We are connected to el cenote via the individual and collective árbol de la vida, and our images and ensueños emerge from that connection, from the self-in-community (inner, spiritual, nature / animals, racial / ethnic, communities of interest, neighborhood, city, nation, planet, galaxy, and the unknown universes). 

Gloria Anzaldúa in Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro [2] 

With a deep commitment to conviviality and a belief in the possibilities offered by sitting down to talk, SAVVY Contemporary invites you to hold an alternative, shifting space for convening around culture for eleven consecutive days. Please join us for lunch and a program that gives space to collectivities, diasporic initiatives and plural conversations, a space where multi-identity subjects can meet, improvise, imagine new languages, recover forgotten ways to contest, indulge in play, dream and share their exercises of resistance.

For the past eight years, SAVVY has collaborated with Forum Expanded during the Berlin International Film Festival to hold a series of solo exhibitions, inviting filmmakers to present research, archival and other materials as means of opening up conversations around film practices and archiving. Honouring this tradition of exploring multidimensional possibilities around cinema, this year we continue our care for cinema off the beaten path, walking together with the communities needed in creating a breathing space where cinematic and other realities extend and touch beyond the screen.

We find ourselves in indescribably hard and uncertain times as today's world is plagued by the ongoing violences of wars, genocides, forced displacements and exiles, gentrification, plundering of resources, exclusions and cultural control, impoverishment through imperial powers, impacting our lives in different ways and with varying intensities within the fluidity of our positionalities.

How can we bring into dialogue the daily and most urgent experiences of single mothers, the unemployed, queer people, workers, refugees, children and young people, pensioners,  people who are chronically sick or disabled, the elderly, immigrants, trans people, illegalized people, people who struggle mentally, the homeless, and many more to be added to ever-incomplete lists? Can the experience provided by cinema, and art in general, help narratives and visions – perceived as unconnected, distant, or opposed – to intertwine and express essentially complex realities? In a context where the continued dynamics of imperial powers dichotomize the complexities of realities and impose unitary subjects that violate the multiplicity of identities, can the healing power of the arts and of cinema in particular help create alliances and collective initiatives to change the current situation?

Driven by the belief that this is possible, we accept Gloria Anzaldúa's invitation to live in a community with multiplicity and difference, based on affective bonds and the desire to unite, to create a more inclusive world. She invites us to build this world through the healing of wounds, violence, invisibilities. We must understand what is presented as natural versus constructed, and let those disciplines through which we have been taught be affected by other types of wisdom.  On the borderland however, the private and the public are renegotiated, where the objects and subjects of knowledge are transmuted and where methodologies are discovering themselves through lived practice.

By communing around films and gathering under screens and projections, we expand as a community by feeling and thinking together about the urgencies, challenges, and struggles of our now. Embracing cinema as a platform, tool, and medium, we will convene using the contributions of exhibition-making, coalition-building, and pedagogical exercises, such as poster-making workshops, mask performances, and more.

These eleven days of gathering unfold within the shifting space of SAVVY, where multiple moments of community are created through daily lunches, an expanded space for workshops and for collecting through embodied thought and play, and through cooking recipes, we will stimulate, build and share multiple ways of knowing and being in the world.

An exhibition and performance will be presented by the NHK6, the Nachbarschaftshaus Neukölln. mitkollektiv hosts a workshop on space, fabric and bodies, while Queer Analog Darkroom facilitates a workshop on diasporic memory and archives, through practices of analog photography and collage. Screenings and conversations will be developed also by our other collaborators: AKE DIKHEA?,  NAAS | Network of Arab Alternative Screens, POC Art Collective. Our individual collaborators – Ding Dawei, Moonis Ahmad – represent, too, larger social communities and realities, which they bring into the room through cinematic and visual arts, and how we convene around these. 

In these gatherings we think and imagine viable futures, those not yet known and clearly lived, but already dreamed to give rise to liberating action. This can best emerge in dialogue, in the convergence of bodies, knowledge and experiences. We know that "we must learn to sit down together and talk about a little culture", [3] only then can we also stand up together and walk with our insurgencies on our shoulders.

This space for encounters is born from the intention and the desire to imagine a world different from the one programmed by the network of colonial and capitalist relations. We propose these meetings knowing that long processes of resistance await us, complex, slow, sometimes small, almost imperceptible, sometimes painful, but in any case, processes that require a high dose of hope. They are processes in which we reinvent, conspire, and carry forward the seeds of freedom from the memory of our ancestors, from our bodies, from our scars and also from our imagination. 


The project’s title is a nod to Sylvia Wynter’s essay collection We Must Learn to Sit Down Together and Talk About a Little Culture, 2019.


Gloria Anzaldúa (2015). Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality, Duke University Press.


Wynter, 2019.