exercises in becoming uncertain
Sonntag, 28. November 2021 | 5.30–10pm | Berliner Förderprogramm Künstlerische Forschung @ bi’bak / Sinema Transtopia
5.30pm Marianna Christofides, exercises in becoming uncertain, Exploratory reading
7.30pm Tsuchimoto Noriaki, Minamata – The Victims and Their World (1971), Film screening
During the break of the two-part event, a warm soup by soyboy will be served.
Tickets are available via bi’bak’s booking system. The ticket is valdid for both parts of the event.
a crane hoists iron beams up into the air
I hope that it doesn’t damage the thin air*
Some thoughts. Some uncut footage. A scrapbook.
In this exploratory reading I reflect on the multiple beginnings crossed through to inhabit for a while the trails of ruptures that leave behind little but bruised lifeworlds; in the belief that residual knowledge develops in the ripples of such moments of impact.
Strings are brought in oscillation. An image, a word, an encounter bounces back on another, in another time, in a place where the brightness of the sky is a month ahead from here. For a length of a wave, fractured spaces, disrupted chronologies and mutilated ecologies inhale a common air. They are both close by and far away the day the sun rises in the west.
The fabrication of time, a compound of slow violences in the making, is momentarily brought to a halt and takes form. The nuclear uncanny meets the mercurial uncanny**. Corporate nationalism(s) meet environmental injustices.
From force to form to force***. Forces imparted on material bodies, ever-vulnerable. From crest to node to trough. On timelines of uncertainty and doubt moments of failure ink the spaces in-between. Peak and depression of experience conjoin.
It begins with borrowed words. Some thoughts, some images.
Never fully mine, never mine at all.
believing grows uncertain and looking enrages me*
水俣－患者さんとその世界 Minamata – Kanjasan to sono sekai
Minamata – The Victims and Their World
Tsuchimoto Noriaki, Japan 1971, 16mm, 120 min.
OV with English subtitles
In the coastal town of Minamata in Kyūshū one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in postwar Japan unfurls over decades before the eyes of authorities and locals. From 1932 to 1968, the Chisso Corporation, a pioneering Japanese chemical company producing fertilizers, systematically dumped its untreated, methylmercury and other heavy metal infused wastewater into the surrounding Shiranui Sea. Despite the hazardousness of the effluent being confirmed by 1957, government inaction meant the horrendous effects of the pollution would eventually emerge in the health of the local fishermen and their livelihood. On the basis of his long-running personal involvement with the subjects, Tsuchimoto presents an empathetic, ethically just and political documentary, shedding light onto a series of events that would forever scar people’s lives and their environment. A landmark in socially-engaged documentary filmmaking, Minamata – The Victims and Their World moves, enrages, inspires.
* Chika Sagawa, The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa, trans. Sawako Nakayasu (Marfa: Canarium Books, 2015), 7, 92.
** Livia Monnet, “Another World in this World,” in Ishimure Michiko’s Writing in Ecocritical Perspective: Between Sea and Sky, eds Bruce Allen and Yuki Masami (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2016), 147.
*** cf. Erin Manning, Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy (Cambridge, London: MIT, 2009).