The Showroom

Luta ca caba inda (The struggle is not over yet)

Saturday 8 December 2012, 3–7pm


Artist Filipa César and curator Tobias Hering screen excerpts from rare films and raw footage archived at the National Film and Audiovisual Institute, Guinea-Bissau, for the first time in the UK, with the filmmaker Sana na N’Hada in attendance.

Filipa César’s long-term research project began with a focus on the influential role that Amílcar Cabral (the leader of the liberation movement against Portuguese colonialism in Guinea-Bissau, 1961–1974) played in the cinematic culture of Guinea-Bissau, but moved towards tracing the paths of the filmmakers Flora Gomes, Sana na N’Hada, Josefina Crato and José Columba Bolama, all of whom were trained at the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos) between 1967 and 1972 at Cabral’s behest.

After independence in 1974, Guinea-Bissau experienced a short-lived socialist phase that ended in a military coup in 1980. Most of the footage the young filmmakers had been shooting throughout the country since 1973 remained unedited raw material, which, in the context of the country’s unstable political situation, was soon forgotten and, as a result, much of it was left to disappear or disintegrate over time.

The project Luta ca caba inda was initially about finding and making accessible the remains of this short phase of militant cinema in Guinea-Bissau. In collaboration with two of the filmmakers involved, Flora Gomes and Sana na N’Hada, César was able to ensure the preservation and digitalisation of the archival material.

A selection of this material will now be shown for the first time with the filmmaker Sana na N’Hada in attendance. The programme takes the fragmentary and unfinished state of the material as its starting point and as an impetus to think about film’s possibilities, and will include films and unedited footage from the national film archive in Bissau, which was recently digitised in Berlin for long-term preservation.


Part I (total running time: approx. 53 min) (description: Guinean students performing voluntary work in Cuba, ca. 3 min, silent) (description: Amílcar Cabral, the week of information September 1972, Conakry, ca. 30 min, silent) (description: the II Congress of the P.A.I.G.C.18 - 22 July, 1973, in Boé ca. 10 min, silent) (description: proclamation of the state 24. September, 1973, in Boé, ca. 10 min, silent)
(films with live commentary and followed by discussion)

Part II (total running time approx. 56 min) (description: foreign ambassadors recognising the new nation, ceremonies in the bushes, Balana, 1973, ca. 5 min, silent) (description: nationalisation of the bank, introduction of new currency, 20 February, 1975, Bissau, ca. 10 min, silent) (description: XX Anniversary of the P.A.I.G.C. Miriam Makeba with José Carlos Schwarz, 1976, Bissau, ca. 10 min, sound) "The Return of Amílcar Cabral", 31 min, sound
(silent films with live commentary, followed by discussion)

Part III Guiné-Bissau: 6 anos depois, unfinished film (description: Guinea-Bissau: 6 years after, ca. 30 min, silent, live commentary)

Filipa César (born Porto, 1975) is an artist interested in the porous relationship between the moving image and its public reception, the fictional aspects of the documentary genre and the politics inherent to the production of moving images. Selected exhibitions include: 8th Istanbul Biennial, 2003; Serralves Museum, 2005; Tate Modern, 2007; SFMOMA, 2009; 29th São Paulo Biennial, 2010; Manifesta 8, Cartagena, 2010. Solo shows include: Labor Berlin 5, Haus der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, 2011; 1975, MUDAM, Luxembourg, 2012; and the upcoming show, Luta ca caba inda, Jeu de Paume, Paris.

Tobias Hering (born 1971) is a curator and journalist and lives in Berlin. His work focuses on topical film programs often reflecting on social issues and image politics but also allowing for literary references. At Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art (Berlin), Hering curates the program "Point of View" and is a participant in the project "Living Archive - Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice". The collaboration with Filipa César on Luta ca caba inda takes place in the framework of the latter. Other recent projects were realised with Atelier RE.AL (Lisbon), Argos (Brussels), gallery Savvy Contemporary (Berlin) and the Kassel "dokfest".

Sana Na N’Hada (born Guinea Bissau, 1950) attended film school at the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Arts and Industries (ICAIC). On his return to Guinea, he filmed documentary newsreels on the war of independence. After independence, he co-directed, in 1976, two short films with Flora Gomes: The return of Amílcar Cabral and Anos no ossa luta. In 1978, he made his first solo short film, The days of Ancono. During the ’70s and ’80s, he worked on many films including “Sans Soleil” by Chris Marker and “Nega Mortu” by Flora Gomes. In 1984, he directed his second short film, Fanado. Since 1979 he became Director of the National Institute of Cinema of Guinea Bissau. Currentlly N'Hada is finishing his second feauture film after Xime (1994), Cadjinque (2012).