From its beginnings, film has been an instrument to decouple forces from the space in which they act. In this sense, it is akin to global phenomena such as migration, climate change, digitalisation, neoliberal control techniques and the individualised self, which all produce a seemingly universal, vertigo-inducing feeling of being ungrounded.
Content and aim of the research project
Coping with both literally and figuratively losing the ground beneath one’s feet is an existential matter for many people. However, this global and seemingly universal phenomenon also provides an opportunity for communication, potentially making specific cases and solution approaches accessible to many.
Documentary film is a vehicle to communicate such cases. As a practice, namely through its production conditions, it can also create a moment of understanding. This form of collaboration allows us to regain territory and rebuild the ground beneath our feet.
The potential of artistic methods to facilitate these kinds of collaboration is being explored using three examples—occupied Palestine, the inaccessible Lascaux caves and Walter Benjamin’s exile—always relying on the medium of film’s capacity to create feelings of ungroundedness. The associated techniques will be methodically applied in the process of establishing a collaboration. The term “autonomous camera” refers to a camera movement that does not align with the plot. The protagonists invariably put themselves in relation to these movements. The work required to determine this relation constitutes the foundation of the collaboration.
The project investigates the decolonising effect of this method, that is, to what extent it is conducive to a non-dominant form of co-production.
Academic and social context
The project adds a practice-based approach to the existing body of research on the (ostensible) end of Western dominance and on the prevention of hegemonial systems. With the film material created, it makes an artistic contribution to the sensorial experience and internalisation of alternative forms of resistance.