Our Habitats is a closely curated film programme raising the question of the desirability of the return to the lost “normal”
SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (April 15, 2020) – Climate change has been the focus of the environmentalists and scientists for many decades. They alerted us of superstorms, mass extinctions, droughts, floods, forced migrations, famine and widespread poverty – already the state of “normal” for billions of people across the world. Similar to climate change, public health professionals have been arguing for months about the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic. Among those most vulnerable to COVID-19 are those who are already most vulnerable. Unemployed, migrant workers, undocumented immigrants, the imprisoned, the economically and socially deprived, and those living in isolated rural areas, especially indigenous communities across the globe. Our hungriest will be among those most likely to be impacted and least likely to receive immediate and professional medical care.
Thus, understanding the position of independent arts and cinema as a space for social and cultural resistance, the special, open for all, on-line lockdown film programme Our Habitats focuses on the need for a greater political seismic shift, rejecting the possibility to return to the “normal” by rejecting the opportunity to talk about individuals separated from the environment: a form of well-being modeled on ideas of class and race. Our Habitats connects material, technological, industrial and cultural pollution, viewing the world as a network of ecosystems made up of differently configured, historically dynamic contact zones, rather than as a set of distinct and separate ecosystems.
While at the moment it is paramount to support each other financially and emotionally, to the extent that some have felt only during conflicts and wars, we also must find the courage to see this crisis as it is: a moment to advance the global struggle for a just world. Thus, we need to plan a long-term struggle and use the current weakness of the neoliberal system as it is in a moment in which it works against itself.
In practical terms, Our Habitats will present a different theme each week, followed by a week of retrospective of one or more filmmakers. The kick off weekly theme is Water, opening with the film Serpent Rain, by an author duo comprised by the video artist Arjuna Neuman and philosopher Denise Ferreira Da Silva. The film is as much an experiment in working together as it is a film about the future. The collaboration began with the discovery of a sunken slave ship, and an artist asking a philosopher: how do we get to the post-human without technology? And the philosopher replying: maybe we can make a film without time.
Our Habitats is a result of the collaboration, support and solidarity of more than 35 internationally acclaimed filmmakers coming from different parts of the world (Laila Pakalnina, Jean-Gabriel Périot, Lois Patiño, Ursula Biemann, Ojoboca, Dane Komljen, Goran Dević – to name few), who have been collaborating in many different ways with the Pravo Ljudski Film Festival Sarajevo since its establishment fifteen years ago.
The programme is curated by Diogo Pereira (Portugal) and Kumjana Novakova (North Macedonia).
For more information about the program and program content, follow pravoljudski.org and the hashtag #ourhabitats, #imaginenewworld and #pravoljudski on social networks.