And there are otter AI notes if anybody needs it for captioning, you should be able to see those at the top of your screen and you can just click on those. And please stay on mute throughout, if you do have a burning question to ask please can we ask that you put it in the chat. But if you can't put it in the chat, and that's not chat isn't accessible for you. If you try and weigh you versus and Pippin I will try and keep a watch on the screens and see, and we will try and hold questions for the end though because the panelists have a lot that they want to discuss first so try and hold your burning questions to the end. And for those of you who don't know me I'm Lou Rogers I'm Senior Producer of artists development at se arts and pit is here. Also, waving now who's an assistant producer so we are both here as well. And if you need anything from us please do put something on the chat private nice one of us that we can sort out you think that's everything that I need to say, and so I'm going to hand over to Claudia, who now can't see on my screen I can, she's down here over to Claudia, who will tell you more about the panel session and then the panelists will also be introducing themselves. Thank you.
Hello everybody, wonderful to see all your faces here. Wow. First of all, fantastic big thank you to sassy stands for setting this up to Lou, and PIP and also to Gita. It's very special. At this time to actually come together, even though it's the kind of digital forest maybe, and to see each other, particularly as in the UK we are back in another lockdown and many other countries find a similar situation. And I'm very very happy to be joined by Kara Hagen, and Marissa Donati and Charles linen. And so we are each going to do a sort of five minute presentation to give a snapshot of something that's going on for us at the moment to talk about our work, our perspectives, and then we will have some sort of more general question basically about past, present and future Austrians. So
just some small questions really.
And, and of course we've all been in a sort of nail biting tension with regards to the US in the election and we can sort of just about breathe a sigh of relief. But, yeah, we're still hanging in there. And synthesizing was our US based colleagues. So, it feels like 2020 is a really an extraordinary year to review where we've gotten to, for obvious reasons one crisis is our lane. The next. And this is doing on one hand I feel like it's creating a flux which is really worrying. For many people, and on the other side it's creating some potential for change, which is quite extraordinary. Certainly, that's the sense that I have where I am, you know here in the UK. Um, but with that I also feel comes a responsibility, a much stronger sense that we are responsible to get involved in to try and make a difference. And in particular with regards to Black Lives Matter, you know the the need to really think about structural change. And I think that'll be part of the discussion today, as well. So I was thinking for my perspective, it might make sense to talk about the screen dance journal saw the development of the critical written discourse, over the last decade and something. It's 2020, we can celebrate 10 years of journal, write the journal was launched in 2010 at the American Dance Festival in North Carolina. And so we're very happy to have to come have continued with the journal for 10 years. And I feel like it's worth, maybe coming back to what the original sort of impulse was, which is in some ways the sense of hybridity in this discussion in this art form that there's nothing in particular, there's not one thing that you can refer to which is it you know there's always multiples there's always others. And I feel like this kind of fluidity is something which is essential also to us who we are as humans as beings as identities. Yeah, in terms of our experience, and hence, I have a sort of, I have a profound belief in screen dance that there is something which is really significant in terms of speaking about who we are. And he will remember that the first issue was called screen dance has not yet been invented, which was a provocation, and continues to be a provocation, to say yes we always need to reinvent this thing, you know, we will never know what it is and we should never know what it is. And we always need to argue against codification, in some ways, against rigid boundaries, always asked questions. And why is it so fluid we decided at the time the team was very clear that this journal was going to be a scholarly peer reviewed academic journal and demand this particular kind of difficult writing which is nevertheless, really based on historical research on contextualize a nation on analysis reflection. And this whole thing of course not as a means to an end, but as a tool, you know as a tool to be critical as a tool to challenge and argue against other people, and even against with each other. And that sort of. That's quite difficult maybe within a field it's largely a field of practitioners, so bringing in a more fluid boundary between what his theory what his practice was also part of it the agenda of the journal. So I think it's fair enough. I think I could say that the Detroit board is quite proud of what it has achieved in these 10 years. Marisa has just edited the last issue and the reasons on it together with Karen Norman and it's just come out.
also there's the editorial board is concerned about its constitution because basically the discourse has predominantly been white. I'm saying predominantly not entirely. And the editorial board is white, and always has been. Yeah. So, at this point, which is why I'm thinking this idea of responsibility and and really making something happen for the editorial board at this point, and looking forward. One of the agendas is the Constitution of the board, who's on it as something that is that clearly needs to happen in order to advance the journal to something for the next decade. And also in view of the absolutely amazing explosion of work that's happening everywhere. Yeah, it's I mean I can't absolutely can't keep up in terms of festivals and what people put on online and I mean I can see many of you You are contributing that to that discussion. So it's important for the journal to not be a sort of separate little group but you find a way to bring more and more of that in. Yeah, I think that's the sort of the agenda for the next few years, for now and for the next few years. And I think that's sort of my starter. I think my startup point. There are many other things we will talk today about festivals and curation and, you know, we'll probably come back to some things. So I think I will hand on hand over to Kara, would you like to talk about your perspective, what you've come to been involved with maybe do a little introduction of yourself. Not that you need a lot of
happy to I'm so excited to see so many familiar faces Hello friends, and really excited to be here this morning, or well it's not morning for you. So my name is Cara Hagen for those of you who don't know me, I'm the director and curator of ADF movies by movers in annual International screen Dance Festival under the auspices of the American Dance Festival. And I've been doing this work as a festival director and curator. Since 2009 movies by movers had its first screening in 2010, and has been a space for me ever since to do a couple of things so one of those things is to cultivate a curatorial philosophy, one of the things that I noticed upon entering the field of screen dance in around 2006 2007, was that, and still is that there wasn't a lot of information discourse banter, if you will, about the act of curating and programming. And so I've gotten connected with the journal, when it started and was really excited to see that space for that to happen, like you mentioned Claudia for people to propose ideas with the invitation understanding that there's an invitation to have a back and forth, which I really enjoy. And so that's been a really wonderful space. and also the connections that I've made with other screen Dance Festival directors and curators other practitioners again as Claudia said this field is practitioner heavy, so while we may not have the literature, if you will, that perhaps cinema studies has or Film Festival studies has, we definitely have the embodied knowledge that we can share and we share on a regular basis in really beautiful ways. The second thing that I hope to do and have been working on with movies by movers is to interrogate issues of representation, I'm the first black woman to start a film festival a dance Film Festival in the United States. When I publish my forthcoming book in 2021. I will also be the first black woman to publish a solo authored book on screen dance in the United States. So that's saying something, because when I first started that research, I thought, well, I can't be. That's not possible there's obviously somebody else, but in my research of films film more broadly, of course we know that so much of early film made by black folks by other marginalized communities, has been lost because of a lack of care because of intentional destruction and other reasons. And so, we're actually missing huge parts of our history and screen dance and infill more broadly that we'll never be able to get back. And so one thing that I touch on in the book quite often, is the fact that I, and all of us are telling a story, it is not the story we don't have all the pieces and parts of this story. And so my hope in my work, and in offering the festival in offering my written work and offering the the work that I create for film, again, is an invitation for people to think more deeply about what it is we're making what it does in the world, our, our participation in activities like nation building for example, where that's talked about so much in film studies, the ways that films, move through the world through societies and through culture and how that has various influences, and how dance has had a huge impact on that most especially with early film where there wasn't sound and people were using movement to create conversations. And so that's that's been my work, and I'm really passionate about it I love screen dance screen dance has been so good to me artistically. And the thing that I love about screen dance most is that I think it's magic in that we have power over the laws of time and physics, and we get to extend the capabilities of the body in ways that we don't get to with live dance. And so, I'm the whimsical voice in the room, and it's it's what I love. So, I'm going to pass it to Marissa who's directly to my side.
