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Basis voor Actuele Kunst - BAK

Public Institution
Cinematic Narratives from Elsewhere: Excavating a Cinematic Future, 05.11.2011
Sweetie Pie by Sai Kong Kham, film still
Sweetie Pie by Sai Kong Kham, film still
  The third part of the film-based public program, Cinematic Narratives from Elsewhere, developed to accompany the exhibition Spacecraft Icarus 13. Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere at BAK focuses on the emerging independent film scene in Burma, which suffered severe governmental censorship under the rule of the military junta (1962-2011) that effectively took over the film industry.

Within the framework of the session, Excavating a Cinematic Future, Japanese writer and curator Keiko Sei is giving a talk entitled From Backpack Medics to Artists-Bearers of Burmese Independent Film, on the recent development of Burmese film and video vis--vis political and social change in the country. Since Thomas Edison introduced cinema to Burma in 1910, the history of Burmese film has been turbulent due to war, military suppression, dictatorship, and failed uprisings. Yet signs of democratization and relaxation of censorship in the country have come to thrive; outside of the dominant terrain of propaganda films, local film production is being fostered by film workshops and schools educating citizens about making films and videos and informing them about technological possibilities available for artists, dissident circles, and ethnic minorities to document social and political news for satellite broadcasting inside Burma.

The talk will be accompanied by screenings of a selection of independent films and videos created over the past two decades. Directors include Wai Yi Win Le Phyu, Sai Kong Kham, and Waimar Nyunt, whose work outlines the contours of a new cinematic history and a future in which the notion of filmmaking as a constructive vehicle of self-representation can begin to take shape in Burma.

Keiko Sei is a writer, curator, and educator on independent media who is based in Bangkok. She has worked in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus region, and, since 2002, in South East Asia. Her work involves research, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and writing on independent media and culture in those regions. She is a founder of Burma Film and Video School in Yangon, Burma, which is now called Myanmar Moving Image Center, through which she offers education in the area of film- and video-making to citizens in Burma and on the Thailand border.

The program will be followed by drinks at BAK. Reservations are required; please send an e-mail to: to reserve a seat.

Upcoming events for Cinematic Narratives from Elsewhere

19 November 2011, 14.00-17.00 hrs, The Political Carnivalesque, with film screening, Glauber Rocha, Entranced Earth (1967) and a lecture by Wendelien van Oldenborgh (artist, Rotterdam)

3 December 2011, 14.00-17.00 hrs, Revisions of African Representation, film afternoon curated by Kiluanji Kia Henda (artist, Luanda)

Venue for public program activities
Het Utrechts Archief
Hamburgerstraat 28
3512 NS Utrecht (around the corner from BAK)

Visiting address for Spacecraft Icarus 13
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Lange Nieuwstraat 4
3512 PH Utrecht

BAK opening hours
Wednesday-Saturday 12.00-17.00 hrs
Sunday 13.00-17.00 hrs

The research exhibition Spacecraft Icarus 13 and the accompanying public program are organized within the framework of the project FORMER WEST, please visit for more information.

For further information, please visit:
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