; a movement to design for “every body,” including the disabled, by architecture students and faculty at the University of California, Berkeley; the founding of a support network for women interested in the built environment, regardless of their academic backgrounds; and a design studio in the USSR that offered an alternative to the widespread functionalist approach in Soviet design. Viewed through their dissolution and afterlife as well as through their founding stories, these projects from the last century raise provocative questions about architecture’s role in the new century.

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