In this first film-essay, part of the research project People are the mountain, César takes us on a wandering path to visit the work of the Guinean agronomist Amílcar Cabral, studying the erosion of soil in the Portuguese Alentejo region through to his engagement as one of the leaders of the African Liberation Movement. This line of thoughts will be intertwined with current documentation on an experimental gold mining site, operated by a Canadian company and located in the same Portuguese area once studied by Cabral. The essay will explore past and present definitions of soil as a repository of memory, trace, exploitation, crisis, arsenal, treasure and palimpsest.
Filipa César was born in Portugal in 1975; she lives and works in Berlin. She studied at the University of the Arts in Porto and Lisbon, at the Academy of the Arts in Munich and obtained a master’s in Context at the University of the Arts in Berlin (2007). Her work interrogates the porous relation between the animated image and its reception by the public. Interested by the fictional aspects of documentary and motivated by a desire to reveal the political behind the moving image, the artist positions herself at a crossroads between storytelling, chronical, documentary and experimental film. Her films—F for Fake (2005), Rapport (2007), Le Passeur (2008), The Four Chambered Heart (2009) and Memograma (2010)—were presented at the 8th Istanbul Biennale, 2003; at the Kunsthalle Vienna, 2004; the Serralves Museum, 2005; at the International Film Festival at Locarno, 2005, at the CAG—Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2006; the Tate Modern, 2007; the St. Gallen Museum, 2007; the SF MOMA, San Francisco, 2009; the first Architecture Biennale in Venice, the 29th São Paulo Biennale and Manifesta 8, in Cartagena.
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In the frame of Possessions, a cycle produced by Khiasma in association with Phantom (Focus lusophone cinema).
Image: ©1977 Wladimir de Brito and Sofia dos Santos