Film series and discussion: Who’s Got the Power?

Plakat zur Filmreihe © Bonn Center for Dependancy and Slavery Studies .

Plakat zur Filmreihe © Bonn Center for Dependancy and Slavery Studies .

Cluster of Excellence BCDSS at the University of Bonn shows films about strong asymmetrical power relations and dependencies

Who’s Got the Power? This is the question addressed in a new film series by the Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS) at the University of Bonn and Förderverein Filmkultur, a film funding association in Bonn. The launch of the film series marks the start of a multi-year cooperation between these two institutions. The films will examine various scenarios of human oppression and strong asymmetrical dependency relationships, beginning with the award-winning film "La Pirogue" by Moussa Touré on April 28 at 8 p.m. at the Kino in der Brotfabrik, Bonn (Kreuzstraße 16). The format "screening plus talk" will offer a space for researchers, film makers, and the public to enter into a dialogue.

Regardless of culture, region or era, human oppression can be found anywhere in the world. They appear in the shape of slavery, serfdom, debt bondage, forced labor and child labor, human trafficking, domestic violence or sexual exploitation. Strong asymmetrical power relations and dependencies seem to be a universal social phenomenon.

The international researchers at the BCDSS explore the phenomenon of slavery and other forms of strong asymmetrical dependencies from numerous perspectives within the humanities and social sciences. In doing so, the various lives of oppressed people should be brought to the fore. Through their perspectives, the prevailing view of history is extended and revised, giving way to many pressing questions: What are the mechanisms behind the hierarchisation of society? In what way do historic dependency relations affect our lives today? What can we learn from the past? Which forms of strong dependencies, oppression and hierarchisation do we have on our doorstep? Do we nurture them in any way?

Everyone is welcome to engage in the post-screening talks with representatives of the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS), film makers and/or the Förderverein Filmkultur e.V. The program includes four film screenings and post-screening talks per year. Talks will be led by the film funding association.

Why this film series?

"The socially relevant issues that lie at the heart of the BCDSS only benefit society if they actually manage to reach the people. The aim is to make strong asymmetrical dependencies as tangible as possible," says Dr. Abdelkader Al Ghouz, Acting Managing Director at the BCDSS. "The medium of film is ideally suited for this as it conveys the impression of immediacy and is able to introduce us to various perspectives of strong asymmetrical power relations." The post-screening talk provides a chance to reflect on and question our cinematic experience and engage in a wider discourse.

Program 2022

La Pirogue - 28 April 2022 - 20:00h
A film by Moussa Touré
France, Senegal, Germany, 2011 (87 minutes), multilingual with German subtitles
Introduction: Sigrid Limprecht (FFK) and Abdelkader Al Ghouz (BCDSS)
Talk: Boluwatife Akinro & further BCDSS representatives plus the audience
Location: Kino in der Brotfabrik, Kreuzstraße 16, 53225 Bonn (Beuel)

We the Cimarrons - 30 June 2022 - 20:00h
A film by Emma Christopher
Columbia, Australia, 2021 (53 minutes), original with English subtitles
Introduction: Sigrid Limprecht (FFK) and Emma Christopher, film director & BCDSS Fellow
Talk: Graciano Caicedo, Leader of the Yurumangui River Community (via Zoom), BCDSS representatives plus the audience
Location: Kino in der Brotfabrik, Kreuzstraße 16, 53225 Bonn (Beuel)

August 2022 - title and exact date tba A film screening and post-screening talk is planned as part of the extended program of the Bonn International Silent Film Festival in August 2022.
Location: LVR Landesmuseum, Colmantstr. 14-16, 53115 Bonn

Salaam Bombay - 24 November 2022 - 20:00h
A film by Mira Nair
India, 1988 (120 minutes), original (Hindi) with German subtitles
Introduction: Sigrid Limprecht (FFK) and BCDSS representative
Talk: Claudia Jarzebowski (tbc), Ayesha Hussain (tbc), BCDSS representatives, plus the audience
Location: Kino in der Brotfabrik Kreuzstraße 16, 53225 Bonn (Beuel)

Detailed program: https://www.dependency.uni-bonn.de/en/civil-society/whos-got-the-power

The Cluster of Excellence Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS)

"Asymmetrical dependency" - with this new key concept, the Excellence Cluster Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS) has opened up a new interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to slavery and dependency research. While the scholarly discourse has so far been shaped by the notion of slavery on the American continents or in antiquity, the cluster gives it a broader definition: It investigates all forms of profound social dependencies such as slavery, serfdom, debt bondage, and other forms of permanent dependency across epochs, regions and cultures. By expanding the perspectives in terms of content, space and time it opens up dependency research to transcultural comparisons.


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