small talks: location Berlin - a project by Manuela
CAMINATA NOCTURNA Two Channel Video Projection. A/V. 22 min.
Karl Ingar Røys Caminata Nocturna documents both the flight and
pursuit of illegal economic migrants across the Mexico-U.S border. Or at
least that's what it initially appears to document. In actuality, the
video depicts a facsimile of such events, a
tourist sideshow put on by the inhabitants of the town of Alberto 2000
kilometres from the border. This adventure holiday allows mainly Mexican
tourists to experience and enjoy-since tourism is always about an
attempt at happiness- something like an illegal
border crossing into the United States. The simulation of migrating
hopes and fears in Alberto began July 2004 as part of the Parque
EcoAlberto, a holiday eco-park established with financing from the
Mexican State. The dual screens of Caminata Nocturna present
sharply edited fragments of bodies running or pushing stealthily
forward, police trucks screeching down roads and the barked bureaucratic
speech of border lockdown amidst a night bisected by the converging
torch light tunnels of flight and pursuit. One screen
is panic and the other screen is pursuit
PRIME MINISTER U Nu, a former anti-colonial dissident who led Burma
in the early years of independence, was once at the receiving end of a
biting satirical skit by a group performing the traditional art of thangyat, according to veteran poet Maung Thway Thit. “The people thought the troupe would be arrested after U Nu invited
them on stage to perform. Their verse contained very strong criticism,”
Maung Thway Thit said. “But U Nu gave them a prize instead. There has
never since been another leader like him.”
The Tatmadaw’s recent decision to initiate legal action against
members of a thangyat troupe in Yangon has shown that Myanmar’s
military, which retains considerable governing powers as well as
influence over the judiciary, is incapable of emulating the tolerance of
U Nu, or even of the pre-colonial Bamar kings. With five young performers held in Yangon’s Insein Prison, facing a
trial that could result in prison sentences, the National League for
Democracy government meanwhile has been unwilling to stand up for a
traditional form of expressing free, critical speech.
Censoring witty verse
Thangyat is a form of popular theatre that combines poetry, music and
dance. It was first performed during the New Year festival of Thingyan
under the patronage of the Bamar kings, before colonisation by the
British in the 19th century. The form has always had a subversive edge,
satirising social conditions in the country and the rule and behaviour
of governing authorities. The king and his top ministers were not
spared, despite being absolute rulers.
Like other traditional art forms, thangyat went into decline during
the colonial era, but was preserved by some dedicated artists and
underwent a revival after independence in 1948. Troupes performed on the
ceremonial stages, called mandats, that are erected in public
areas every Thingyan in mid April, and entertained people with witty
verse that spoke directly to their troubles and grievances.
Under the dictatorship of General Ne Win, who seized power in 1962,
thangyat performances were subject to the same censorship as other
creative forms. The words to be used in a performance had to be approved
beforehand by a censor board, which frustrated thangyat’s purpose of
satirising the powerful through verse.
The military junta that took power in another coup in 1988 banned
thangyat outright. Underground performances continued, and the junta
turned a blind eye to some of these, for instance one led by actor and
social activist U Kyaw Thu outside the Yangon home of Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi when she was under house arrest.
The ban was maintained by the Union Solidarity and Development Party
government until 2013, two years after it took office, when it was
permitted albeit with the prior censorship of the verse, similar to the
Ne Win era. Uncensored thangyat was cautiously revived after the NLD
government took office in 2016, though it re-introduced censorship the
Maung Thway Thit expressed disappointment that censorship was
occurring under the government of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The NLD government should stand for freedom of expression, he said.
His comments came after the Tatmadaw filed criminal complaints
against multiple members of a youth thangyat group in Yangon called
Daung Doh Myo Sat, which means Peacock Generation, for allegedly
defaming the military in their Thingyan performance, which they did on
the street in order to circumvent the censorship order.
On April 15, Lieutenant-Colonel Than Tun Myint from Yangon Command
lodged the complaint at Mayangone Township Court against Ko Zeyar Lwin,
Ko Paing Ye Thu, Ma Kay Khine Tun, Ko Phoe Thar and Ko Paing Phyo Min
under section 505(a) of the Penal Code. The five have been held in
Insein Prison since a court appearance on April 22.
La Solfónica is a choir based in Madrid, which grew out of the protests
at Puerta del Sol on May 15, 2011, the day after which the “15-M”
movement is named. Formed in the run-up to regional elections, its
members, inspired by the Arab Spring, demanded change. Performing
classical music at demonstrations, the choir follows the tradition of
composers like Giuseppe Verdi, who in the opera Nabucco propagated the
liberation of northern Italy from Austria. This opera was written in
1841 and became closely linked with the Italian unification movement.