Hi, my name is Marisa Zanotti, I'm a filmmaker. I've been working in different ways in dance and performance and filmmaking for 34 years, kind of one of the kind of early people in the UK to dance and television. Well, to in one of the kind of first wave of UK Telly television dance and having said that my references are cinema, and pretty much everything I make is, has a cinema reference in the sense that I'm always making a film. My practice, I have supported my practice in lots of different ways, and like everybody here who is a practitioner, I'm sure, and the sense that I've worked with subsidy I've worked by condition, and for a long time I had an academic job. I know, I don't have that job anymore and I'm free once again, which has been a marvelous kind of timing moment for me. So I guess. Today I'm speaking about one of the things that we've been asked to speak about or what's in what's happening in 2020, in relation to screen downs and I guess it's kind of difficult to know what's happening week to week in 2020 in relation to anything and like everybody here who I think is a practitioner I'm evolving lots of different ways to make work and share work. My interest since 2015 has been screened on simulation to different online platforms. So both using social media critiquing social media and creating for social media as a way of reaching different audiences and questioning ways of making. And secondly, making websites which is something I've really invested a lot of time in. I've got a new project just now called glitch GSL which kind of imagines a website as a choreographic space. The second project. Either I'm talking about just because I think it's relevant is a film made on Zune with a cast of 25 I taught a group of older dancers every week throughout lockdown since, since lockdown began in March. And I'm really aware that. I think we're in a moment where we can as Claudia have said as Carl has said that we're in a great moment to rethink and, and re address how we're making and who we're seeing. And I spent quite a long time preparing what was going to see today and then I kind of just realized that I kind of kept coming back to three super basic questions which is. Who, who is dancing in the screen. why is that person dancing and why, why does that film need to be made. And that feels like something that I keep asking myself throughout my life and that I kind of keep returning to and I think it should be appropriate just now I think for me some of the things I've been most moved by this year have been not the the kind of the films made commissioned to me made during the pandemic but the films that have been testimony the films that have been witnessing the films that have been shot on people's phones in different sorts of very live circumstances and black life marches protests in particular that makes me really really stink actually about what performance is snow and port filmmaking is new. So with that, I'm gonna leave you, and pass on to Charles.
No, I'm an independent choreographer, and I don't have that much experience in screen dance. I came about in a strange way, insofar as that I, I've been making work choreographic work for. And I don't know how long 20th, say, and I made a film, but I think it's a dance film and involves kind of human and non Human Kinetics, there's an overlap between what's random, and what was organized and what's not organized and has a very specific thing to it. So, I've been lucky enough that it's been shown over five continents stuff and I'm not going to make another film, I just made that one. And so I'm done with that, but what I got to know is, is how the festivals, work, and I have to say the conditions aren't very good for people submitting work to festivals, which is down to probably organizations not being able to get money to pay people properly. So I'm doing my best. I work as a volunteer, I started the film, my own film festival. Just because at that time, and that seemed to be any in London. And so I did everything without paying voluntarily I knew if I asked for funding, it would never happen. I would just be waiting and waiting and waiting. So I just did it on a voluntary basis set up everything. And I'm in 2019, we launched it, and it's coming back in 2021. I have impression. And just sort of concept maybe this up to Kara. I had impression that when I started looking at screen dance films that it was quite diverse, but I think we'll find from Kara's research that that is not the case and that's something that I'd be interested in hearing about. And I'm also interested in how screen dance has actually influenced real life, live performance. For example, Martha Ross was 1975 pieces of the kitchen how that influence Jaron Bell's work. Non, Donna parlato, and also have, obviously, takasi has no influence so many people in the arts and. And
And I think in pre COVID times. There was a slight trend of live performance dance companies filming their work and showing it as installations. I think that has become a bit of an impact on dancers, because they're not getting paid for it. So you can run an installation with excerpts or have a different version of your show and show it. For 24, hours a day, and there's no one physically there.
Since then obviously this,
the prevalence of zoom. Um, my concern is that there is a kind of a genetic generic kind of aesthetic, that is coming around, and I feel really sorry for. Well, obviously, any artist, any independent artist in the world, who is suffering right now.
But I also feel very sorry for students.
I'm limited there are with the resources that we have at hand.
I'm done with that kind of random introduction.
Cody we can't hear you.
Thanks very much. Thanks so much, Charles and Marie Sankara. There's so much to pick up on. I was wondering chance Could I just ask you some technical things about the festival because you teach at lab honors, right. So my question is, are you. Is there a support institutional support in terms of space last year at least it could probably be screened in a cinema, or, you know, is there some backing at least from an institution that you have.
more a mentor at loving than each other
all the facilities were there. So there's a fantastic theater box office. Facilities technical facilities and a great, great technical staff and theater. We just seemed obvious that something should happen and it hadn't happened. So I suggested that it should. In terms of, I do have acne in terms of, you know, the
organization and the
other thing is, on my part, and anyone who can help me on a volunteer on a voluntary basis.
Yes, thanks. It's a sort of
classic situation but at least it does mean there is some support which is worth noting isn't it because there are a lot of festivals, a lot of people in the in your working to, you don't have that support of a box office ready made.
