Filipa César video image of a river and a man Mediateca Onshore

Afield Trips is a series of portraits of artists and cultural activists. Each episode takes us into their lives to give us a glimpse of their context and help us expand our understanding of why they do what they do.

 

Afield Trips is a series of portraits of artists and cultural activists. Each episode takes us into their lives to give us a glimpse of their context and help us expand our understanding of why they do what they do. The 2018 Afield Fellowship was awarded to Filipa César and Sana N’Hada for their project Mediateca Onshore based in Bubaque, Guinea-Bissau. In dialogue with Cadjigue, a local film collective, Filipa César and Sana N’Hada have initiated the Onshore Mediatheque project to give visibility to the Bijagó people, their culture and the deeply entangled relationship they have with their precious environment. It consists of a media center for film and digital audiovisual production, internet publishing and with residency facilities in Bubaque – the central island of the Bijagós archipelago.

 

Joining Afield from Fuseta, a small village of her childhood in southern Portugal, Filipa César discusses “togetherness” and the importance of a process-based collective reflection with Massimiliano Mollona to reveal the beauty and value of reactivating political memories and consciousness. Connecting stories from her family history, César approaches the archive of collective memory as a journey through images and the process of engaging with them. She investigates images as vehicles for social gathering or assembly and questions the idea of authorship connected with colonial power structures. We are all connected but interdependent; “Togetherness” is not only about forging equality or social transformation but also about realizing the nature of the entanglements between people and their environments.

 

Filipa César is an artist and filmmaker interested in the porous borders between the moving image and its reception, fictional dimensions of the documentary, and the economics, politics, and poetics inherent to cinema praxis. She uses media to expose counter narratives of resistance to historicism. Since 2011, César has been looking into the origins of cinema in Guinea-Bissau, its imaginaries, and potencies and developing this research into the collective project “Luta ca caba inda” (“The struggle is not over yet”).

 

She was a participant of the research projects “Living Archive” (2011–13) and “Visionary Archive” (2013–15), both organized by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Berlin. Selected film festivals include Curtas Vila do Conde, 2012–15; Forum Expanded – Berlinale, 2013 and 2016; Indie Lisboa, 2010 and 2016; DocLisboa, 2011. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as the 8th Istanbul Biennial, 2003; Tate Modern, London, 2007; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2009; 29th São Paulo Biennial, 2010; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2011–15; Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2012; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2013; SAAVY Contemporary, Berlin, 2014–15; Futura, Prague, 2015; and mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, 2016.

 

Massimiliano Mollona is a writer, filmmaker, and anthropologist. His practice, situated at the intersection of pedagogy, art, and activism, focuses on the relationships between art and political economy. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Italy, United Kingdom, Norway, and Brazil on the relationships between economic development and political identity through participatory and experimental film and curatorial projects.