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Two shorts by the experimental filmmaker Ana Vaz – ‘film poems’ as she calls them,a collage of images, sounds and voice that meld images, places and stories ripped apart by histories of repression and violence. Her body of work is concerned with our contemporary ecological moment, that of the so-called Anthropocene, as well as the slow, long-ranging violence of empire building.
In Olhe bem as montanhas / Look closely at the mountains (2018), two seemingly unrelated spaces, that of Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France and Minas Gerais in Brazil, are brought together by a shared history of resource extraction. Mountains become metaphors for resistance, and over time, wastelands are transformed into protected zones of biodiversity, blurring the lines between technological and natural landscapes. Her imploration to’ look closely’ also translates to the filmic experience, where the details of each shot reveal clues to larger narrative threads.
In Occidente (2014, still above) Vaz incorporates various media including expired 16mm film and digital imagery to create a poetic meditation on the circulation and construction of images and on Portugal’s colonial legacy. Through bringing together diverse and seemingly incongruous images, the film explores the power of the gaze and of ‘looking back’, churning up living histories of the maritime trade of bodies, commodities and objects.
The films run daily from 15 January to 23 February at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm.