Get to know contemporary latin club producer Merca Bae
Things we want you to know about and people we want give a little extra support. First up this month are Isabel Elwood and Koen Bleuzé with their recent discoveries in music, art and film. Take note and enjoy some cultural mind food.
Selected by Isabel Elwood and Koen Bleuzé
Lead photo by Joke De Wilde
Animals have figured in our mythologies since the human mind first inclined toward understanding its own existence. An ancient relationship which comes alive in Sanam Khatibi’s work. The Belgian-Iranian artist depicts flora and fauna among nymph-like female creatures under the vibrancy of pencil and oil on canvas. It’s a work she continues on different mediums: embroidery, sculpture and print. What makes Khatibi’s work doubly impressive is her bright-burning ode to Persian poetry and ancient tapestry. Her enchanting worlds explore a tender tango of primal impulses and power dynamics with a sense of humour. Non-human creatures are imagined in scenarios with provocative titles like ‘to save her I will murder the world’ or ‘he hit me and it felt like a kiss’. Animals are seen as wildly different representations of men. What emerges is a dialogue between nature and culture, men and women, power and freedom.
Sanam Khatibi: The Murders of the Green River
Rudolphe Janssen, Brussels
Until 23 Feb – free entrance
Music to rebirth culture and identity. Founded in August 2017, Harara (‘heat’ in Arabic) is the first Palestinian music label for electronic, techno and experimental. Created to give a platform to current artists and to help the next generation, Harara’s signature lays in the inherent political sound of its different artists. Members of the label come from Ramallah, Haifa, Jerusalem, Jaffa and Palestine Diaspora. ‘The producers who are in the scene create music which is very inspired from here. It’s a very political sound. It’s a sound of oppression, it’s a sound of rage and anger,’ says Shares Ayed Fadel, promoter and venue owner. Among the Palestinian artists who have released on the label are GOM, a planetary intersection between drone, experimental and techno, and ODDZ, who is also featured in the Boiler Room documentary ‘Palestine Underground’. Harara’s next release has been announced for Spring 2019, a 15-track VA.
For the sixth edition of this biannual festival, De Imagerie presents local filmmakers who focus on political, experimental and documentary cinema. While De Imagerie still has its homebase at Het Bos in Antwerp, this year curator Eva van Tongeren is planning to take VISITE Film Festival on a tour with programmes at Bozar, Beursschouwburg, CIAP and KASK Cinema. And as an amuse-bouche, De Imagerie invites filmmaker and contemporary artist Marine Hugonnier for a VISITE SPECIAL prior to the festival.
Since there are many highlights in every edition, it’s really difficult to choose one screening. We’re excited about the collaboration between filmmaker Gitte Le Bruyn and musician Joachim Badenhorst, and we’re counting down the days to the screening of Michiel Robberecht’s fascinating short film Peer Gynt. But if we had to pick one film, it would be Der Kreislauf / A Handful by Katrien Vermeire. It’s a documentary about a unique game that began in the 1920s and is still played today on Belgium’s beaches in the summer. When the weather’s good, one can find colourful flowers made of paper in small, impromptu-built shops. Der Kreislauf / A Handful is an exploration of the game and takes an intimate look at the young players. We’ve had an eye on this film for some time, and we’re very excited that Katrien will be present at the festival!
VISITE Film Festival #6 by De Imagerie
15 – 23 Feb – Het Bos, Antwerp
Opening at Beursschouwburg Brussels on 14 Feb