Open City Documentary Festival

24th–30th
April 2024
across London
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Counter-Archives

Counter-Archives is series of discussions and presentations happening throughout the festival’s Talks & Workshops programme which propose expansive ways of thinking about the “archive”, considering not just the films themselves but also questions of labour, reparation and imagination.

How do alternative and independent archival initiatives draw attention to what has been lost, overlooked, reduced, suppressed, or omitted from national archives and established historiography? How do we resist erasure? How can the archive become a site of possibility, occupied in new ways? As Olivier Marboeuf writes in the third issue of Open City’s journal Non-Fiction:

“The restoration of an archive most frequently evokes the idea of a physical operation that allows the archive to be brought back to its initial form as closely as possible. But what of film archives that have disappeared for political reasons or become damaged in the margins of a dominant history of cinema and its accompanying industry? In this case it becomes possible to imagine not just a restoration, but a reparation, as a gesture that renounces the path backwards in favour of imagining another future based on the traces left by the work, its scars, the voices and lives that inhabit it and all their narrative potentialities. The act of reparation thus becomes a way to invent a new form as much as a new space for reception. A new life.” 

With: Annabelle Aventurin & Léa Morin (Non-Aligned Archives), George Clark & An Viêt Foundation, the Cinenova Working Group, Pablo La Parra, the Sam the Wheels project, Tiffany Sia, the Temenos Archive, and Bo Wang, amongst others.


Events in this series include:

Zinemaldia 70: All Possible Histories (Pablo La Parra Pérez)

A conversation between Pablo La Parra Pérez and Ros Murray on the archive and research project Zinemaldia 70: All Possible Histories.

Bo Wang in conversation with Tiffany Sia

A discussion between Bo Wang and Tiffany Sia about preservation and the archive, inspired by their shared interest in archival images of Hong Kong.

Speaking Nearby: Playing the Archive

This workshop seeks to explore two distinct collections: the Vietnam Film Institute (VFI) in Hanoi and the An Viet Foundation (AVF) in Hackney, which holds the largest known collection related to the Vietnamese-British community in the UK.

A Conversation about the Temenos

Join Robert Beavers for a conversation about the Temenos archive and the restoration process of Eniaios by Gregory Markopoulos.

Counter-Archives – Non-Aligned Archives, Cinenova, London Community Video Archive & Sam the Wheels

An afternoon of conversations with and presentations by alternative and independent archival initiatives, including Annabelle Aventurin & Léa Morin (Non-Aligned Archives), Charlotte Procter, Moira Salt & Louise Shelley (Cinenova), Ed Webb-Ingall (London Community Video Archive) and Lucy Davies & Clovis Salmon (198 Contemporary Arts and the Sam the Wheels project). Chaired by Matthew Barrington.