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Kranfilm Archive (Kran Film Collective)

Kran Film Collective

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October Resident: Amit Mahanti (IN)

21 October, 5pm – lecture: Threading Looms, Weaving Cinema
RITS School of Arts, Antoine Dansaertstraat 70, Brussels 1000

26 October, 8pm – screening: Labour and cinema
Beursschouwburg, Auguste Ortsstraat 20-28, Brussels 1000

Malegaon Times-1

Amit Mahanti, an independent researcher, filmmaker and visual artist from New Delhi, is the first Kran Film Resident who will be visiting Brussels for 10 days in order to explore Flemish video and film archives and the scene, give a lecture at RITS – School of Arts, and organize a screening programme at Beursschouwburg Brussels. Mahanti’s residency programme is developed around the theme of labour. He will be exploring the relationship between labour and cinema, and question how labour can sometimes exercise its own sense of creative agency and push us to re-imagine the characterization of the term “labour” itself. In which way cinema may be a powerful creative and political tool to transcend existing conditions of labour? How these cultural expressions often throw up a challenge to the hegemonic discourses of corporate media? Can the labour be understood as an active creative and cultural force that generates its own expressions, reflective of its engagement with the larger world order?

LECTURE : Threading Looms, Weaving Cinema

Amit Mahanti particularly explores indigenous filmmaking industry in a working-class town Malegaon (270 km northeast of Mumbai, Western India). Malegaon has over 3 lakh power-looms, the mainstay of the town, which process raw cotton into finished cloth that feeds the textile industry in Western India. The loom-workers of Malegaon also produce their unique brand of cinema, low-cost films using low-end technology, which has a flourishing audience in and around Malegaon. In many ways, Malegaon typifies a working-class unorganized labour ecology in a developing country – a workforce shaped through waves of migration from Northern and Western India since the 19th century, a trend which continues till today; a town which is extremely divided on communal lines (the merchant class is primarily Hindu, while the loom-workers belong to the Muslim community); an everyday life of drudgery through the repetitive nature of loom-work, poor working conditions and inadequate remuneration.

Yet, the prevalence and primacy accorded to the creation of cinema in Malegaon does not allow us to view the town only through the lens of exploitation or inequity. Through their films, Malegaon workers often subvert existing dominant codes of mainstream big-budget films of the Mumbai film industry (Bollywood). This subversion is enacted in various ways – parodist narratives, primarily comedy, of mainstream Bollywood films; miniscule costs compared to Bollywood budgets (the average budget of a Malegaon film is about $750, saved up by a worker through many months of loom-work); localized narratives, and viewing and distribution mechanisms outside the theatre system (more than 100 films are made every year which dominate the VCD/DVD market in the region).

Even within the context of a developing country like India, the labour class in Malegaon resists traditional definitions of labour and provokes us to think on other lines – of how despite being a tiny cog in the wheel of capitalist production, labour can sometimes exercise its own sense of creative agency and push us to re-imagine the characterization of the term “labour” itself; of how forms of cultural expression can sometimes be powerful creative and political tools to transcend existing conditions of labour; of how these cultural expressions often throw up a challenge to the hegemonic discourses of corporate media.

SCREENING : Labour and cinema

Besides Mahanti’s and Negi’s film Malegaon Times (2012, 27min), which uses Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936) as a starting point to explore the relationship between cinema, labour and performance in Malegaon, India, few other Indian and Flemish films will be screened. Detailed programme is to be announced soon.

Modern Times (2012) by Amit Mahanti and Ruchika Negi
(27min/ DV PAL / 4:3 / Hindi with English subtitles)
Malegaon Times looks at the idea of performance in the working-class, power-loom town of Malegaon (Maharashtra, Western India). Malegaon thrives on power-looms, cloth and cinema, all inextricably linked to each other. The film moves between these worlds with Asif Albela – a stage performer, a mimic and a film actor whose specialty lies in comedy. He is known for his ability to carve out characters from the everyday fabric of his town, and present them through his lens of comedy- the preferred way in which the town likes to see its realities revealed.

