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24FestCurtasBH_Capa_Oficial

(2022)

by Ingá & Fabio Rodrigues Filho

CORPO CRÍTICO 

Dates: October 17th, 18th, 20th and 21st, 2022

Time: 10:00am to 12:30pm

Venue: Sala Juvenal Dias - Palácio das Artes

Workload: 10 hours

Attendees: 10

A BRAZIER: "WHERE A WALL KEEPS APART, A BRIDGE UNITES"

A brazier

“The fight is continuous and contiguous” states the video about Helenira Resende shot when the Comissão Nacional da Verdade [National Truth Commission] was held in São Paulo in 2013. Along the same lines, in a biographical book about Helenira, Bruno Ribeiro writes: “the story is not over once our character dies", thus assembling the few and scattered sources that help to recount the life of this partisan, guerrillera, Black woman, literature student and young activist who was brutally murdered by the military regime, her remains having not been found to this day—"your death was by no means in vain (...). And there will always be an Araguaia blossoming in every rebellious heart", Ribeiro concludes. Like many other women, she fought not only against the military dictatorship, but also by setting in motion a political imagination that makes us wonder about other arrangements of what life in a democracy might be. In her voice and in her retinas, she held dreams of the communal. She would talk to her comrades about the métier that one day she would follow—“once the revolution triumphs”—, embodying the words that João Amazonas used to describe her, "Just imagine, thinking about art criticism while being in Araguaia with a gun in the hand to face the enemy".

In this edition of Corpo Crítico, we seek to enhance a praxis of political and corporal engagement, not only with images, but also with words. The expression corpo crítico, which steers our sessions, is bound to this moment in which we regain a direct and public encounter with film screenings, allowing ourselves to try out even the physical possibilities within the film criticism exercise. Drawing freely on what Helenira Resende experienced and dreamed of amidst the Araguaia Forest, we intend this workshop to be a laboratory where taking the floor works as bodies in combat on a battlefield. To be an art critic = to be a bridge among the walls. Her memory will be summoned. The memory of the girl who, while still a high-school student, would advocate proposals on behalf of the community, on a municipal radio station in Assis (São Paulo, Brazil) and commuted to the city of Santos on the task of distributing A Classe Operária [The Working Class], a newspaper for which she spent endless nights writing articles. Helenira is here summoned as a left-libertarian inspiration, figure and source of our encounters, but, first of all, as a living corpo crítico¹.

In the present time, we find ourselves in a country which is being constantly destroyed on account of a disregard for social issues which ends up seizing power and becoming government policy, leading to a further worsening of our structural inequalities; we would like not only to offer this return to Helenira's story, by recalling her trajectory, but also and above all by evoking her dream of an aesthetic-political practice that has never been dormant. She dreamed of justice as she dreamed of critique. Helenira remains a living example for current struggles: the pursuit of a future of social justice, committed to its sheer dignity and to the collective actions of combat, shall arrive by continuance—a future which makes the past resonate in the present, giving it meaning and courage: the only fight you lose is the one you give up.

Imbued with conversational practices in different media—letters, journals, collaborative writing, leaflets, essays, screenings and debate reports— as well as experimental writing and unsuspected ways of contagion with the films, this workshop intends to experience criticism as a bridge and as a political scene, in a way that the format of the sessions will then trigger a variety of devices (text exegesis, strolls, interventions, etc.) by articulating the image-city-body-word relationship. Corpo Crítico comprises four sessions, which will be held as an atelier where imagination, viewings, debates and writings will take place. Thus, we propound that the texts, working as bridges, be also the spark for other conversations during the Festival, so that circulation and distribution will happen throughout the event. It is said that, in the darkness of the night in the Amazonian Forest, Helenira would sing along her comrades the song Pesadelo [Nightmare]: “Where a wall keeps apart, a bridge unites. (...) And if the power is yours, one day it will be ours…”

Reference:

RIBEIRO, Bruno. Helenira Resende e a guerrilha do Araguaia. 1. ed. - São Paulo: Expressão Popular, 2007. 96p.

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¹The Brazilian Portuguese word crítico can be translated to English both as “critic” and as “critical”. While the first English word has a single meaning, that is, “one who censures; a person who reviews literary, artistic, or musical works”; the latter can be read not only as something “relating to or characterized by criticism; reflecting careful analysis and judgment”, but also as “extremely important or essential”; which is not true for the word “critique”, its sense being “a critical essay or analysis; an instance of formal criticism”. The word corpo has many readings, as the English word “body”, and for the purposes of this text, can be interpreted as 1) “the entire material or physical structure of an organism, especially of a human or animal”, 2) a number of persons, concepts, or things regarded as a group and 3) a collection or quantity, as of material or information. Therefore, corpo crítico addresses not only those who, as a group—and as a group of “critics”— reflect on cinematic productions (the result of this analysis being a “critique”). Helenira, as a corpo crítico, is not only someone who is indispensable, vital, fundamental, but also someone capable of passing judgment to the merits of something—in this case, to the scenario during the Brazilian civil-military dictatorship. Therefore, um crítico may be interpreted as “an art critic”, but also as someone, especially regarding a socioeconomic or political context, who has the attitude of criticizing, not due to a negative stance, but due to awareness and the capacity to read between the lines. Helenira remained a corpo crítico: vital and aware. 

