In the 1970s the cinema carried a great political promise. On the other hand, it was the beginning of heavy trench warfare about experimental film, which tried to draw a clear dividing line between “the political” and “the aesthetic.” The intensity of these arguments was a sign, even at the time, that the division is basically fictitious and cannot do justice to either the space of possibility or to the existing practices of cinema and its experiments. This is articulated in numerous current film forms. In many places in the world, experimental film also means the experiment of extending and challenging the political. The panel focussed on activist and aesthetic practices, that is, political and formal experiments, in which the political is not simply articulated as “contentism,” but also finds eloquence in aesthetic forms that correspond to the theoretical, not merely by depicting them, but by translating them into their own formats.
(media scholar, curator, HBK Braunschweig)
(actor, Mosireen Collective, Kairo)
(filmmaker, York University, Toronto)