FILMING AS TRAINING IN THE PRACTICE OF FREEDOM | Mao Mollona & MTL Collective Amin Husain & Nitasha Dhillon

Introduces Mao Mollona, with Amin Husain and Nitasha Dhillon MTL Collective. The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Film Archive and Militant Cinema holds this online meeting on 30 OCTOBER at 19:00 CET. Join us on Zoom platform by clicking on [https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89343627345] Meeting ID: 893 4362 7345

Decolonial freedom, means that freedom looks different for different people. It’s about other worlds existing within this world, about de-centering the center and having many centers, and still about a shared horizon of liberation that is always in the making and never ending. So no to means and ends, to dichotomies, and yes to and upon a politics that Fanon would say unsettles everything and creates something new that perhaps is and never was old, just not felt or seen.

Decolonial film is not made in isolation from movements and organizing but rather emerges—analytically, aesthetically, and economically—within and alongside movements and against the set rhythms of colonial logic. It is a form of action, a way of learning and doing from below, an epistemology of the south, emerging from practices, communities and locales of anti-capitalist and decolonial struggles, unmoored from the normative spaces and sites of settler, colonial and racist capitalism, and producing its own economies and ecologies of love and care.

Film as Action in the expanded sense. Between the screen of the film being viewed and the viewer lies the chemistry that can produced a shared basis and offering of affirmation, and confirmation, and language to ask better questions, another step, on the path less known and thus less travelled, perhaps longer, and in this way, also anti-capitalist, because the relationship to time is not about expediency, but an understanding that we walk we do not run because we are going very far.

Here, we are not talking about film as an object. We are talking about film as part of a space that can allow for breathing, for better questions, for transformation, for enunciation, for bridges of solidarity that build power across, and engages in the war being waged in the imagination. One answer is process, another is undercommons, a third is participation, a foot in the street and a foot in aesthetics or film, and another always in living and breathing, that triangulation.If decolonization necessitates abolition, how can cinema be used towards that purpose, interrogating what lies beyond and behind the frozen visual reality produced by the imperialist apparatuses of image-making (Azulay 2019)?

Experience and identity are not important in themselves. Fuck representation. Represent to whom? Where? Why? In the process of filmmaking as training in the practice of freedom, we are thinking of constructing relations, unearthing bonds, memorializing debts, upending domination, hallucinating time, perhaps by holding space for militant love and radical acts. text by Amin, Nitasha and Mao

FILMOGRAPHY
  • Pontecorvo, G. 1966. Battle of Algiers.
  • Solanas and Getino, 1968. La Hora de los Hornos (Hour of the Furnaces)
  • Heiny Srour, 1984. Leila and the Wolves.
  • Assia Djebar, 1977. The Nouba of the Women of Mont Chenoua.
  • Akomfrah, J. 1986. Handsworth Songs
  • Caldwell, B. 1979. I & I: An African Allegory. 
  • Gerima, H. 1979. Bush Mama César, F. (2017) Spell Reel. 
  • Guzman, P. 1975. The Battle of Chile. 
  • Jafa, A. 2016. Love is the Message. The Message is Death. 
  • Nicolas, B. 1977. Daydream Therapy. 
  • Obomsawin, A. 1984. Incident at Restigouche (Canada, 46 min.)
  • Povinelli, E and the Karrabing.  2016 Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams 
  • Sanjines, J. 1969. The Blood of the Condor. 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 
  • Azoulay, Ariella. 2011. “Getting Rid of the Distinction between the Aesthetic and the Political.” Theory, Culture & Society 27 (7–8): 239–262. 
  • Azoulay, A. (2019). Potential History. Unlearning Imperialism. 
  • Barclay, B. 2003. Celebrating Fourth Cinema. Illusions. https://www.academia.edu/4905111/Printed_in_Illusions_Magazine_NZ_July_2003_CELEBRATING_FOURTH_CINEMA
  • Campt, T. 2019. Black Visuality and the Practice of Refusal. Women and Performance.
  • Croombs, M. (2019) In the Wake of Militant Cinema: Challenges for Film Studies. Discourse. -Dhillon, N. 2020. Life, Film and Decolonial Struggle. https://worldrecordsjournal.org/tag/nitasha-dhillon/
  • Getino, Octavio. 2011. ‘The Cinema as Political Fact’. Third Text 25 (1): 41–53.
  • García Espinosa, Julio. “For an Imperfect Cinema.” Translated by Julianne Burton. Jump Cut 20 (1979): 24–26. Accessed September 2, 2016. 
  • Grande, S. (2013) Accumulation of the primitive: the limits of liberalism and the politics of occupy Wall Street’. Settlers Colonial Studies. 
  • Gray, R. and K. Eshun, 2011. The Militant mage a Cine-Geography. Third Text. Dillon, N. 2020. Life, Films and Decolonial Struggle. https://worldrecordsjournal.org/tag/nitasha-dhillon/
  • Lorde, Audrey. Poetry is not a luxury.
  • MTL, “From Institutional Critique to Institutional Liberation: A Decolonial Perspective on The Crises of Contemporary Art’, October 165 (Summer 2018)
  • Povinelli, E. Geontologies (2018) 
  • Rizk, Philip. 2018. 858-No archive is innocent.
  • Teshome, G. 2011. Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Film. Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture. 
  • Zeynabu, I. D. 2014. Keeping the Black in Media Production. One L. A. Rebellion Filmmaker’s Note. Cinema Journal 53.

BIOS

Nitasha Dhillon has a B.A. in Mathematics from St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Media Study – University of Buffalo. Nitasha also attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York and School of International Center of Photography.

Amin Husain has a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science, a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law, and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School. Amin practiced law for five years before transitioning to art, studying at the School of the International Center of Photography and Whitney Independent Study Program. 

Together, Amin and Nitasha are MTL, a collaboration that joins research, aesthetics, organizing, and action in its art practice. MTL is a founder of Tidal: Occupy Theory, Direct Action Front for Palestine, Global Ultra Luxury Faction, and most recently MTL+, the collective facilitating Decolonize This Place. Currently, MTL is in post-production of an experimental feature film, Unsettling (forthcoming end of 2020).

Unsettling takes viewers on a journey to Palestine, a land frequently invoked yet rarely heard or seen beyond the distorted representations of mainstream media and pain-driven documentaries. Unlike other films that take Palestine as their subject, the emphasis of this project is on land, life, and liberation rather than Palestinian oppression and dispossession, which, in any event, is captured unavoidably.