Research as Suture


From 30 July 2015




Garage Education Center
Research as SutureResearch as Suture


Participants will reflect on and interrogate the academic canon of film studies, exploring how to reconcile the dissonance between oral histories and institutional archives. Curators Koyo Kouoh and Rasha Salti will expand on their research for Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the Era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy (A Prologue); Philippe Rekacewicz will talk about his practice as a cartographer, his collaborations with artists and curators, and his contribution to Saving Bruce Lee; artists and researchers Filipa César and Catarina Simão will reflect on their remarkable initiatives to resurrect the film archives of Guinea Bissau and Mozambique respectively, with a focus on tracking the recipients of scholarships in the Soviet Union; and filmmaker Ali Essafi will present his project Halaqat, which is a video installation based on research around the destiny and practice of three radical North African filmmakers—Azzedine Meddour, Ahmed Bennys, and Ahmed Bouanani—whose films he restored and resurrected.

This seminar is part of the Garage Field Research project Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the Era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy (A Prologue).

Concept: Koyo Kouoh, Rasha Salti

Organized by: Snejana Krasteva, Garage Curator

Project managers: Kira Kheyfets, Olga Shirokostup
Coordinator: Brittany Stewart

Information Booklet about the Garage Field Research project Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the Era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy (A Prologue).


Rasha Salti was born in Lebanon in 1969. She is a curator and writer and presently an international programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival. From 2004 to 2010, she was the film programmer and creative director of ArteEast in New York. Salti’s essays have appeared in publications such as Afterall, The London Review of Books, and Naqd, and she edited the book Insights into Syrian Cinema: Essays and Conversations with Filmmakers (2006). Salti lives in Beirut and works between Paris and Toronto.

Koyo Kouoh was born in Switzerland in 1967. She is an exhibition maker and the founding artistic director of RAW Material Company, a center for art, knowledge, and society in Dakar. She is the curator of the education program at 1:54, Contemporary African Art Fair in London. She served as curatorial advisor for documenta 12 (2007) and 13 (2012). Her most recent projects include Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the work of Six African Women Artists, WIELS, Lunds Konsthal, 49N6E - FRAC Lorraine (2015). Besides a sustained theoretical and exhibition program at RAW Material Company, she maintains a dynamic international curatorial, advisory, and judging activity. Kouoh lives and works in Dakar and Basel.

Philippe Rekacewicz was born in France in 1960, He is a journalist, geographer, and cartographer with a specialism in geopolitics and international relations. Research interests include questions relating to migration, refugees, forced displacement of populations, and borders. From 1988 to 2014, he worked at Le Monde, and between 1996 and 2008, he headed in parallel the cartographic department of GRID-Arendal, a delocalized office of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). He is presently working on several socio-geographic projects on the creation of public and private space and the perception and representation of borders. Rekacewicz is keenly interested in the relationships between cartography, art, science, and politics. Since 2006, he has participated in cartographic-artistic projects in a number of European countries. He is also currently conducting research into "radical cartography.”

Catarina Simão was born in Portugal in 1972. She is an artist and independent researcher. Simão is known for her essay-like displays, using documentation, writing, video, and drawing. She also engages in radio shows and public talks, participatory workshops, curating film screenings, and publishing. Her practice is built on long-term research-based projects that entail collaborative partnerships and different forms of presentation to the public. Her work has been presented at Serralves Museum (2010), Manifesta 8 (2010), Africa.cont (2011), and other institutions across Europe and Mozambique, as well as Beirut, Zagreb, and New York.

Ali Essafi was born in Morocco in 1963. He studied psychology in France before entering the world of filmmaking. His works as a director include: General, Here We Are (1997); The Silence of the Beet Fields (1998); Ouarzazate Movie (2001); and Shikhat’s Blues (2004), which have been widely screened and praised on the international circuit. His latest production, Wanted, commissioned by the 10th Sharjah Art Biennial, has been selected for exhibition worldwide. He lives and works in Morocco and Brazil.

