Aimé Césaire, Counting Song
The Non-Aligned Movement was formed at the meeting of Third World leaders in Bandung (Indonesia) in 1955, and the first conference was held in 1961 in Belgrade (Yugoslavia). In the world of division between the capitalist and socialist blocs in the northern hemisphere, the Non-Aligned Movement consisted mainly of African and Asian states that tried to build a collective identity in the fight against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, apartheid, racism. The Non-Aligned movement focused on national struggles for independence, poverty eradication and economic development. Non-aligned countries represented 55% of the world’s population, most of the world’s governments and almost two-thirds of the United Nations. The idea of non-alignment and the policy of coexistence became one of the most valuable achievements after the Second World War. The Non-Aligned Movement created space for significant transnational exchange in the fields of science, art and culture, architecture and industry, challenging the hegemonic order and establishing new meanings of the relationship between the center and the periphery.
Although there has never been a Non-Aligned Film under that name, the Third Cinema bore the denominator of the change of aesthetics and politics in the moving images regime. It had a significant place in the process of decolonization. It was a weapon and a tool for producing knowledge. Film pioneers of the newly liberated countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, created specific liberating languages drawn from paramodern phenomena such as folk religion or ritual magic. The dominant European post-war film realism based on individuality is deconstructed by the antimimetic logic of folk tales and collective film speech.
The pandemic stopped humanity for a moment, it made us try to understand it and adapt to the new reality. Block divisions are long gone, but there are others. Pre-pandemic “normality” was already divided – filled with cracks in gender, class, nationality, religion, separation, migration and exile. As we emerge from the pandemic, we are witnessing the intensification of political conflicts, the deepening of economic inequality and poverty, and continuous colonial and environmental violence.
Is film a tool in the new struggles around us, a means of understanding social, cultural and political changes, or is it just an apparatus that indifferently records the traces of time from the end of the second decade of the 21st century? What is the status of the image that thinks the future? Does it rely on previous audio-visual and production codes, or does it dare to think outside the language, constructing new knowledge and shifting horizons?
We have formed three program units of the international competition program around the idea of de-colonization in the epistemological, historical and contemporary sense. The first program already treats the historical ideas of modernization, critically re-examines the de-colonization struggles in the 20th century and confronts their narratives with personal stories and folk myths. Documents are permeated with generic fictionalizations of exploitation, the trauma of survival on the periphery of the capitalist system with dreamed utopias and alternatives. The second program conceptually tries to take away the colonizing power from the view itself: the view of nature, culture, civilization. To dissolve Western notions of the narrative itself and the place of the spectator in it. Stereotypes and prejudices, media clichés and protocols, cognitive mappings in sensually deprived environments are the sub-themes of the third program that “covers” the identity struggles of decolonization in modern imperialism.
Thanks to all the authors and collectives who applied for Alternative Film / Video 2021, contributing to us thinking different images and sounds this year as well.
doplgenger (Isidora Ilić and Boško Prostran)
selectors of the international competition program