We work quite closely with Keita at Frey rush.
She helped me let's say.
I wonder Kara if you could pick up a bit more on on this, on the reality of the festivals, because you are doing so much research into that. It would be interesting to hear some of what the mechanics are in terms of the support that you have, whether you are employed,
how this is supported financially.
Yeah, so I'm, I'm a college professor, like a lot of folks, my academic job supports my art habit. And this research has been a part of my research agenda so when I went up for tenure, that was a big part of my packet that I sent in that said, you know that weird thing where you kind of have to like reapply for your job to get tenure. I said this is what I'm doing and I've been publishing on this subject for a couple of years and have been speaking, interviewing a lot of people and traveling around talking about it and of course there's been a lot of this that has been self funded I mean a lot of my travel has not been supported by my university. Anybody who's worked in an American University knows that the moneys for those kinds of things are well small, so it's been largely a labor of love, because I feel really passionate about it, and that it echoes my experience entering the field, as a young female black choreographer, as I did when I graduated from my undergraduate degree in 2005, and just noticing as much as I was intrigued by it. I also didn't see myself in it. And since then, I've been doing quite a lot of research on submission pools, mostly my own submission pool to ADF movies by movers but also the submission pools of festivals for folks who have given me permission to analyze that. And of course I've, I've received pushback on that, you know, from everything from well if we let you analyze our submissions, if people know that that's something that you're doing, they won't submit to our festival, which I don't think is true because our submissions have only gone up every year and I've done this very publicly. Also, there's been pushback from folks in the community who have said, Well, this is screen dance it's not like other sects of the arts, we're good, we're good. Why do you have to stir the pot, you know, why do you have to make this a thing. And I think that for anybody who's not a part of a marginalized community. The thing is that you don't make it a thing it just is a thing it's something that follows you right, just, for example, thinking about the aesthetic bandwidth, which with which people get to appear on screen. So, a lot of folks have been talking about black lives matter because that's kind of come up again. Of course, it never went anywhere from the first time it came around it's just now the we're in a moment. Right. But when we look at a diversity on screen and say oh well hey we've got a lot of films featuring black bodies this year, which I should say that a large portion of those are not made by black filmmakers. So that's something to be thought about as well. But how are we seeing them. Most of the time, we're talking about some form of oppression, it's about the school to prison pipeline with one of the films that's been traveling around the circuit quite a lot it's about black masculinity and the issues with that it's about sexuality and discrimination that way I mean, how, when is the last time that you saw, for example, a black filmmaker, creating a piece about nature just for the heck of creating a piece about nature. That doesn't happen and part of that is because funding right so when you're going in for grant, and somebody says, ooh, we've got a filmmaker of color or we've got a disabled filmmaker or a queer filmmaker, well how are you engaging your identity in this piece, why should we give you this money. if you're just going to talk about something frivolous where other folks get to talk about frivolity if we think about the film that went around a couple of years ago, two years ago that was about the mysterious illness that was by the ballet company in the UK that was really fun, but that could not have been made by a black filmmaker. And so when we think about what's actually being put on screen. And it's, it goes well beyond that it's the politics of how we see, and through whose lens that we see it is the lens, a neutral party. Well I argue it's not a neutral party, right, because of the trappings that we've become accustomed to. And I'll speak from an American perspective because that's where most of my research is.
But in America, we've been given a set of rules, right a set of rules that equal aesthetic fabulousness, for lack of a better description in this moment and it's a word it's a word that I like. But, young youth is prized fitness, don't be fat whiteness at least if you're not actually white approximated as best you can. And, you know, conventionally beautiful if we're thinking of things like the Ziegfeld Follies which I teach a lot, and how that reinforced a lot of eugenicist ideas, and that happens on screen, it's still happening on screen we haven't moved away from eugenics in the way that we think we have so yeah we made Black Panther great I'm excited I love comic books I loved Black Panther, however, again, this is in its own space where okay we got the kind of magical realism and the sci fi, but at the end of the day it was still about oppression. And so it's something that we don't get to move beyond, and I also want to say in terms of the ways that we deploy our festivals, we have to think about the spaces that we're in right so there is a friend of mine on this call, who has had many instances where they've arrived at a space that has not been accessible to them physically right and so it's not just about the movies that we show. It's not just about the surface of going well let's check a box we have some black bodies we have some disabled bodies, we have a fat body we have a queer body. It's about em all the things around that that create the entire experience, you know, can people actually come and see. Truly Come and see. Are people being shown in light that actually gives them agency. I talked about this a lot with films that feature disability right is it created through the lens of the disabled community, or is it something instead, that makes us go. Oh, okay, well there's disabled people do we feel is, is it a patronizing kind of thing where we see these folks on film. Right.
And I think also,
we haven't gotten away from you know the history of filmmaking, in and of itself which is incredibly racist, sexist ablest. And so, if we're not going to actually come to terms with that and create space for the way that we want screen dance to function which is this kind of open source experimental space where everybody can can participate we actually have to make that happen. We can't just let it happen. One of the reviewers for my book when I got it back, said well you've talked a lot about how these folks are not feeling. But what about outside of screen dance festivals, what about music videos well music videos are also fraught like there isn't a space that marginalized folks show up that we've actually done the work to really make it so that it's copacetic. So, I'll stop my ramble there I'm sure that there might be questions, but that's my piece for this moment.