Narayan Gangaram Surve (2002) a film by Arun Khopkar
(45min/ English subtitles)
Narayan Gangaram Surve, who passed away in 2010, was one of India’s leading poets. He was a foundling, raised by a mill-worker until the age of ten and then left to fend for himself. Working as a waiter, helper in textiles mills, a peon in a Municipal school, he finally retired as a primary school teacher. A Marxist by conviction, he forged a new idiom of the spoken word in Marathi poetry. His poems mix dialects of Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, English to catch the pulse of the life of the underprivileged. The film shows Kishor Kadam, playing Narayan Surve, but meeting the real poet through his journey. The poems are ‘interpreted’, without words, through non-linear montage of visuals and sound effects.


Amit Mahanti (1978) is an independent researcher, filmmaker and visual artist residing in New Delhi. He is particularly interested in human ecology, culture and social processes, which he has explored through documentary films (Malegaon Times 2012, No One Has Come Alone 2008, ML-05-B-6055 2007), and community art projects and installations (Rain Is For Free 2013, When Hunger Feels Good 2012, Restless 2010, Disconnect 2009-10, Zariyein 2006-08). Together with Ruchika Negi, Amit Mahanti is the founder of Frame Works, a media and research collective based in New Delhi. Frame Works Collective uses interdisciplinary practices to investigate the relationship between art and social processes; their methodology applies theory, documentary film, public art and new media.


By merging film and video art practice with theory, Kran Film residency wishes to raise questions of citizenship in a migrating, multinational and multiethnic society, about neo-liberalism, labour and economy, migrations, populism, ethics, gender and the like. How Eurocentric and multipolar vision of the world order can contribute the creation of new forms of subjectivity much more appropriate for the contemporary migrating society?

The OPEN CALL selection committee which consists of representatives from Beursschouwburg, RITS School of Arts, BAMart Flemish Institute for visual, audiovisual and media art, Argos Centre for Art and Media, and Kran Film Collective, has chosen Amit Mahanti to be the first Kran Film resident. The next resident is Olga Kopenkina, a curator and professor at the New Your University (12-22 November 2013). Her focus is on the gender theme.

Kran Film Collective is a Brussels and Copenhagen based network of international visual artists and film makers from outside the traditional realm of filmmaking. Kran Film is engaged in a critical approach to society we live in through film and video art.

Kran Film Resident is supported by the Flemish authorities.

In partnership with Beursschouwburg, RITS School of Arts, BAMart Flemish Institute for visual, audiovisual and media art, Argos Centre for Art and Media, Cinematek, Plus-tot te laat, 68septante.

Kran Film Resident programme director Goran Petrović

Archive: NEW films!


A film by Nina Kurtela

Transformance (8min, 2010) is a video-event-work that activates and documents a five-month durational performance. Over this period of time, Nina Kurtela establishes a daily practice of visiting and witnessing the changes at the building site of the Uferstudios, Wedding, Berlin – the warehouse for the repair of public trams and buses becomes a dance institution. She is spectator to the making of an institution, an art institution, the making of the theatre stage. The camera acts as a witness to her performing/witnessing. The piece emerges as a case study of an individual subject’s encounter with the radical transformations of social structures and operative models within the performing society. The artist is present at the birth of Berlin’s new contemporary dance centre, an institution that will certainly come to play a part in shaping and organizing the dynamic of the city’s dance community. The work emerges in the force field of a commitment to the daily execution of present-ness in relation to the specific context where this act takes place: the building site of the theatre.  What unfolds is a 8-minute work with multi-faceted implications. The body is rendered a statue through the changes of time.  The screen becomes the performing skin.

New KranFilm board members!

During the general assembly 2013, which took place parallel to the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), new KranFilm board members have been selected: Alfredo Cramerotti, Sophie Hamacher, Lasse Lau and Rie Hougaard, and, as extras, Benj Gerdes, Sarah Vanagt and Morten Dall.


Rotterdam Film Festival,

2. february, 3pm

Dear Kran Film members,
the date of the general assembly 2013 is rapidly approaching and it will this year take place parallel to the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). (address will follow soon)

Participate by SKYPE: Please send your skype account address to lasse@kranfilm.net.

We Hope to see you in Rotterdam! 


Board members: Alfredo Cramerotti, Morten Dall, Lasse Lau, Rie Hougaard, Sarah Vanagt and Sophie Hamacher.

