Making Films politically: Thinking the conditions of visibility of Palestinians today – STEFANIE BAUMANN

Thinking about the political and philosophical significance of the image from the Palestinian situation forces us, above all, to understand the particular conditions of visibility associated with it. “On the one hand, Palestinians stand against invisibility, which is the fate they have resisted since the beginning,” writes Edward Said, “on the other hand, they stand against the stereotype in the media: the masked Arab, the kufiyya, the stone-throwing Palestinian – a visual identity associated with terrorism and violence.” Nowadays, one should add images of Palestinians as victims: children killed or injured, desperate families, masses waiting at checkpoints, impoverished neighbourhoods, etc. All these images overwhelm the media without generating a change in the perception of the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How to produce a visibility that does not get absorbed by the flow of overdetermining images, that disrupts stereotypes instead of contributing to their stabilization? How to conceive artistic forms that subvert received ideas without becoming, in turn, means of communication to be instrumentalised? How, in such a highly complex and overloaded context, can we make films politically, to paraphrase Jean-Luc Godard?

QUARTA-FEIRA, 11 de Maio. 17h30- 20h00


Stefanie Baumann is a researcher at CineLab/IFILNOVA (NOVA University of Lisbon), where she coordinates the working group “Thinking Documentary Film”. She obtained her PhD in philosophy in 2013, with a doctoral thesis on Walid Raad’s artistic project The Atlas Group. She taught philosophy, aesthetics and contemporary art theory at University Paris VIII (Paris, 2007-2010), Ashkal Alwan (Beirut, 2013), ALBA – the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts/University of Balamand (Beirut, 2012-2015) and the Maumaus Study Program (Lisbon, since 2016). She also worked with the artist Esther Shalev-Gerz as personal assistant from 2005 to 2010, and collaborated with video artists such as Marie Voignier and Mounira Al Solh.