The film is a story of a mother and her son Lubos who lives in a
world turned upside-down, or, arsy-versy. Lubos broke free from the
world as generally conceived by others to arrive at the supreme
human-nature symbiosis; he flew away to a planet purely inhabited by
butterflies - intelligent beings. The sole focus of his life energy,
enriched by a great deal of empathy, is being chanelled into his
amateur photography and film making, the climax of his fascination
with natural phenomenona being his unique study of bats. By way of
communicating with the upside-down creatures he is fascinated with,
he attempts to achieve the utmost understanding between man and
beast. He is assisted by his mother who has been a great reaserch
and life support to him, but is now apprehensive about her son’s
future. "What will become of the kid?" she wonders. Those who 'knew' him thought him lost up to the moment they saw the arsy-versy film;
now it’s them who are losing it!
Yaya Coulibaly is one of the greatest living puppeteers and descends from a long line of puppeteers in the Bamana kingdom of Segou in Mali. He began his initiation into the magical world of puppet and masquerade figures at the age of ten as an apprentice to his father. His puppet company Sogolon Puppet Troupe was founded in 1980 and has since become the leading group of the oldest and richest of Africa’s surviving puppetry traditions. Coulibaly is the custodian of a vast collection of puppets, many of which have come down to him through his family.
Every country has a past it likes to celebrate and another it would
In China, where history still falls under the tight control of
government-run museums and officially approved textbooks, the
omissions appear especially stark.
An unusual museum dedicated largely to what is absent in China’s
self-presentation is the subject of Joshua Frank’s short film Collecting Insanity.
Frank tours the Jianchuan Museum Cluster, of Fan Jianchuan, an ex-official and real estate magnate, in the town of Anren, near Chengdu. The group of exhibits display their owners collection of millions of historical
artifacts, gathered over a lifetime of obsessive accumulation. Fan’s
museum displays objects from various historical events, including
the officially memorialized Sino-Japanese War and the far more taboo
fallout of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
But Frank, and Fan himself, place special emphasis on galleries
devoted to the Red Era and, in particular, the Cultural Revolution
(1966-76), a period when the collection and proper enshrinement of
Maoist paraphernalia became a necessity for political respectability
and thereby survival, when, in essence, anyone who hoped to remain
free of persecution was forced to become a collector. Fan got his
start during those days, gathering up leaflets and posters
denouncing his father as a capitalist roader. Much goes unsaid at
Fan’s museum, and that is by design, as well. But it is unique in
China, if not in the world, as a testament to one man’s will to
spend his wealth and influence probing the boundaries of what can
permissibly be remembered, and perhaps inspiring others to do the
Miss Sarah Quansah, Ever Young Studio, Accra, c.1954
James Barnor documents societies in transition: Ghana moving towards
its independence, and London becoming a multicultural metropolis
during the ‘swinging 60s’. His extensive portfolio of street and
studio portraiture spans over 60 years and different continents,
many commissioned by Drum magazine, Africa’s first Black politics
and lifestyle publication. In the early 1950s, Barnor’s photographic
studio Ever Young was visited by civil servants and dignitaries,
performance artists and newly-weds. During this period, he captured
intimate moments of luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah as he pushed
for pan-African unity, and commonwealth boxing champion Roy Ankrah.
In 1960s London, he photographed Mohammad Ali and BBC Africa Service reporter Mike Eghan.
Afghanistan is one of the last places on earth where
photographers used a simple type of instant camera called the
kamra-e-faoree for means of making a living. The hand-made
wooden camera is both camera and darkroom in one and generations
of Afghans have had their portraits taken with it, usually for
identity photographs. At one stage it was even outlawed when
former rulers of Afghanistan, the Taliban, banned photography,
forcing photographers to hide or destroy their tools.The aim of
the Afghan Box Camera Project is to provide some record of the
kamra-e-faoree which as a living form of photography is on the
brink of disappearing in
The Yezidi are an ancient people, originally from Mesopotamia. The
sun is their principal deity. In their morning prayers they offer up
praise to the day-star, God’s reflection on Earth, just as they did
several thousand years ago. Despite being sun-worshippers, they were
actually among the world’s first monotheists, i.e. they believe in
one God. The Yezidi are an ancient people, originally from
Mesopotamia. Their main temple at Lalesh is now in Northern Iraq. As
a result of the constant feuds with their Muslim neighbours, some
Yezidi emigrated – initially to Turkey, then to Armenia; after
perestroika about 30,000 of them ended up in Russia, the majority in
the Krasnodar Region. They are pleasant, sociable, kind,
hard-working people. They include people of various professions:
from farmers and musicians to sportsmen and businessmen. The
extraordinary warm feelings of the children for their parents arouse
particular respect. “God cannot look after everybody, so he invented
parents”, says 17 year-old Boris. The film features portraits of
various people from different generations who are united by a common
aim – to preserve their race, their culture and their traditions,
and to live in friendship, peace and harmony with Russian people.