Kran Film Archive: New Titles

Kran Film Archive

New Titles

El – Susto, a film by Re’em Aharoni (2011, HDV, 24:43′ )

Fernando Derks Bustamante lost his older brother when he was 3 – an event after which he stopped talking. To heal him from the ‘susto’ (fright), he underwent a ritual that carried a promise for transformation. This film reveals the juxtaposition between accepted cultures to nowadays-denounced traditions.

Up North Right East Down South Left West, a film by Christophe Meierhans (2012, HD video, 20:40′)

Western expatriates comment on what they see from a terrace of the old city of Jerusalem. The commenting off-voices decipher the same images we are also seeing as spectators of this film about the production of differences and identity, about orientation and disorientation.

CAll for films

Kran Film is inviting filmmakers to submit their films in digital form to Kran Film Archive. We are interested in short and feature films which in a critical way question social, political and cultural issues like post-political condition, economy, migration, gender, post-colonialism, social responsibility, body and coercion and alike. Please send us your films to the following address:

Kran Film, Aalststraat 7-11, Suite A3.1, Brussels 1000, Belgium

Kran Film Archive is built up through film donations and by invitation. It archives video and film art in digital form. The archive is open by appointment and allows cultural operators, curators and researchers to inquiry its collection. All films in the archive are subject to public presentation only in agreement between Kran Film and the artist. Please contact us for more information on regulations and submissions to the archive at goran@kranfilm.net

Masterclass Expanded Documentary

Masterclass Expanded Documentary, KASKcinema, Gent, Belgium, on 9th May. Exposition and discussions by Ben Russell (U.S.), Sarah Vanagt, Laurent Van Lancker and master students of the School of Arts, Ghent.

kran film new board members

Kran Film has selected new board members team at the general assembly held in Berlin, in February this year.

We thanks to Maria Maud and Benj Gerdes for their engagement with Kran Film Collective and kind contribution to realization of Kran Film activities!
We welcome a new board member team: Sophie Hamacher, Rie Hougaard Landgreen, Alfredo Cramerotti, Morten Dall and Sarah Vanagt and Lasse Lau.

Kran Film at BOZAR, June 22 and 23

BOZAR – Carte Blanche:  KRAN FILM
22 and 23 June
Bozar – Brussels Centre for Fine Arts / Studio
Rue Ravenstein, Brussels 1ooo

Kran Film is presenting a selection of films by its members produced from 2010.  Out of 9 short films we are screening 7 Belgian premiers by filmmakers from Lebanon, USA, Egypt, Belgium and Denmark. The programme which will be on screen at Bozar on 22 and 23 June is divided in two categories: documentary/narrative and art/experimental.  Although different in approach, all the films in a critical way observe social, political and cultural actualities and their local expressions in Greenland, UK and Armenia, either in Alexandria, Brussels and Cairo, touching upon issue of memory, otherness, migration, art, economy and personal history.

read the full programme in English, Flemish and French here


Berlin, 11 February 2012

Like every year Kran Film General Assembly is going to be held during Berlinale, Berlin Film Festival, which last from 9 to 19 February, 2012.
The General Assembly will be held on 11 February, at a location in Berlin, that we will notify you about later on.
General Assembly will overview activities in 2011, programme for 2012 and propose new Kran Film members!

Steven Day exhibits in Paris

Steven Day participates at the exhibition Nouvel Organon in Paris. The group show on photography is opened between December 10th and January 5th 2012, in 20 Rue Muller, 75018 Paris.

Kran Film General Assembly

Like every year Kran Film General Assembly is going to be held during Berlinale, Berlin Film Festival, which last from 9th to 19th of February 2012.

The General Assembly will be held on February 11th at a location in Berlin, that we will notify you about early next year.
General Assembly will overview activities in 2011, programme for 2012 and propose new Kran Film members!



28th Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival (November 8 – 13) nominated works by two Kran Film members for this year awards. The Corridor, a film by Sarah Vanagt, has been nominated for the A38-Production Grant Kassel-Halle, while the film Echoes, by Ivalo Frank, has been nominated for the prize The Golden Key.

