Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Public Talk and Presentation of A New Film by Alexander Marko
Introduced and moderated by Oksana Sarkisova
Found-footage Propaganda: Introduction to "Our Africa" Series
DATE: MAY 10, 2017, AT 6:00 P.M.
VENUE: BLINKEN OSA ARCHIVUM, ARANY JÁNOS UTCA 32.
1ST FLOOR, RESEARCH ROOM
Soviet documentaries of the 1960s responded to changing boundaries of ideological control during the so-called "Thaw" period. Many of the Soviet filmmakers worked and filmed in various "socialist-friendly" countries in Africa and their footage shows a genuine curiosity about the "otherness" of African reality. My film does not aim at duplicating the official propaganda discourse; my idea is to deepen the poignancy of Soviet newsreels and documentary films by exposing the propaganda clichés and by offering a new way of seeing them by exposing and highlighting their message. My review offers a fast-paced survey of the entire corpus of Soviet films about Africa in which I identify the most important and frequently recurring themes and motifs. In the process of this research, I trace how Soviet views of Africa evolved over three decades, and later sank into oblivion.
Alexander Markov is a documentary filmmaker, film historian and video artist. He teaches documentary directing at Saint Petersburg State Institute of Film and Television, and works as an independent curator. His video installations have been shown at Sharjah Biennial, Calvert 22, Iwalewahaus and africa.cont. Markov's films have been shown and have won awards at numerous events, including Berlinale Talents, DocPoint, Sheffield Doc, Film Africa, Message To Man, NYAFF, Artdocfest, Cinefest, Stalker and Temps De Images, among others.