David Alegre, conductor of La Solfónica, says the same message still
resonates today in Spain, more than 170 years later. At that time he
says, “it was a political military occupation but today the occupations
are economic and ideological.” Rianxeira is a film about collective
resonance and dissonance as dissidence.
As part of the IIPPE joint
conference with AFEP (French Association for Political
Economy/L’Association Française d’Économie Politique), with the
participation of ADEK (Association for the Development of Keynesian
Studies), AHE (Association for Heterodox Economics) and EAEPE (the
European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy) Rianxeira - a
film about the Spanish protest choir La Solfonica will be screened with
following panel debate on July 4th at 14.30.
12.000 spanske sjøfolk tar den norske staten til Menneskerettsdomstolen
Outside the Parliament of Norway. Photo: Long Hope
- open studios, performances, videos, installations, resident talks, publication,
sculpture, food, drinks
May features the next OPENHAUS PLUS, an extended version of the regular public format, an
opportunity for the audiences to connect with the hosted projects and explore the process of the
The third Fact Finding Committee (UA#03): Solidarity3 explores the notion between art, club-culture
and resistant structures. “If under attack - how to react” constitutes the frame for their investigations
into rise of right-wing forces, spaces and precariousness. The theme of solidarity entrenches a
common ground for various hosted projects: one research highlights the aspect of mutual support
amongst artistic communities facing precariousness, others on the the destruction of social symbols
of mobility and a video installation looks at collective efforts of transforming abandoned sites while
private performances scrutinize exclusiveness of luxury property development.
Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the artists and researchers in residence and explore ZK/U’s space
and surroundings, to ask questions, to discuss and to exchange ideas about ongoing projects and
This month with: Pablo Alboreda, Semâ Bekirović, Kate Fahey, Noa Heyne, Pawel Jankiewicz,
Gabriel Vallecillo Márquez, Elena Mazzi, Yasemin Özcan,Cha Ji Ryang, Karl Ingar Røys, Byungseo
Yoo, Laura Yuile.
19.00-22.30 Open studios, drinks & food
17.00h Katharsis der Räume: Demotreffpunkt /Meeting Point Hansaplatz 19.00h Beerdigungsperformance von UA#03 / Funeral Performance by FFC #03
19.30h Leichenschmaus / Food 20.00h Führung / Guided Tour 20.45h Lecture Performance by Yasemin Özcan 21.30h Performance by Christine Bonansea & Byungseo Yoo 22.30h End Free entry
ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik Siemensstraße 27 10551 Berlin
Censor Must Die (2012) by Ing K & Manit Sriwanichpoom Language: Thai with English subtitles Censor - not the censors, not the
film board, but censorship, the monstrous entity embedded in Thai
society, a lumbering prehistoric beast with prejudices and a life of its
own - must die. When ‘Shakespeare Must Die’, a Thai adaptation of
‘Macbeth’, that supreme song of tyrannical rule, is banned by the Thai
Yingluck Shinawatra government for reasons of national security,
producer Manit Sriwanichpoom begins an epic trek through the corridors
of power to unban his Shakespearean horror movie; from the Cultural
Ministry that had funded and then banned his film, to the Senate and the
Human Rights Commission, all the way to the Administrative Court where
he is suing the government for abuse of power. Followed by a camera he
ventures amidst political upheaval in a land of fear into secret places
long hidden from the sun, where witnesses are not welcome. The resulting
cinema vérité is the living story of a struggle for justice and human
dignity, for the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which Thai
filmmakers do not have. This is a dark cinematic record of democracy in
action, in all its farcical, obscene and heartbreaking details.
Karl Ingar Røys: - Burmese Days, (17.05 min) Dual screen projection (Burma) - Caminata Nocturna (22.21 min) Dual screen projection (Mexico) - The Generation of the Peacocks (5.17 min) Single screen projection (Burma) - Rianxeira (15.30 min) Single screen projection (Spain)
Karl Ingar Røys, artist, filmmaker, activist and resident at ZK/U - Center for Art and Urbanistics, selected the movie “Censor Must Die" together with a choice from his own work to spark a debate on cultural activism.
“‘Censor Must Die’ is one of my favourite films in the whole history of cinema.” - Film critic & academic Nicole Brenez
Entrance to the film is free as usual. Food from 7.30 p.m., films from 8.30 p.m. A meal costs €10. Please, reserve your plate until the evening before by sending an email to speisekino(at)zku-berlin.org.