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Masterclass: Difficult to see

Difficult to see
masterclass by Vijai Patchineelam

Engaging with the world from the perspective of a creator of images has multiple angles, requires different ways of seeing. One possible angle is to research multiple ways of seeing from the notion of film. Between ciné-club and reading group, this 5-day working week develops from daily film screenings complemented with sessions of collective readings and discussions. The intention of the masterclass is not a discussion on film as a medium, rather through film engage critically with larger societal issues.

Mixing different forms of being together — reading, viewing, discussing — gives emphasis to learning through peers, by way of sharing, accumulating and comparing different experiences. The attempt is to move towards a space for an active, critical and collective viewing experience. In other words, different ways of seeing informed by each others perspective.

Together we will read texts by authors such as bel hooks, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Susan Sontag, Paulo Freire and others. And delve into film movements such as: Parallel Cinema (India), Yugoslav Black Wave Cinema, New Argentine Cinema, Marginal Cinema (Brazil), LA Rebellion (United States of America), The School of Reis (Portugal), amongst others. We will look critically into the problematics that arise in the process of portraying/documenting others and later the projection of that image. Before the the start of the week the program for each day will be communicated to the participants, along with a preparatory reading list.

We’ll tackle together (possibly in the presence of guest teachers) issues such as: being together in our differences; the relations we establish while looking; developing a viewing relation with the cinematic context that takes into account what is present and what is absent.

Participants will take up an active role in the daily programme of the masterclass. While the mornings are dedicated to the collective readings of selected texts, after lunch we will proceed with the screening of selected films. Concluding each day with a discussion led by one of the participants taking turns in rounding up and developing further the main questions brought up during the activities of that day. In order to do so, it is important that the participants in charge with this role pay extra attention during the reading and screening sessions, by taking notes for example, which later can serve as a guide for the discussion.


(Image: Title page of the book "As Soon as I Open My Eyes I see a Film. Experiment in the Art of Yugoslavia in the 1960s and 1970s". Edited by Ana Janevski and published by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw)


>> This masterclass is part of the RESEARCH WEEK October 2020 and ARTICULATE | BAUHAUS 1 0 1.