Film: INVISIBLE (2019) by Shirin Barghnavard
Poster design (c) Ali Bagheri
Shirin Barghnavard has just completed her new film INVISIBLE, which research, interviews and shooting she realized while on the Harun Farocki residency in Berlin.
The Berlin Wall is a metaphor for the concept of separation in this film. While seeing the remnants of the Berlin Wall today, surrounded by excited tourists, taking photographs, we hear the voices of several artists from different backgrounds who talk about their bitter personal experiences imposed on them due to their nationalities. These voices express their protest over the emphasis on the term “Nationality”, a very strong but hidden and invisible wall of today. They believe that stressing on the concept of nationality deepens the boundaries and separation between people, a separation similar to the one that the Berlin Wall created. (SB)
As an Iranian, I have always seen discrimination against Iranians who only have Iranian passport. During the research process of this film, I realized that many people from different parts of the world including Europe have the similar issue regarding their nationality. The film reflects the voice of some of these people.
We never decide where to be born. In fact, the context of “Nationality” is imposed on us and will remain attached to us forever, forming a kind of identity for us. But, how conscious we are about it and how we are influenced by it? What is the meaning of “Nationality”? What is its relation to the existence of human being? How it affects our life? What share does “Nationality” get from the history, religion, culture and traditions? What part of “Nationality” is objective and what part of it is subjective? What role does it play in identifying us as individuals and as a nation? Does “Nationality” differ between men and women?
Here, the concept of “Immigration”, as a movement in contrast with the context of “Nationality” can be born and examined too.
How does an immigrant deal with the concept of “Nationality”? How does an immigrant get another “Nationality”? Can anyone forget her/his previous “Nationality”? How does an immigrant consider her/his own “Nationality” in a foreign country?
There are walls around us that are invisible!
February 26th, 2019, 2017 / Residency
Sara Ahmed on the perfomativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”
November 7th, 2020, Tom
David Graeber (1961-2020) on What Would It Take (from his The Democracy Project. A History, a Crisis, a Movement, 2013, p. 193): “We have little idea what sort of organizations, or for that matter, technologies, would emerge if free people were unfettered to use their imagination to actually solve collective problems rather than to make them worse. But the primary question is: how do we even get there? What would it take to allow our political and economic systems to become a mode of collective problem solving rather than, as they are now, a mode of collective war?”
September 7th, 2020, Tom
T.J. Demos on why cultural practitioners should never surrender, via tranzit.sk: “For artists, writers, and curators, as art historians and teachers, the meaning-production of an artwork is never finished, never fully appropriated and coopted, in my view, and we should never surrender it; the battle over significance is ongoing. We see that battle rise up in relation to racist and colonial monuments these days in the US, the UK, and South Africa. While the destruction of such monuments results from and is enabling of radical politics, it’s still not enough until the larger institutions that support and maintain their existence as well as the continuation of the politics they represent are also torn down. This is urgent as well in the cultural sphere, including the arts institutions, universities, art markets, discursive sphere of magazines and journals, all in thrall to neoliberalism, where we must recognize that it’s ultimately inadequate to simply inject critical or radical content into these frameworks, which we know excel at incorporating those anti-extractivist expressions into further forms of cultural capital and wealth accumulation. What’s required is more of the building of nonprofit and community-based institutions, organizing radical political horizons and solidarity between social formations.”
August 21st, 2020, Tom