is a summary. That's quite a. What's the word and indictment. I think of a field that is, and create a field and artistic field that has a long history of being in the arts of, you know, and, and still is so tied in to all these structures and constraints, and expectations, which is quite
I sort of
tried to I mean I've been also thinking during the reading lot in the last few days and. So maybe to kind of recap briefly the different areas you discussed and the first one that resonated with me was the fact that you are now. Thankfully, an academic, in the sense that you are in a position where you've broken through some kind of other glass ceiling, you know of actually having academics, having a non white academics in that position of power to be able to do something. And that's one of the issues with the screens journal at the moment coming back briefly to the editorial board, we all academics and we all write, you know, so there is an issue about this sooner genome, what is it, a symbiosis between academia and that part of screen dance, where you are enabled if you're an academic, if you're not an academic you struggle to get into it, or to have the time for it. And hence, a lot of people, non white people fall out. And the second one is sort of what you're talking about expectations and this question around identity who we are and what we are expected to make. I've had quite a lot of. I think what comes to my mind is, is the work of Mary Carter here who's you know clearly working, trying to challenge that and has talked quite a lot about the fact that that's precisely what he's been what he's perceiving, and that for example the joyous black body is something that's very difficult for him to put on screen, put on display. And also this agency of the filmmaker, it makes me think of the filmmakers who did separate sentences is really extraordinary film that came out I think 2017 about incarceration of black people in the US, same issue of course in the UK and probably in many other countries, and he talked about the fact that they are white, and having this case being the facilitator for that piece to be made, you know, and I clearly very very self conscious about that, it also made me think of a film that vision 2020 is has in its curation what sassy stance is putting up the film that the steering committee recommended which is called Black. Black stain. Yeah, very interesting piece of work about sort of asking the questions are black men seen as humans. Yeah, shocking. I mean, yes. But it's interesting though what what comes out of that is the question of content in the work, isn't it, there is still a huge question of what is the content. And there is currently an article in the issue that Marisa edited for Ariana Miku about screen dance in the Mediterranean area and this question of content comes up again, as is a concern that a lot of the people who are running the festivals aren't saying the will content is weak. And that's also
I think it'd be fine with that for quite some time, you know the field has been stuck in it for some time. And one thing that sort of struck me there is at one of the festival curators, asked. We, as a motivational question they were asking themselves, what makes us move. And I think that's interesting because it's at the basis of a lot of screen dance and produces a lot of movement in screen dance. But I'm wondering whether we need to come to other questions. So for example, should the question be what divides us. You know I should the best and create the question be who cares, and who doesn't. And that may be therefore there would be some other work to be made.
and I want to, I'd like to come to Marisa here because Marisa you saw that you said your, your framework is cinema filmmaking. I wonder if you could talk about what that is about, or why that is.
You're muted at the moment.
Yeah, you can tell I talked for 20 weeks on zoom I'm so good and so my framework is cinema. I guess I grew up with cinema, because I'm, you know, I kind of grew up as much with cinema as probably a lot of people here grew up with the internet. I also, um, I really like working, particularly, more recently, an epic vision, I always think I don't always think but more recently I've been thinking in extreme widescreen and with large cast of very large costs. I don't know if that's because I'm small and a woman. I don't often have budgets, perhaps because I'm small and a woman, but I don't really let that stop me because I really like to imagine that what I'm making could be seen in the biggest screen possible, even if thoughts, then I'm sort of working with that because I kind of got really bored of thinking I'm going to make a work with one dancer which might be seen on a television or might be seen on a laptop. I just thought actually that starting to limit how I'm thinking I'm just going to imagine that this will have a cast of thousands and I haven't got a cast of thousands, so I'll go and see if I can get some, some images of paintings and I'll make a film about the Battle of Waterloo. Because actually, I want to say something about that. So I guess that that sort of idea of cinema being a reference is as much about my imagination and my kind of. Yeah, that I think also, I guess, for me it's very hard to think about things on screen without thinking about history of cinema Cara you were talking there about cinema as being a space which has not been a space of diversity and inclusion on particularly in academia and I think I've really enjoyed Mark cousins project where he really tries to expand explored all our ideas about world cinema and it's not being something that actually originated in Hollywood, but there are many world cinemas, and that feels like something that's super exciting. Does that answer your question, Claudia ish.
Yes, it's very interesting to hear you. In response to this question of cinema to talk about the, the big, big picture, literally. And I wonder if there's something around imagination that are you turning to cinema because it facilitates a kind of imagination, which you do not find in screen dance whatever that is.
Um, I think of. I mean, I don't think I've ever really described myself as a maker of string dance, and I think I have that in common with a lot of, of, of art artists I know I described myself as a filmmaker, which is not to say I think screen dance is rubbish, but from from for me and my references, I'm a filmmaker and I've made films and I've made with film. And I've made dramas, you know, I think that's why as well. I think the it, there's a freedom that being thinking about cinema gives me that thinking about screen dance perhaps doesn't. But that is a very personal thing. And also, I think as well I really like the idea that I'm kind of making for the biggest white screen ever but actually it's going to be seen on a phone, I kind of really like that as a, as a concept of that but kind of find joy that because actually people watch these multimillion dollar action movies on their phones and have a great time. And I think people that make action movies with multi million dollar budgets are really aware that that's what's happening. And I think this idea of you know this this situation where we're all watching things on different devices is, it's quite a new thing and it's exciting. And it's problematic, and it's exciting.
I mean that comes to you because we had this question. What responses are we seeing, or what are we doing to develop this field. And I wonder if you could talk a little bit about your glitch project and she's owl, which some of you may have seen some heavens.
What motivated you to
work with somebody who develops digital archives in order to make a piece which is in some ways, sort of moving our movable mobile archive around this idea of chazelle.
Okay, so which is always off, it's a kind of some decoder and the documentary that had was hemorrhaging, which is really a nice image. It's, it's a really epic project that started off with the idea of exploring the biology cell and making a digital archive of it in such a way that it could look back to the past of the Bali chisel and to the, to the his futures as well. I had made a digital archive with Lee Anderson, called the pons people papers in 2015. And I sort of designed a kind of archive which I had imagined would be in motion, and of course I had about three and a half pins to make it with so when I went to the website people they just went absolutely no chance we can do this we can do it in a very kind of limited way, which was great, and it was good but then I spent a long time, sort of looking for the right project where I could really expand on the idea and I approached a digital media agency in Brighton, who, on the basis that they made the digital archives and Sue. Sue to die, but I didn't really realize they made the digital archive for the Metropolitan Museum, so I'd really kind of chanced upon these people who were really experts in working with a lot of data. So glitch GSL has been my lockdown has been one of my lockdown projects are one of these people that I sort of worked all the way through lockdown just non stop, which doesn't mean I was paid by the way just in case you think I'm super rich and well funded, it wasn't. It was an r&d. And, but it really, I kind of didn't really stop with it, and the people I'm working with Koch didn't stop, and it goes got bigger and bigger and bigger. So it's been a really exciting project. I was working with footage from that short for a week in rehearsal. And I've sort of really done everything that could possibly be done with that footage because it was rehearsal footage. And it really made me think about the, I mean I've always spent a long time with anything that I've short, but really trying to exhaust the possibilities of anything. And I short that I shot that myself which I don't normally do is shorter on my DSLR but I was also used for in footage and all those kind of different sorts of things as well. So does that. Yeah, I think, I think it's quite a new kind of artifact. And I think it's going to take us a while to work out what it is that we've made. And if you if you have a look at it, and you want to tell me what you think of made I'd be really grateful.
