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Lecture by Filipa César

Irrelevant Archive. The Struggle Is Not Over Yet


What are the present and future of our past? How do the struggles of other times echo in the present? The Portuguese artist and filmmaker Filipa César offers some answers to these questions. Rescuing from oblivion the film archive that testifies to the birth of cinema in Guinea-Bissau and the decolonising vision of the revolutionary leader Amilcar Cabral, her work turns this past into a prism through which to view and ponder the conditions of the present.

In 2011, Filipa César first encountered a film archive stored at the National Film Institute of Guinea-Bissau. It had been neglected by the institutions and was almost totally destroyed. The films it contained were part of the revolutionary project of the Amilcar Cabral, leader of the anticolonial struggle.

A year after this discovery, and working with the Guinea-Bissauan filmmakers Sana na N’Hada, Suleimane Biai and Flora Gomes, as well as the curator Tobias Hering, Filipa César embarked on the project titled Luta ca caba inda (The Struggle Is Not Over Yet). This consists of screening these scraps of material at sessions in which European and African audiences join in the discussion. Hence, the cinema becomes a venue for collective editing and an assembly gathered together to think about the conditions of the present. It is an occasion to question the neutrality of history and to weave relationships between the struggles of the past and those of today, an invitation to reconstruct history through images and to open up new spaces for political imagination.

This lecture is part of the course Archives in revolt. Working with surviving images, organized by the Institut d’Humanitats de Barcelona.

The day after the lecture, on 6 June at 6.30 p.m., the film Spell Reel (2017, 97 min.), which captures Felipa César's work with the Guinea-Bissau archive, will be shown at the Filmoteca de Catalunya. The session will be presented by Felipa César.

Presenters: Pablo La Parra Pérez

Participants: Filipa César

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Filipa César

Irrelevant Archive. The Struggle Is Not Over Yet


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