Real life stories and memories of local villagers give us a look
into history of the cinema of the village Očová and show us its
importance. Not only has the viewer an opportunity to be a witness of
the cinema's celebration in the memories of people, but he can also
witness the closure of this cultural village temple. Even though the
cinema was a significant part of the village for over half of the
century, villagers will have to give it their last goodbye. The
trigger in this scenario is the digitalization of cinemas in
Slovakia.Village Očová decided not to take a part in this action. Unfortunately, this means sending their cinema straight to
execution. Will the last goodbye carry the smell of sadness or
pride? That is the question.
Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA public arts organisation and
founder of The Hidden Gardens returns ten years on to present the ideas
which led to the creation of Scotland's first sanctuary gardens
dedicated to peace.
'Seed' provides an interesting insight of Angus' work and artistic
process, interest in abandoned sites and urban regeneration. It also
explores the betrayal by the Labour party leading upto the Iraq war and
the disillusionment that caused in its supporters.
No job land offers a look at the situation facing thousands of families in Spain because of long-term unemployment. Unprotected and at risk of social exclusion a group of unemployed people decide to unite to fight for a better future.
Six years after the 2005 opening ceremony of the South China Mall, its 892,000 square meters still afford it the title of the largest shopping centre in the world. Yet less than 1 per cent of the 2,350 planned shops are occupied. Five escalators are running in this megalomaniac project that has burst onto the former farmlands of Dongguan's suburbs, in the rich southern province of Guangdong.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the countries that have
gained their indepenence question their new identities.
Transnistria, an enclaved zone, between Moldova and the Ukraine, is
an unrecognized de facto state situated in the Republic of Moldova.
Between Transnistria and Moldova, four languages are spoken daily:
Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian and 'Moldavian'. This political entity
with its own cultural attributes is not recognized by any country of
the international community including Russia where its troops are
still deployed. Transnistria has become a region of internal
displacement. The United Nations uses this term to refer to people
who live in situations of internal displacement as a result of
conflicts or natural disasters.
Valerie Lowe and Joseph Messenger were arrested in 1921 for breaking into an army warehouse and stealing boots and overcoats to the value of 29 pounds 3 shillings. The following year, when this photographs were taken (18 and 19 years old), they were arrested for stealing a saddle and bridle from Rosebery Racecourse. In 1923 Lowe was convicted of breaking into a house at Enfield and stealing money and jewellery to the value of 40 pounds.
Matilda Devine, criminal record number 659LB, 27 May 1925. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW Matilda ‘Tilly’ Devine used a razor to slash a man in a barber’s shop and was sentenced to two years gaol. She was Sydney’s best-known brothel madam. Aged 25
William Cyril Moxley, Special Photograph number 1152, 12 February 1923, Central Police Station, Sydney. NSW Police Forensic
Photofilm by Mike Bernard
Mug shots taken at the New South Wales Police Department from the 1910s to 1930s.
In the early part of the 20th century police routinely went to places that respectable people did their best to avoid, the dark places where bad things happened. They were just doing their job - asking questions, taking photographs, writing reports. But now, nearly a century later, the fruit of that footwork offers us the most extraordinary and intimate record of the more troubled sides of everyday life in early 20th century Australia.
Interview to Li Ying, probably China’s most famous toilet attendant. Li,
who immigrated to Shanghai from the countryside aged 17, won the May 1st
Labor Medal, one of the highest awards a Chinese worker can receive. She
was also the first rural immigrant in Shanghai to be granted residence
status in the city, for her public service in the toilet. Li is proud of
the prizes, of course, but also of her toilet. “Sometimes people walk on
tiptoe after we have cleaned because they don’t want to make it dirty. I
clean this place so well, people think it’s a hotel.”
On the remote Buzludzha peak in the mountains of Bulgaria stands an unusual abandoned monument. The peak itself was the site of a battle between the Bulgarians and the Turks in 1868. In 1891 a group of socialists lead by Dimitar Blagoev met on the peak to plan for Bulgaria’s socialist future. To celebrate these events, the government in power during the height of Soviet influence decided to erect a monument commemorating socialist communism. After the government’s fall from power in 1989, the site was abandoned and left open to vandalism. The main entrance has been sealed and therefore closed to public. However, there is still a little way to get into the building.
Noh flutist and one of Japan’s Living National Treasures Jiro
Fujita was giving a workshop in Uzbekistan, while Japan was hit by
the earthquake. Not able to return, Fujita stayed in Uzbekistan for
several weeks and felt he was hosted with great kindness and was
immensely inspired by the beauty of Samarkand. He made a decision to
return and offer two special performances dedicated to the people
and the place.
Noh is a major form of classical Japanese
musical drama that has been performed since the 13th century.