Summary

Picture this: a woman, in the middle of a war, fighting for democracy while also dreaming of becoming an art critic. And more: imagine that she, amidst the darkness of the Amazonian night, is singing a song with her comrades: “Where a wall keeps apart, a bridge unites”, and continuing “... if the power is yours, one day it will be ours”. At last, let us imagine taking this praxis and the dream of a revolution as the grounds for a film criticism workshop. How could one do it? First of all, our invitation is that we picture this community forged on and after films, as having Helenira Resende’s trajectory as a driving force, a guidance—this woman about whom it is mandatory to know about, necessary to imagine. This edition of Corpo Crítico, a guiding term for our sessions, is linked to the moment in which we are again face-to-face with the film screenings, an occasion which will enable us to experience the physical possibilities of criticism being brought into play with the films. Imbued with conversational practices in different media—letters, journals, collaborative writing, leaflets, essays, sessions and debate reports—as well as experimental writing and unsuspected ways of contagion with the films, this workshop intends to experience criticism as a bridge and as a political scene, in a way that the sessions’ format will then trigger different devices (text exegesis, strolls, interventions, etc.) by articulating the image-city-body-word relationship. The workshop, comprising four sessions, will be held in-person from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on October 17th, 18th 20th and 21st, 2022. Therefore, we are suggesting that, while bridges, the texts also become the grounds for other conversations during the Festival, in a way that writing, circulation and distribution will be happening throughout the 10 days of FestCurtasBH.

WORKSHOP SESSIONS PLAN

Session 1. Would criticism be a bridge-building atelier?

How to think up an experimental approach of interacting with the artworks without being intoxicated by our own exclusive enjoyment superimposing the interaction? To be at risk with the artworks, with the things they fabricate, but, in order to do that, a few weapons: to forge a bridging methodology. The bridge between the choices of a film and that which is traversing the text, between the images that take over the movie theater and the historical time that gives them birth.

Reference:

BERNARDET, Jean-Claude. Por uma crítica ficcional. In: forumdoc.bh.2003: 7º Festival do filme documentário e etnográfico – fórum de antropologia, cinema e vídeo. Belo Horizonte: Filmes de Quintal, 2003. p. 66-70.

Available on: https://www.forumdoc.org.br/ensaios/por-uma-critica-ficcional

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Session 2. The encounter of a film with its time

Criticism pictured as a plaza, a square or a street corner where an artwork bumps into the yearnings, sceneries, and features of its own time. During this encounter, our focus will be on the ethics of merging an artwork in its own cultural moment, giving to the critical work signs of its time. To render small what was once heightened: a crossroads downtown at noon, the drip-drip of the Amazon River headwaters reaching its creek. Where does a film encounter its historical time? In the inadequateness, in the correspondence, in the slant diversions?

 

References: 

CANDIDO, Antonio. Notas de crítica literária: Overture. Jornal Folha da Manhã. São Paulo, 07 jan. 1943. 5.

Available on: https://www.revistas.usp.br/ls/article/view/19613/21676

CESAR, Amaranta. O tempo é luta. In: Catálogo do CachoeiraDoc 2017

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Session 3. Finding oneself within a community

We are facing the memory of Helenira as a girl who, while still a high-school student, would champion community causes on air, speaking on a radio station in the city of Assis (São Paulo) and commute to the city of Santos on the task of distributing A Classe Operária [The Working Class], a newspaper for which she spent endless nights writing articles. The films, as much as the way in which they are sailed, create sharing territories. In between legal reasoning and a poetic register, could criticism stir up arenas of debate within a cinema community? Could it, via the arena, be capable of pushing this community to its very limits, to its turning point?

References: 

GUIMARÃES, César. O que é uma comunidade de cinema?. Revista Eco-Pós, 18(1), 45–56.

Available on: https://revistaecopos.eco.ufrj.br/eco_pos/article/view/1955

 

ALMEIDA, Carol. Contra a velha cinefilia: Uma perspectiva feminista de filiação ao cinema. Publicado no site Fora de Quadro, setembro de 2017.

Available on: https://foradequadro.com/2017/09/19/contra-a-velha-cinefilia-uma-perspectiva-feminista-de-filiacao-ao-cinema/

 

RIBEIRO, Bruno. Helenira Resende e a guerrilha do Araguaia. 1st ed. - São Paulo: Expressão Popular, 2007. 96p. 

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Session 4. Meeting

Reflective and deliberative theatrical moment on cinema in Brazil, criticism, politics and the workshop itself. Reports, selection of suitable topics, debate and action points. Dreaming of justice and writing.

MENTORSHIP

Ingá is a social educator and a cultural critic. She has participated as a facilitator in audiovisual projects such as "Fazer o mundo, fazendo vídeo", "Inventar com a Diferença" and "Vídeo nas Aldeias". She held criticism workshops in partnership with CachoeiraDoc, Instituto Moreira Salles and the Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival. Her articles were featured in film criticism magazines such as VerberenasFronteira Festival de Cinema, in Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife website and Cinética magazine.

Fabio Rodrigues Filho is engaged in film criticism, research, and production. Currently a PhD student in Communication at UFMG, he holds a master's degree from the same university and graduated from UFRB, in Cachoeira (BA). He directed the films Tudo que é apertado rasga (2019) and Não vim no mundo para ser pedra (2022). He took part in the selection committees of festivals, exhibitions, and laboratories, such as FestCurtas BH (2019 to 2022), Goiânia Mostra Curtas (2022), FIANb (2020 and 2021), Diáspora Lab (2018) and CachoeiraDoc (2020), the latter a festival to which he has contributed over the past years. He is also a film club member, poster artist and writes for several websites.

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