Um, I was I'm so interested in it also in the context of course thinking about more digital work or work on other platforms. And I mean ups is a monster of a piece so the fact that it wasn't well funded unfold sort of slightly goes against this idea that somehow working digitally makes things more accessible. But perhaps it is nevertheless, an option I wonder if Charles and Kira if you could talk about the kinds of work that you might want to show or because chance he was saying before, do you think that there could be other categories of pieces that could be encouraged in order to facilitate another way of access or facilitate other people to make work
better for them. Um.
Can I just go back a moment to what Marisa was saying, I thought was really interesting to talk about. I get the big screen on to the small phone, and the opposite of that obviously is having a small phone film and showing that on the big screen, which is quite an awesome experience to see a massive screen with something that you feel wanted.
And also, going back to. Do you mind if I go backwards a bit. Please,
Omari Carter's film I thought was quite interesting. As a black Londoner how he made a film. That's what I think Kira was was alluding to, he made a film about just an injury. And that was his film, and it was an excellent, excellent film it wasn't issue based film. Okay. Also, what's interesting is that black stains, you know, how that was a white female director, making a film about black oppression, by the police and part documentary part dance parts, lots of different other parts of it. And I'd be quite interested in seeing more black directors and choreographers making work for a diverse range of people, including. Whatever. Fat white people are no.
Do you see this, Marisa
core team in making for a more diverse range of people.
I'd like to see a black director with a film about with white people in it, for example, because I haven't seen that in all the hundreds of submissions.
I'm not that surprised.
But I think there's something to be said for the way that we're educating young artists to enter the field in that. Obviously, academia is not the only space by which people enter this field. However, those of us who are working in that space, have hundreds of 18 to 21 year olds who are like I want to make things. And so, as an educator, I come from the perspective of okay let's not only do our part in really excavating the history of both cinema, and screen dance and postmodern dance and so both and all the things right as much as we can and as much as we have the bandwidth to do as a faculty however that may be made up on various campuses, but also support the students in exploring a diverse range of concepts, right i think that once we kind of get everyone thinking about what it is they wish to contribute to the field, what it is they wish to say that we may actually have more fodder there then we think one thing that's been really interesting for me. In this whole pandemic time is how many dance departments and theater departments and performing arts departments have gone well, we've kind of pushed this to the side it's been an elective for a while but we haven't really spent a lot of time on it now we're in this space where we're on zoom all the time and we're making screen based media, what do we do, we're not a film school. And so it just goes to show how the hierarchies of dance for example, and I'm in dance studies how the hierarchies of having a technique class have kind of pushed aside. Other ways of learning and knowing that we could have been doing all along but now that we're in this pandemic where we have to shift. Now it's kind of coming front and center. So, in some, I think from an educational point of view, we haven't done our due diligence to cultivate that diverse experience, and that diverse presentation of work among our students, and in recruiting our students based on what it is we think or endeavor to teach. So one thing that we're doing in the department that I work in is rethinking our curriculum, which we've needed to do for a while but again this moment that we're in has really propelled that conversation forward and thinking about ways to dissenter certain techniques in favor of equalizing our perception of what different types of classes and study offer our students and offer the field, when they enter it as young professionals, so I'll just leave that on the table as a way to think about diversity and other issues that we may be grappling with in terms of the kinds of work we show in terms of installation site specific etc etc. How we invite artists into the fold of a festival, not just by asking that they share their work, but in a curatorial sense, creating platforms for them to dream, and then helping them to actually do it right i think that we have a responsibility as producers as programmers to not just create a space to show stuff, but to create spaces and places because spaces and places are different for there to be some, not just collaborative, but experimental happenings that may go against what we're being asked to do financially, and I know what I'm asking is really difficult right because we have to sell tickets, but at the end of the day if we really are going to do justice to what it is that artists feel like they'd like to do, to advancing the field to caretaking for the field to thinking about the well being of the field. And to think about what our artistic landscape is going to look like moving forward. I think we have to put more attention to these things. So, yeah.
Yes, thank you, Kara, um, that was one of our questions in some ways is to think if we really want to make change. We need to think systemically, you know, we need to think about the field as a whole, as much as as as individual people, and what you're saying about education for example is paramount. You know the traditions that are within education in terms of what can and can't be taught, or how one teachers, few teachers, the whole situation. And also in terms of festivals. I want to come back to this question of economics, because the festivals that you operate, if I'm correct in general it's people submitting themselves to the festival and they usually pay a small fee. That in itself is very expensive for artists to submit attend festivals you need 300 pounds or something. And I had the fortune to have two situations where I had a small budget to curate so one was president Priscilla ghee in Montreal inviting me to hook up, he believed in October. And I had a smaller budget so I could invite screen dance artists and also go to lakhs.or.uk or other film hire services, where experimental or artists moving image is being hired out. And I could look at the whole catalog and pick and choose, and bring that to the curation, and it was the same. Earlier this summer my lockdown project was a curatorial collaboration was fintan Moran, and screened on season which we did online with coastal currents in Hastings. I had a budget from Brighton university to invest into the regional arts community in view of the lockdown of all arts institutions and the loss of the sort of the voice of artists in the in the region. So I had a substantial budget and we could go again to lax.org and choose and pick and devise the program, which of course meant that all the artists also get paid in that system, you know, when I fill my screen they get paid aid and invest the time to think about which festivals I put my film and setting, they don't have to pay submission fee and 30 day get paid. And there is an institution like lakhs.org, which facilitates a lot of that. So that would be my question to to you, Charles and also Kara. What can you do, I mean Charles he was saying the beginning you knew you weren't going to get any money so you did it by yourself. You know, I wonder if there needs to be something in the field that says we do need money, because this is work, people need to be paid yourself as well as other filmmakers. How can you get money.
Good question. I'd like to know the answer to that.
