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Combined Programme: Extended Presences

Cinzas e Nuvens (Extended Presences)

Margaux Dauby | 2023 | Belgium | 12’ | 16mm | sound

Titled “Ashes and Clouds” in Portuguese, Extended Presences follows several women in their seasonal work as fire watchers in Portugal. Dauby’s 16mm camera scans the landscape, just like the women do from their observational towers – the dry hills and blazing sun serving as a reminder of the wildfires that ravage the Portuguese countryside every summer. Watching the watchers, the emphasis is on their quiet wait, their careful observation. In the filmmaker’s words, the film attempts to come “close to their breathing, to the passing of time and to solitude, from within.”

With the support of Wallonia-Brussels International.

Há ouro em todo o lado (There is Gold Everywhere)

Rita Morais | 2023 | Portugal | 12’ | Digital | Spanish spoken, English subtitles

A sonic and visual exploration of the landscape surrounding the ruins of a gold mine excavated during the Roman Empire in El Bierzo in the Iberian Peninsula. Ruina montium (to ruin or destroy mountains in Latin) was an ancient Roman mining technique that consisted in flooding tunnels in order to blow up mountains – a hydraulic process that points towards “the beginning of an industrial gaze towards nature” (Rita Morais). There is gold everywhere is anchored by the retelling of the founding myth of Rome, with two local children performing Romulus and Remus. The haptic tactility of 16mm film is emphasised by frequent close-ups of the children’s hands as well as by Morais’s use superimposition, zoom and hand-held camera. 


El Chinero, un cerro fantasma (El Chinero, a phantom hill)

Bani Khoshnoudi | 2023 | Mexico | 11’ | Digital | sound  

A remote hill in the Mexican countryside is said to be a site where at least one group of Chinese and other Asian migrants died whilst fleeing a wave of violence following the Mexican Revolution. Over a century later, there appears to be nothing left on the site by way of commemoration and historical records are scant. Khoshnoudi’s film is a project to document the hill in question and in doing so, to turn the landscape into a monument of sorts to the violence it has witnessed. Shot on 16mm film that was hand-developed with plants, salt and earth taken from the site, the film becomes a material, as well as cinematic, trace of this spectral tragedy that has left none of its own.

What Humans See as Blood, Jaguars See as Chicha

Luciana Decker | 2023 | Bolivia | 30’ | Digital |Spanish spoken, English subtitles  

An experimental ethnographic study of a region in the artist’s native Bolivia that was once the centre of the Tiwanaku civilization. The film operates across temporalities and explores the balance between human, animal, and natural worlds in this rural area close to La Paz. Decker’s embodied 16mm camera describes details of the hands of women at work, as they tend to the land and prepare celebratory food and votive objects. Ceramics and archaeological remains are filmed in a series of abstracted fragments whilst a musical performance on the city street is documented in an extended single take. New ecological frameworks are proposed as the work investigates the lived experience of communities now, alongside storytelling about deities, sacred objects, and spaces in the Andes. 

With the support of Wallonia-Brussels International

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers hosted by Elizabeth Dexter.