(un)translatability at Casa Vecina, Mexico City

On 21, August, 2011

at the Casa Vecina, cultural center. Centro Histórico, Mexico city

01 steven day-david pushkin victor still 5'03 -2008

Kran Film presents:

1. Populus Tremula, by Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida; 9min, 16mm on DVD, 2010.

2. Intelligence Failure: Minutes 39-54, by Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida; 7min, 2003.

3. Journey 110, by Khaled Jarrar, DVD 12min 15, 2008.

4. The New Film,, by Raed Yassin, DVD, 13min, 2008.

5. Ghost Town, by Steven Day and David Pushkin, DVD, 30min, 2008.

6. Foire du Midi, by Hugo Van der Vennet, 28min, 2007.

Ghost Town: Victor, 2008, 5 min, film still, David Pushkin and Steven Day


Giving priority to visual language above utterance to develop narrative, the screening program at the Casa Vecina tickles the notion of the (un)translatability. Focused on language either in its own absence, either when its presence plays the secondary role, the (un)translatability does not imply the process of destruction and transformation as evoked by the translation (Benjamin); it rather speaks in terms of an original, as a fixed and inalterable event which offers a room for a viewer to inscribe his/her own thoughts and feelings within its content (Debord).

The screening presents six shorts split in two programs. The first part of the program includes films by Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hyashida, Raed Yassin and Khaled Jarrar to put the focus on representations of power in the very act of censorship, exclusion and manipulation. Its second part presents collaborative work of Steven Day and David Pushkin, and a film by Hugo van de Vennet. Both films are developed around the subject of amusement park although van de Vennet’s film is silent, while the later presents omnibus of ten different stories wherein the meaning of the language is given in relation to the circumstances under which the conversation takes place (Gauker).

*  *  *

casa vecina

Casa Vecina is the cultural branch of the Mexico City Historical Center Foundation (Fundación del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México AC) specialized in production, display and research in the field of contemporary art. Rather than assuming the identity of a conventional exhibition space, Casa Vecina has adapted a studio concept: focusing on the artistic process, as opposed to exhibiting finished works of art. Exhibitions and displays are a continuous process of experimentation.

All of the projects supported by Casa Vecina are registered and documented; the information about each project is available to the public through our Documentation Center, which also offers specialized bibliographies and journals. Casa Vecina organizes workshops, theoretical seminars and artistic projects are always open to the community.

casavecinalogo Logotipo Fundación negro



Opening Address

Kran Film was the host of Camel Collective for a 4 month residency  in Copenhagen 2010. This is the video that was among other produced from their residency with the Second World Congress of Free Artists at Aarhus Kunstbygning. Please see more about the event and Camel Collective at their websites at http://camelcollective.org/

The video itself takes its structure from Straub-Huillet’s film, Toute révolution est un coup de dés (1977). Shot among the new residential buildings in Ørestad City outside of Copenhagen, Opening Address presents four figures dwarfed by contemporary housing developments, the descendants of Bauhaus architecture. Four voices read from Camel Collective’s “Opening Address” to the Second World Congresses of Free Artists, a script that appropriates elements from the first Opening Address by Asger Jorn, delivered in 1956.

Jorn’s original text critically attacked the Weimar Bauhaus’ call: ARCHITECTS, SCULPTORS, PAINTERS: WE MUST ALL GO BACK TO BEING ARTISANS. He proposed instead that artists be engaged at the highest levels of theoretical and technological production. Yet, in light of the post-Fordist training of artists as the professionalized coordinators of linguistic performances and positions (the “educational turn” in art is one of its art-historical manifestations) it may be time to reconsider the artisanal as an always already political venture and to explode the possibilities dormant in its repression within the context of conceptual art’s hold on artistic formation in Western academia.

The video presents a moment of reflective pause and proposes a limited utopianism in the midst of a hyper-capitalist dystopian futurism.

Camel Collective’s script was delivered at a performance of the Second Congress of Free Artists at the Aarhus Kunstbygning, November 2010.

11 min. video, color, sound

The Second World Congress of Free Artists, November 20, Aarhus

greetings“We have organized a Congress here. Why? What reason can there be for artists, the freest, most independent people in society—people who live like “the lily of the field”—to come together, organize themselves, and undertake theoretical discussions?” —Asger Jorn (1956)

Camel Collective in collaboration with Kran Film would like you to attend the Second World Congress of Free Artists, Aarhus as part of the exhibition Modifications curated by Karin Hindsbo at the Aarhus Kunstbygning.

