Mon, 15-May-23 11:00 AM

Films are made of light, and we cannot make films with­out light. Yet light itself only becomes vis­i­ble through the aspects of the world that it reveals. And to com­pli­cate mat­ters fur­ther, when look­ing close­ly, light appears not only to be a visual phe­nom­e­non but may also be reflect­ed through sound, taste, smell, touch, and thought.  

Using exam­ples from the recent film LIGHT UPON LIGHT (Has­sala Films 2022), the film­mak­ers invite all par­tic­i­pants for a dis­cus­sion of cinema’s rela­tion­ship to the invis­i­ble. They under­stand the invis­i­ble to be a part of the dimen­sions of vis­i­ble real­i­ty which lie hidden in shad­ows, behind objects or out­side the frame of an image. Fur­ther­more, dif­fer­ent forms of invis­i­bil­i­ty can lie in those con­cep­tu­al, ide­o­log­i­cal, struc­tur­al, or spir­i­tu­al dimen­sions of human real­i­ty that cannot be direct­ly seen or cap­tured by a camera.  

In LIGHT UPON LIGHT, they explored the inter­face of the vis­i­ble and invis­i­ble by focus­ing on expe­ri­ences of an inner, spir­i­tu­al, or mys­ti­cal light. As well as the phys­i­cal light, the light of the sun or the elec­tri­cal lights illu­mi­nat­ing the streets of Cairo at night. Both the inner and the outer light cannot be fully cap­tured with a camera.  

The film­mak­ers tried to attend to the vis­i­ble, invis­i­ble, and mul­ti­sen­so­r­i­al dimen­sions of lumi­nos­i­ty through jux­ta­pos­ing of dif­fer­ent sources of light: through mon­tage, the atmos­pheres and rhythms of ritual action or the words and ges­tures of people. They also tried to illu­mi­nate the back­stage of the film pro­duc­tion - through includ­ing our ongo­ing dia­logue about the project in its making.  

In this work­shop Mustapha Muhammed and Chris­t­ian Suhr wish to specif­i­cal­ly address the gaze or per­cep­tu­al mode of the film­mak­ers. While the per­cep­tu­al mode of a film­mak­er is not direct­ly vis­i­ble, it is nev­er­the­less reflect­ed and felt in the result­ing footage. In explor­ing this form of invis­i­bil­i­ty, they wish to dis­cuss the con­se­quences of dif­fer­ent modes of per­cep­tion, specif­i­cal­ly what hap­pens when trav­el­ling between modes of per­cep­tion char­ac­ter­ized by love, desire, appre­ci­a­tion, or devo­tion, but also fear, inse­cu­ri­ty, arro­gance, anger, or indif­fer­ence. 

Muham­mad Mustapha is a film­mak­er based in Cairo. Since 2011 he has taken a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary approach towards film­mak­ing work­ing as a scriptwriter, editor and direc­tor. His work focus­es mainly on themes of mas­culin­i­ty, man­li­ness and the male – such as in male power dynam­ics and male dom­i­nat­ed spaces; in a hybrid form between fic­tion and doc­u­men­tary. 

Chris­t­ian Suhr is a film­mak­er and pro­fes­sor at the Depart­ment of Anthro­pol­o­gy, Aarhus Uni­ver­si­ty, Den­mark. He is work­ing on expe­ri­ences of spirit pos­ses­sion, psy­chi­atric ill­ness­es, reli­gious heal­ing, and how film can be used to approach unseen dimen­sions of human life. 

The Work­shop will be held in English.