Filipa César was born in Portugal in 1975. She is an artist and filmmaker interested in the porous relationship between the moving image and its public reception; the fictional aspects of the documentary genre; and the politics and poetics inherent to the production of moving images. Between 2008 and 2010, the majority of César's experimental films have focused on Portugal’s recent past, questioning mechanisms of history production and proposing spaces for performing subjective knowledge. Selected film festivals include: Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (2013); Forum Expanded - Berlinale (2013); and IFFR, Rotterdam (2010, 2013, and 2015). Selected exhibitions and screenings include: 8th Istanbul Biennial (2003); Serralves Museum, Porto (2005); Tate Modern, London (2007); and SFMOMA, San Francisco (2009). César lives and works in Berlin.


July 30, Thursday

14:00–14:05  Garage Education Center 

Introduction by Garage Curator Snejana Krasteva

14:05–14:20  Garage Education Center 

Rasha Salti and Koyo Kouoh. Curators’ Notes

14:25–15:10  Garage Education Center 

Philippe Rekacewicz. Cartography: Between Art and Politics

In his presentation, Rekacewicz will expand on his contribution to the exhibition Saving Bruce Lee (A Prologue) at Garage and explore the map as a political object that is in constant dialogue between the imaginary and reality. Combining art and science, cartography has added a whole new dimension to what we call political art. As a carefully designed image, a map is an artwork that conveys not only a feeling of beauty and aesthetic but also a political message.

15:40–16:25  Garage Education Center 

Catarina Simão. Traces vs. Outcomes: A New Meeting with the Mozambique Film Archive

Since 2009, Simão has been developing The Off-Screen Project–Mozambique Film Archive–an “in flux” initiative exploring the nature of perception and memory built up through archives. The project is centered on an ongoing dialog with a specific archive, the Frelimo film collection, kept in the State Archive in Maputo, Mozambique. For the seminar, Simão’s talk will reflect on this research project tracing stories and reassembling images that will contribute to shaping a different view of transitional processes in the context of Mozambique’s independence. Inspired by the dyad “training-untraining,” rather than “colonization-decolonization,” the artist’s approach focuses on exploring how the need for the realization of an outcome in bodies that have been trained to do so has imposed new forms of telling history, of collecting, and of archiving.

16:30–17:15  Garage Education Center 

Ali Essafi. Halaqat

In recent years, Essafi has been conducting research into North African film and visual archives, which has been transformed into several works. For this seminar, Essafi will present his project Halaqat, which is a video installation based on research around the destiny and practice of three radical North African filmmakers—Azzedine Meddour, Ahmed Bennys, and Ahmed Bouanani—whose films he restored and resurrected. Halaqat refers to the circle of people gathering around a storyteller in North Africa’s public squares. This traditional oral form inspired the region’s cinema at its origins, as well as other modern narrative genres, and encouraged interesting ways to work with archival footage to represent contemporary history. Sadly, these experiments were often censored or marginalized and forgotten.

17:20–18:00  Garage Education Center 

Filipa César. The Solid Image: A Ciné-Archaeology*

Since 2011, César has been researching the Guinea-Bissau audio-visual archive—a collection and cinema praxis from the period of the country’s liberation struggle against Portuguese colonialism in the 1960s and 1970s. The resulting on-going project, Luta ca caba inda, focuses on exploring the different possibilities of presenting, reading and performing the materials from the archive. César’s talk will focus on a particular iconography she discovered in this kaleidoscopic, eroded archive related to Soviet film production. The artist will address the unique—and today quite useful—“imaginary of solidarity” beyond the loaded readings of its propagandistic intentions.

 *Title animated by Kodwo Eshun and Ros Grey’s text “The Militant Image,” Third Text, 25 (1), 2011.

how to take part

Еntry to the Museum will be free of charge. Online registration is required to attend. Please note: the number of visitors is limited.