I thought that if I do it once and then it works well and I want to continue doing it, then hopefully I'll get, get some funding to make it happen in the first place. The only way I could do it is just do it myself. Okay. So it's an enormous amount of work, including. I learned how to build a website to actually have a website for the festival, I did it myself. And so, I stuffing envelopes I did everything. But with in terms of the fees that what we did do is from the income from the submission fees. We gave every person who presented their work, a small, small fee for being there for showing their work. And it is also possible personal touch as well. Post, you know, sending off certain things to them. And I got really good response to that, because I think it's obviously it's not very much money but at least is the fact that it's symbolic doesn't really help but it helps a tiny bit. And if I did have. And I mean I know from my own experience I, my film has been in many festivals, and sometimes even send me an email back saying that has happened or, or, there's no communication. There's was no fee, the only fee I got was, was an award when I managed to get 800 euros. So,
and it's a bad deal.
Kyra can you improve that deal.
So, the deal is not a good one. I mean, if I'm being totally honest. through the American Dance Festival. I charge a fee for, for people to submit, I don't like doing it I've talked about that a lot of the time, with the director of American Dance Festival. Proper, and there's a lot of things that go into that in terms of our place is kind of a festival within a festival and how donors are able to earmark or not able to earmark money specifically for ADF movies by movers so. Even so, there might be this idea that you know movies by movers because it's part of ADF and ADF is the biggest Dance Festival in the country. You must have a lot of money, I don't. And it is every year it's a real struggle for me to ask artists to pay money for us to look at it and not even guarantee that we're going to show their films. Often, how I get around that subversively is to just on a, on a case by case basis if people email me personally which always makes my contact information available. I'll give you a waiver, like you don't have to do a bunch of paperwork Just tell me that you ain't got it, and I'll let you submit your film. But for me, that's not enough and I think now that again we're in COVID, and that's changed everything. I've had some conversations about how we're going to move forward with the 2021 Festival, and though I'm not at liberty to share what we think we're going to do yet, I think we're getting closer to something that is more equitable and that while I still won't be able to actually pay filmmakers to have their work in the festival, which is my ultimate goal that at least, I am thinking that we're going to be able to mitigate the financial issue of submitting. Now, whether that's possible every year moving forward. That's a huge question and that's actually out of my hands and so all that to say, number one to be transparent about what the challenges are, and the ambivalence the fierce ambivalence that I feel around running a film festival, not just in these times but anytime we're we're asking artists who already do this work is such a labor of love for free. I started the festival, as a labor of love for free, and did a lot of that work like you said Charles and really questioning what is it about the arts that we just can't get to a point where we value it like we do sports. For example, you know, and so that's kind of an existential question. And my hope is that at least as far as I have power to do that I can keep moving toward actionable steps to make the financial piece of it more tenable for everyone.
Thank you. I'm looking at the clock we want to open the forum as well to all of you to ask questions. If you want another moment to think about your question, maybe Marisa Can I ask you what would you like to see as a systemic change in screening.
You have to unmute yourself. Yeah.
What would you like to see as a systemic change.
There are so many things but I'm gonna talk really briefly about an article written by Ariadne Miku, where she had researched festivals across the northern Mediterranean, and I was really inspired by this article because it reminded me actually that screen dance is made, it's made in a context it's made in a community and she's, she wrote about the Greek experience where Greece was just recovering from a financial crisis, and about the different ways in which the creators of a festival had embedded their festival within a tone and the economic benefits that came with that. And it felt like that was an act of imagination and resistance. I mean, I think we've spoken a lot today about diversity, and about seeing a much better and much more representative and much more exciting offer in relation to who is owner screens and who is making work. I think as well who is seeing the work and not, you know, it kind of it. It bridges across ethnicity and class and gender and sexuality and all those things and I think there's something really exciting that sometimes I think we're in a, we're in a, we're in a pickle appeared in screen dancewear. It's a bit like performance used to be where you can have a really great evening and maybe there's 50 people that if you're really lucky and that's it, but actually that there's going to be ripples that come out from that I think sometimes we're all a bit caught up in making, and being kind of world superstars because our social media metrics were all measured in terms of how many thousands and thousands of people like or click on us, whereas actually maybe we need a little moment of pause in this time to just really look at the quality of what we're doing and the quality of our experience making it and the quality of the people we're working with. And I see that really because of my experience on zoom working with 25, older people and never thought I'd ever do something like that, and it's been incredibly kind of meaningful for us as a group. I'm going to speak as part of that group. So I guess my kind of hope for systemic changes, is, is a very wide reaching one, but imagination and creativity and unbelief and kind of, yeah, is that, that's very kind of big, but that's that's the best I can come up with.
Because good. I think what we need. Um, so Vina I'm reading your comment here I wonder if you would like to come in, rather than me reading your comment.
Hi everyone from one side is so lovely to see many of you. I'd love to be
having a group hug right now.
No, I was commenting about what Claudia,
put on the table about
the world and Santa, we need money to pay for our, our work, right. So, so I think it's not only for the artists, but for the cultural intrapreneurs, I would say because it's. I don't know how you call in English, but it's not cultural administrative for sure but because we are not really administrating any. Many funds of this time, but it will be cultural intrapreneurs or initiatives. And here, in, in, I mean we've been able to build a very nice network with all Latin American and Ybor American Spain and Portugal. Join us on a 2008. And that's being very supportive in terms of mutual support. But in terms of really being able to, to get real funding, I mean significant funding from institutions. It's really difficult and I think I'm very disappointed. Although it's not so unexpected. Governments, at least in Argentina and you know in many countries around the world, I put our putting the pandemic and the sanitary situations as an excuse for the abandon that they have already started years ago, about what used to be the National Endowment for the Arts in the US, and you know, all around the world. I've seen it. You know, getting, actually, poorer and poorer. And I think it doesn't help. This idea of free content and, and like, there's all these navigation of of content which of course I'm not against free access because you know that's what I've tried to do with the 25 years of the festival are, I organized in, in Argentina. I'm not talking about the, the audience as subjects, as, as consumers, I don't think of my audience members as consumers. But I think of them as citizens with cultural rights, so culture is should be the one of the basic human rights for all citizens or habitants let's say in the world. And, but you know it's it's so difficult for people in power to understand the importance of respecting rights of audiences or people in general. And I think the pandemic really far from making everybody more understanding, which I really had hoped. At the beginning of it, you know, with animals coming to live into big cities, and the air being so clean, and there's so many nice things that that we perceived like now the world will will understand what real life should be.
