Film & Video Program

Film & Video Program

Curated by Florian Wüst

Social justice, once won as compensation for the hardships of industrialization and urbanization, is disintegrating in many places. It is being handed over to the market, which—supported by state regulation—is now supposed to produce welfare and public services. Individuality and personal responsibility are no longer just a means of emancipation but a social imperative. In places where models of progress and democracy are being dismantled or are failing in accordance with neoliberal principles, traditionalist ideologies are gaining ground. They do not address the causes of economic and social inequality, but are directed against the civil rights and freedoms that also support the development of privilege—which is how populists seem to justify their contempt for intellectual and political elites.

One feature of populism as we are currently experiencing it is the claim to be in possession of the truth and knowledge of what “the people” want, thus eliminating the need to deal with other opinions. Democracy, however, is based on the realization that in political matters there can be no absolute truth. The filter bubbles and echo chambers of digital networks suggest unity and homogeneity in things that, in reality, are characterized by diversity. The normality of diverse cultural and ideological identities in modern society is increasingly becoming a target of racist and right-wing violence.

Against the thematic background of face value, the festival’s film and video program presents an international selection of experimental, essayistic, and documentary short films. The study of value and values demands self-reflection that questions the power of images and language; in historical and contemporary works, means of critical analysis are combined with artistic subversiveness and visionary thinking. The program includes a project developed especially for transmediale by Stefan Panhans and Andrea Winkler, the German premiere of Eric Baudelaire’s Also Known As Jihadi, and features Nothing To Lose: The Melancholy of Resistance, a special selection of films from Southeast Asia, curated by Stefan Rusu.

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