The event will take place Saturday, November 20, 2010, 11:30–17:30.

This congress resuscitates the First World Congress of Free Artists, in Alba (1956) a meeting organized by Asger Jorn and Pinot Gallizio of the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus which included members of the Lettrist International and the Nuclear Art Movement, among others. Along with two exhibitions, this first congress presented speeches by six participants on the subjects of “free art” and “industrial activity.” This meeting lead to the founding conference of the Situationist International at Cosio d’Arroscia in Italy the following year.

The Second World Congress of Free Artists, Aarhus responds to Asger Jorn’s call to rethink the professionalization of artists by pointing his historical critique of Max Bill’s Bauhaus at the current professionalization of artists. This takes the form of the artist PhD., the institutionalization of the “educational turn” in artistic practice, and the homogenization and privatization of higher education as a result of the Bologna Process in the European Union.

The Second World Congress of Free Artists, Aarhus is a daylong series of performances of speeches written by a selection of international artists and art educators. Each speech will be performed by an actor or actors addressing the audience on the historical, practical, and theoretical problems of institutional and counter-institutional pedagogies as we live them today. In a potential exchange of positions between the roles of sender and receiver in traditional education, the event aims to mark and transcend worn-out and authoritarian models of pedagogy, opting instead for playful and performative modes of knowledge production.

The speeches of the Second World Congress of Free Artists, Aarhus are written by: Eduardo Abaroa; Mirene Arsanios; Michael Ashkin; Sarina Basta, Karin Schneider, and Simone Leigh; Mary Walling Blackburn (Anhoek School); Zachary Cahill; Mónica Castillo; Sande Cohen; Andrea Creutz, Sebastien Berthier, and Shirin Sabahi; Anthony Davies, Nils Norman, and Howard Slater; Eva Diaz; Stephan Dillemuth; Sean Dockray (The Public School); Eva Egermann and Elke Krasny; Miklos Erhardt; Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida; Sam Gould (Red76); Ashley Hunt; C. Krydz Ikwuemesi; Jakob Jakobsen; Colin Lang; Ditte Lynkaer Pedersen; Carlos Motta; J. Morgan Puett; Johannes Raether; Oliver Ressler and Dario Azzellini; Douglas Ross; Rum46 Collective; Temporary Institute for Witchpower; Javier Toscano; UKK; and The YES! Association.

The Players: Michael Ashkin, Zachary Cahill, Iza Mortag Freund, Wanda Jakob, Ari Godwin Kollontai-Hartz, Zaki Nobel Mehabil, Vivi Nielsen, Rosa Sand Michelsen, Mikkel Trier Rygaard, and Javier Toscano.

About Camel Collective: Since 2005 Camel Collective has produced research-based projects on the subjects of art and pedagogy, archives, and social practice. Camel Collective has been included in exhibitions at Participant Inc., Exit Art, Art in General, and Artist Space in New York City; Sala de Arte Publico Siqueiros in Mexico City; and Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, among others.

Kran Film is hosting with support by the Danish Arts Council Camel Collective in Denmark. Kran Film is engaged in facilitating a film Camel Collective is producing in Denmark. The film is using speeches and historical material from the First World Congress in juxtaposition with new housing development like the one in the Ørestad City.


Kran Film receives DIVA grant by the Danish Arts Council. It will be used for a 4 month residency for the New York based Camel Collective in Copenhagen/ Aarhus Denmark 2010. They will among other produce a film. They write…those ambivalent forms of shared warmth—of a coffee between two, a cigarette between strangers, or clandestine nuzzling in a theater—these are the moments of exchange familiar to anyone familiar with revolutionary films from Vertov to Kiarostami. The question that these cinematic gestures will invite are of an ambivalent nature: are the moments of pauses and exchanges—of breath for smoke—a symptom of alienation, an exhibition of powerlessness, or are they moments of detainment from the official custody of documentary realism, and thus from the realism demanded in the discourse of social change and radicalism itself?

Camel Collective

Kran Filmweb Launches

The Kran Film Collective has a new website! Wohoo!