Stories from the world around us always betray perspectives, personalities and the creators’ characteristics and viewpoints. In the course of history, a clear bias has emerged as to who gets to tell stories from around the world. This conversation looks at how, and through whose eyes, we see our world and how, in turn, that vision translates. The panel will compare and contrast the experiences and reflections of filmmakers Courtney Stephens (USA) and C.S. Nicholson (NO/UK), photographer Tonje Bøe Birkeland (NO), and performance artist Luanda Carneiro Jacoel (BR/NO).
Courtney Stephens and her magnificent archival film "Terra Femme" (screening just before this conversation, in Vega 3, with LIVE narration by the director) shows the recorded experiences of some of the first western women to record their travels on film, portraying the "unseen" world during the 1920s through to the ’50s. "Terra Femme" is a cinematic gem that lets everybody see the world from a feminine vantage point.
C.S. Nicholson’s "The Discoverer of the Discoverers" (a preview featured in the Norwegian Short Film Program, screening right before this talk) takes us to Benin, where a family share their version of their ancestors’ first encounter with Europeans—to a European film crew, some 500 years after the onset of the Atlantic Slave Trade, colonialism and globalism. This short film gives a glimpse into the way in which history is storytelling, and how pride and conscience may affect collective memories.
Photographer Tonje Bøe Birkeland crafts portraits of her alter egos, all of whom are based on real women who broke contemporary barriers by travelling to foreign lands. Birkeland affords women a place in the landscape and, in doing so, explores the authenticity of history. In her latest chapter, "Character #V, The Bhutan Trilogy", we join (fictional) character Bertha Bolette Boyd on three expeditions to Bhutan. These are documented with photography, text, objects and field notes.
The conversation will be moderated by Luanda Carneiro Jacoel (BR/NO), a performance artist working with the principles of ancestry, memory and temporality in Afro-Brazilian traditions. Her work straddles the boundaries between the avant-garde, dance, ritual, installation, instant composition practices and video performance. She holds a Master of Fine Art in Performance from the Norwegian Theatre Academy (NTA) and a degree in Communication of Performing Arts—PUC—SP (Brazil). She is a co-founder of the one-time platform ACTS—Laboratory for Performance Practices (Oslo).
Courtney Stephens' film Terra Femme will be screened just before the conversation (more info).
C.S. Nicholson's film The Discoverer of the Discoverers is part of the Norwegian Shorts program, also screening before the conversation (more info + tickets).
Tonje Bøe Birkelands exhibition at Fotografiens Hus - free entry (more info)