CURATED BY MAREN GRIMM, JOHANNA KLIER, SOPHIE PETERSON
“I do not intend to speak about, just speak nearby”
Since the early 1980s, Trinh T. Minhha has developed a theoretical, cinematic and poetic body of work considered fundamental to postcolonial and feminist debates. Born in Hanoi in 1952 and raised in Saigon, Trinh emigrated to the USA in 1970 during the Vietnam War. After studying ethnomusicology, composition and French literature, she taught in Senegal for three years. From 1992 to 2022 she was Professor of Rhetoric, Gender and Women’s Studies at UC Berkeley. The author, theorist, artist, composer and, last but not least, filmmaker describes her cinematic and textual work as a borderline event that takes place in between categories and thus challenges and deconstructs the interpretative claims of authoritarian forms. Her influential book ›Woman, Native, Other‹ was published in 1989, with which she opened up a transdisciplinary space of thought in which the dividing lines between art and science are blurred and the prevailing canon is de-hierarchized. The »speaking nearby« proclaimed in her debut film ›Reassemblage‹ is thus to be understood as a poetic form of linguistic action, as a political attitude towards oneself and the world. This retrospective is dedicated to all eight films by Trinh T. Minh-ha that were made between 1982 and 2015 and that constantly transcend between the documentary and the fictional. She develops her approach to filmmaking out of a manifest urgency: “I would say that my films should change our perception of reality and our experience of cinema – which involves the entirety of our body.” The emphasis on physical experience is crucial in this context, as Trinh’s films place high expectations on audiences’ viewing and listening habits. She understands the space of the cinema as a place that can activate this physicality. This is where the films unfold their subtle, but no less radical, political stance.
Unfortunately, Trinh T. Minh-ha cannot be present at the festival. She will hold the Q&As and the Masterclass live via video.