how does the world breathe now?


FALL 2016 - FALL 2017

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

< how does the world breathe now? > is a 52 week film series at SAVVY Contemporary inviting artists, thinkers, activists, poets, scientists, curators and other practitioners to select movies of our nows*



* how does the world breathe now?

In his seminal poem ‘Sebuah Dunia Yang Marah’ (An Angry World), written in 1960 and since then proofing its sad truth and profoundness, Indonesian poet, playwright and activist Raden Mas Willibrordus Surendra Broto aka Rendra laments in utter awe the inscrutable state of the world today. The term ‘today’ in its relativity and endless elasticity is that day, week, month, that moment in 1960 when the poem was written, as well as that point in time today, when you notice that the today of 1960 and the today of now could easily step in as a surrogate for the today of 1960. Rendra points at the hypocrisy and senselessness of speeches, conferences, institutions that offer lip service while the world crumbles under greed, betrayal, megalomania and kleptocracy. He writes of despair, viciousness and empty lives. Of impotent bitterness. Of forlornness on the face of the earth inhabited by hopelessness, hate, murder. Of a world haunted by lies, confusion and, for lack of a better term, sin. At some point he breaks down, breaks it down and asks in a state of desolation – ‘how does the world breathe now?’

That this question forces one to reminisce on Eric Garner’s “I can’t breathe” is neither a matter of haphazardness nor a footnote in a narrative, but rather the main stream in a constructed narrative of a world struggling under the burden of misused power, whiteness, manness, patriarchy, misogyny, capitalism, racism and coloniality.

The project how does the world breathe now? is an acknowledgement of the artist’s role in society and as a reflection of his/her time as well as an acknowledgment of the fact that we are not islands. We learn from others and teach others. We exist because others exist - both the living and the non-living. This project is thus an effort to acknowledge a genealogy of artistic practice that engages with the social, the political, the bigger and smaller obstacles and beauties in the quotidian, but above all an acknowledgement of artistic practice that digs deeper beneath and beyond the visible reality.

It is to this end that the project how does the world breathe now? invites artists, curators, and thinkers of all walks of life to propose an outstanding film/filmmaker that aptly captured/captures the Zeitgeist of his/her/its epoque – besides the work of the invited. On a weekly basis for over a year, SAVVY Contemporary will be host to an evening of presentations, screenings and discussions around the work of a filmmaker. The invited will have the chance to present why he/she chose this particular work, its relevance to the time it was made and possibly to our time, and if need be, make a relation to his/her practice.


Participants, among many others: Dani Gal, Chus Martinez, Nasan Tur, Antje Majewski, Vittorio Gallese, Binyavanga Wainaina, Theo Eshetu, Angela Melitopoulos, Anri Sala, Braco Dimitrijevic, Candice Breitz, Gertrude Koch, Jin-Heon Jung, Juan Pedro Fabra, Khaled Kurbeh, Köken Ergun, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Maria Thereza Alves, Marion von Osten, Nino Klingler, Rachel O’Reilly, Simon Sheik, Sinziana Paltineanu Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Taiye Selasi,...

Concept: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Team: Elena Agudio, Antonia Alampi & Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein