Talks 2023

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talks 2023

The Iranian artist and filmmaker Maryam Tafakory will hold a dialogue based on her work with the Iranian translator and activist Ryma Sheermohammadi, after the screening of her short films. Conversation with consecutive translation.

Maryam Tafakory works with images, words and feelings to create textual and filmic collages that bring together poetry, documentaries, performance, archives and found footage. Her work has been exhibited internationally at MOMA, IFF Rotterdam, BFI London and Anthology Film Archives, among others. Awarded in dozens of festivals (Rotterdam, DocumentaMadrid, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Melbourne) and selected in hundreds of festivals and exhibitions around the world, she was Flaherty / Colgate University filmmaker-in-residence in 2019 and received a MacDowell Fellowship in 2022.

Ryma Sheermohammadi is an Iranian-born translator, activist and cultural communicator. She has translated the poet Mahvash Sábet (Poemas enjaluados, 2020) and has translated from Persian into Catalan, together with Xavier Valls Guinovart, a selection of poems by Abbas Kiarostami (El vent se m’endurà, 2022). As part of her career as an activist, she was awarded a prize in 2022 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the Community of Madrid.

Place: Filmoteca de Catalunya Date: Friday 3/3 at 18:00

Haneda Sumiko was the first woman to be promoted to documentary film director in post-war Japan. From her beginnings in the 1950s for the renowned documentary production company Iwanami (1951-1977) to her films as an independent filmmaker (1977 – 2012), Haneda created a varied filmography in which she provides a unique insight into Japanese society, history, arts and culture. The aim of this presentation is to highlight the importance of her work, which is virtually unknown outside Japan.

On the one hand, it contextualises the new filming strategies based on the filmmaker’s closeness to the filmed reality and the human dimension of the characters inhabiting it, which Haneda adopted during her early years at Iwanami. In particular, the influence of two pioneering documentary filmmakers, Susumu Hani and Keiji Yoshino, is examined. On the other hand, Haneda’s work is approached from the perspective of gender and its special relationship with female characters. The importance of her work with regard to the representation of women is theoretically framed within women’s cinema, which will be discussed by highlighting Haneda’s critical stance on the very concept of “woman director”.

This research on Haneda is part of the project Japanese Documentary Filmmaker Haneda Sumiko. Authorship and Gender Discourses, funded by the Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Foundation and Birkbeck Research Strategic Funds, which has resulted in three symposia in the UK and Spain (2021-22) and the first book on Haneda Sumiko, to be published by Routledge by the end of 2023.

Dr Marcos Centeno is a lecturer at the Universitat de València and honorary research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, where he was director of the Japanese Studies Programme. Previously, Centeno was a lecturer in the Department of Japan and Korea at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London, where he coordinated the MA Global Cinemas and the Transcultural. Centeno currently has a project on Japanese documentary film funded by the East Asia Council at Yale University, is a member of the steering committee of the AEJE (Asociación de Estudios Japoneses en España), an external examiner for the BA Japanese Studies at Oxford Brookes University and has been a visiting lecturer at the JSC (Japanese Studies Centre) of Nanzan Univesity, Nagoya. His main research interests revolve around Japanese documentary film, transnationality, gender, memory and minority representation. Previously, his project Japanese Transnational Cinema (2018-20) was funded by MEXT (Japanese Ministry of Education).

Dr Irene González-López is Lecturer in Japanese Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, and Research Associate of the Visual and Material Culture Research Centre at Kingston University. Her research and publications focus primarily on Japanese cinema, with a special interest in issues related to gender and sexuality, both in front and behind the camera. After living in Japan for eight years, Irene completed a PhD in Film Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London). In 2018 she co-edited the first English-language book on actress and director Tanaka Kinuyo (Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity; Edinburgh University Press). She is currently working on a book on the representation of sex work in Japanese cinema, and an edited volume on documentary director Haneda Sumiko. She often collaborates with film festivals, film distributors like Arrow Films, and institutions like the British Film Institute, Barbican Centre (London) and Japan Foundation.

Place: Filmoteca de Catalunya Date: Saturday 4/3 at 18:00

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