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), 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 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 words “I can’t breathe” is neither a matter of haphazardness nor a footnote, 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 that aptly captures the Zeitgeist of its epoque – and to present it for discussion with the public. The invited will have the chance to present why he/she chose the particular work, its relevance to the period in which it was made and possibly to our own time, and if relevant, make a connection to his/her practice. Thus, for 52 weeks, SAVVY Contemporary will be host to evenings of presentations, screenings and discussions around different themes as inspired by the films chosen, but united by the series’ titular question.


Participants: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Ana Alenso, Maria Thereza Alves, Ulf Aminde, Julieta Aranda, Candice Breitz, Boris Buden, Libia Castro + Ólafur Ólafsson, Filipa César, Braco Dimitrijevic, Barbara Gronau and Maja Figge, Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer, Köken Ergun, Juan-Pedro Fabra Gemberena, Mohamed Fariji, Azin Feizabadi, Dani Gal, Vittorio Gallese, Raphaël Grisey, Assaf Gruber, Malak Helmy, Elaine Wing-Ah Ho, Diana el Jeroudi, Jin-Heon Jung, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Nino Klingler and Zeynep Tuna, Khaled Kurbeh, Sebastian Lütgert, Nikola Madzirov, Antje Majewski, Chus Martínez, Jasmina Metwaly, Abhishek Nilamber, Sinziana Paltineanu, Elske Rosenfeld, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Anri Sala, Hito Steyerl and Misal Adnan, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Maya Schweizer, Tribunal NSU-Komplex Auflösen, Nasan Tur, Nina Wetzel, Winta Yohannes... and more to come.

Concept: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Curators: Elena Agudio, Antonia Alampi & Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein
Project Coordinators: Kelly Krugman & Gwen Mitchell