But really, you know,
all the burning of the world, you know, burning the fields, burning the woods and all you know other natural undead I mean the the disasters that the human race is imposing on life are really far from ending. So actually, in my comment, coming back to screen dance and festivals. Today, for example, the National Film Institute in Argentina is trying to destroy and cancel the only national program to support film festivals, we and we have been struggling as almost like a union of film festivals in Argentina, and I'm sad to say that we see that we, we are not going to to really overcome that. That decision of the authorities, and it's a democracy so called democracy. So I think you know I said unionize in terms of like at least communicating with each other and defend our rights so I think the again the audience are not consumers the audience are inhabitants of the world with a right to access to culture. And we as cultural intrapreneurs, and as artists are have the right to do our job because we know how to do our job. But there's many people who are deciding public policies who quit. And clearly don't know how to do their job. So, okay with these. I I extend my arms to you all. And I know many of you, and we don't have any other chance of, but keep on struggling, because that's what we do. But I think, I think we need to make clear that they cannot like in Spanish we said it better though Nana lovey they they they cannot act like they they're they're they're making as a favor to let us leave right and to let us pervy per, live, But, but, but we are really. I liked what Marisa said about a huge cast and and huge sceneries scenarios, because that will reflect that we can empower ourselves right as women as Latino as black as poor white people, whatever, or as rich white, white people would, which we are not and
Marisa, also the conversation isn't is a tool for empowering. So I think it's very significant and very useful, that we come together in these conversations, because there is a power in that, you know, in sharing and listening, understanding.
So it would be great to
whether somebody else would like to propose a sort of systemic change or would you have a question two what
the artists have set so far,
Claudia, I think, Charles has a question he's trying to come in.
Oh, it was just a response to, I'm sorry I don't know your name I can see Silvana spelling spelling. Thank you. Thank you for your comments, it's really good to hear. And what I'm taking away from from your comments, is that citizens. Cultural Rights is a really important thing. Thank you for articulating that in this country, what's happened is that the government has told anyone in the arts, they've got to retrain because it's, it's not worth anything it's invalid, you know, retrain. It's not legible, it's not anything. And that's just an act of cultural vandalism. And this is the situation that we're in moment.
That's all I'm gonna say
sorry, did you say we train or reframe.
Well, the government told me everybody is an artist who's unemployed retrain get a job in something else.
I'm reading a comment from a rehab nimiq who want to know if you want to say it I can read your comment. Apologies for bringing the following and delay the response to Claudius comments about curating from a perspective of revealing what divides us instead of what moves us. Please let me clarify that the Mediterranean area is an area with many diversities and divisions sought to curate from a perspective that enhances what can move us becomes quite necessary for being able to work together, and by extension, promote social and political change. thank you very much. Yes, absolutely. When that is a very well put a reality. Do we need to work on different levels, and there are many questions we need to ask. And I wasn't meant didn't intend to completely deny that part of who we are, indeed movement is essential, who we are as people. So thank you for that. I think the question is, is diversification isn't it. What other questions can we ask that might lead us to making other kinds of work. Maybe that's the best way of reframing that
your baby's sleeping. Very good. Lovely.
Any other questions
about systemic change he would like something you would have heard of something you didn't like you heard.
Perhaps meanwhile is a piece of information. I'm disappearing into darkness i'm gonna i'm yesterday here in the UK was the online screening of the German award, which is the UK prestigious annual award for artists moving image. And on one hand I think I want to refer you that because the work that is made in that field is intensely choreographic, and is increasingly engaged with movement as a language
addressing some very interesting questions and work. But it's interesting how artists moving image has a different economy behind it, you know. So, this prize is German award comes with a tag of 10,000 pounds. So every year six artists are being put forward by industries industry specialists. The work is being taught. And eventually one person gets the award which of course is quite significant because was 10,000 pounds, you can start to make a new piece of work. And it's interesting I actually looked into the politics behind it, who is who are the patrons including Tilda Swinton. Yeah, it's called the charm and award has of course, a lot of traction. As a name. A lot of important actors are part of the board, and it's supported by film London. But, you know, my question is, why don't we make the Darwin award. Yeah, I'm sure there's some people in the world who could be a patron of the Darwin award.
Yeah, just to throw that in.
like the sound of the Darwin award greatly. So, I'm sure there must be people out there with a few spare pennies to give us some
I think it's interesting looking into other art forms and the models of other art forms to see how they sustain their communities, for sure. And it's very interesting to see the way that the film industry and especially the fine film industry has come out of fine art practice. So artists film a video and all the rest of it to see how they model themselves generally.
Indeed, and screen dance comes out of that field, you know, artists, moving image or experimental film. If you look back to the 20th century. These were experimental filmmakers he made, he started working with choreography, or movement, in some ways, and even going back maybe 1015 years. I'm looking at Simon here Katrina McPherson used the word video dance, which was a way to describe the work in relation to video art, you know, or the work by Sheryl Dodds, she used the word art dance for a while. So clearly, seeing this practice in that context in those traditions. So it's all done at the moment we've sort of sidelight ourselves into a kind of poor cousin,
who doesn't seem to think that we can demand
that kind of support.
I think I should put some light on it's getting a little bit gloomy.
There's quite a lot on the chat about how screendance suffers from low self esteem and that this reflects its status among the other are some people talking about the artists within it, not having much self esteem maybe that's something you'd like to pick up.
Interesting. Yeah. Marissa, would you. What do you think,
go to I'm
not sure I don't think I suffer from low self esteem but then of course I'm a person that describes myself as a filmmaker. I think I've been slightly challenged this year by the amount of by larger institutions discovering screen dance, and making work that looks like it's got a lot of money in it. And that is kind of like, it's very low. Is there at the beginning of their screen dance journey. So there's a sort of discovery of an art form that's that's been really kind of established for probably about 50 years but it's been discovered and promoted as something really really new. So, that, that sort of, it doesn't make me have low self esteem it just makes me really really angry. And I think it would be really great to, to find a way of publicizing this art form. And the people who have been working in it and who continue who work in it and continue to work on it and the expertise they have in in different ways because we're no in those rooms where those large institutions that are who are just no discovering that they are of dance can in fact be kind of adapted to the screen, you know like Mark Morris who, you know, whatever you think of him is a good choreographer, in, in a particular way but, you know, that there was a big sort of Guardian article about him Mark Morris had made it on screen and had discovered that you could cut between two spaces.
I was like, What.
And so I think I'm not in those rooms, but I wonder if there's something about lobbying at higher levels than probably most of the people in this space today to to get those, those that awareness raised a bit. Yeah, I suppose that's my low self esteem. No. Does anybody else suffer from low self esteem as a, as a screenwriter filmmaker as a screenwriter.
So I'm gonna jump in, I just, I was thinking about the field, rather than individuals. You know I think individuals in the field are really, you know, that's not true I they have value in huge integrity their work and really clear about what they're doing and why and they carry on. And they sustain throughout all of these difficulties. So, I suppose exactly that, what I'm saying is the reverse is that actually, there's just huge value and resource in the field that isn't appreciated by other discourses and arts movements, it doesn't have the same status, it doesn't it's not in the room where the decisions are made, and therefore as a field, it kind of has this sense of low self esteem like like somehow, like we can't push into those rooms there's something about maybe we're not collective enough or there isn't enough that these kind of things is so heartening because you think I see this kind of extraordinary range in the room and I think gosh if we could just harness this collective force can't, can't we absolutely have the daring awards and and and it has the same input and the end effect and I suppose I'm caught exec a call to. Let's step into those spaces more, you know somehow. I'm not sure what the weigh in, is, but I absolutely think that that needs to happen.
both Mercer and Geeta had their hands up so I want to, because we're getting close to time so
you can. Okay,
well. Alright so, um, I understand what you're saying anna and i i don't know that I would describe it quite that way. But I also have been really frustrated with the discovery of screen dance by, you know, celebrities and other institutions that kind of go hey here's this thing actually somebody sent me a film. Not too long ago by a person who makes films, you know regularly short films, is not a dancer doesn't have a dance background and not that that's a necessity to enter into this conversation, but the way that he was marketing the film. It was as if that had never happened before. And it was a film where it was people dancing, but there were subtitles about what the dancers bodies were saying. And so, there's a whole conversation around that whether or not the subtitles were even necessary in the piece, but this idea that even in independent film circles, the idea that this is a new thing is really interesting given the history of dance on screen. From the very beginning of filmmaking. I mean I was just looking back at all of the Edison films. And just the range of dance, that was shown in those films, not just dance itself but like belly dance Spanish dance, tap dance. Native American dance like just all of this. And so, I suppose that my desire would be that the film or cinema community at large, be a little more explicit and recognizing the history and place of screen dance as a specific genre filmmaking within the filmic tapestry more broadly.
I mean I think there's a. Yeah, I think there's that there's a sort of hangover of this being a form, which in the UK, kind of was pushed forward in television, and then pushed forward in a particular way to make it short form, and then push forward is something that actually choreographers needed a lot of help with. So, it becomes further and further away from the the people who are thinking about the, the bodies and the choreography or the movement or whatever it is, it's been made. I don't think that's ever really gone away I mean, I'm kind of really bored of seeing people who make adverts directing screen dances in the most obvious, and frankly kind of hetero sexist way possible. I think that that's that's a problem, and I mean I do think we need the mark cousins and we need those people on our site, because I think we've got something to say about the world. However, we define ourselves that that is really kind of, it's a language, it's part of a filmmaking language. So, yes, so
Yeah, I think the
the thing I've been thinking about a lot in this time that connects with this is thinking about what infrastructures, there are two take us as Anna says it into the room. This is very Hamilton isn't it in the room where it happens, slash westwing.
there is a there is such a strong dynamic at play because there are so few kinds of infrastructure that support dance films specifically because we sort of draw on the dance draw on the visual arts we draw on film. None of them sit entirely with screendance very squarely, the structures that exist, are things like the festivals, which are sort of the main infrastructure or system that we have and there is discussion which I think is very useful that's been charged by the by the pandemic about the festivals increasing again how we talk to each other and and strengthening those networks. That's about the this that then leads me back to the suchness of who runs those festivals and kairali that out really clearly at the beginning that we can't just assume that that will address things because it will also reinforce things that we're trying to change. So there is so much unfolding and unpicking that we need to do so on the one hand I'm thinking yes there are infrastructures we can try to build or use, and on the other hand, you know, if it's the festival organizers. Many are also artists who make work and bring that perspective but it's different from having another layer of infrastructure that really foregrounds or is led by the artists who are making the work and, yeah, so at the moment for me I feel like I'm just weaving all these different strands and trying to work out which ones. Can I pull on or push or connect. But it's really hard to find a sort of clear through line, also because it all has to happen around, you know, this is like Friday evening at seven when you get a moment to think
would be good. You know,
so the conversations like this are also fantastic food so I'm just really grateful that it's happening and that I get to listen.
Yeah, thanks good time we I think we need to conclude, because it's 430 in my time. And I do, regardless of a lot of the difficulties I do feel very heartened by this conversation and seeing the many faces from around the UK and around the world and I saw the aasimar from Birmingham as well there's so much fantastic programming and curating going around and I think what we now can go away was is that there is so much that we are really auto specialists and we cannot necessarily assume, other people to be specialists there, you know, there will be fringes, and that's okay. But as specialists, I think we can take the next step and say okay, let's think of what the glass ceiling is, and let's take it a step further, you know, maybe it's the Darren award. I don't know what it is, you know, there could be other things. But I think it feels like there's a critical mass and there's an amount of expertise here and an amount of will, which is really quite
stunning, I think. Yeah.
So I think all I can do now is thank everybody in particular Marissa Charles and Kara, and also for salty stance, thank you so much for setting this up and for everybody to be with us. And listen, and join in.
Okay, thank you very much everybody thank you everybody for coming as well and contributing it's great to see so many of you in the room and Geeta did put up on the chat that about the next panel that she will be facilitating Geeta, do you want to just mention.
I do want to mention if I can unmute.
Um, so next month. We'll be in conversation with Kate Connelly from the space which is a digital platform for the arts in the UK and Mike Kirschner who runs marquee TV arts and has also established a number of other media digital platforms for dissemination and distribution of dance art film and screenings in particular. And so between us we're talking about digital spaces we're talking about festivals we're talking about these dynamics that a that are playing into everything from how work is made to, who is in this particular field who how we reach the audiences we reach and how we reach beyond that. And what that can do to open up the conversation and maybe, you know, now I have also the plan that this will get us closer to the Darren award.
Right. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Also this is part of a wider piece of programming that se and I have been working on, and we working with Geeta to produce these panels, and it's 2020 vision so if you go to the SE dance website. There's a whole load of really interesting short films that artists have chosen and curated on there so please have a look and there'll be more coming, and more panel discussions. So, If you sign up to our mailing list. If you're not already on it, then you'll be able to know when those are happening. But thank you so much for coming