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History is a Wayward Ghost

This programme uses the idea of ghosts and hauntings, both physically and metaphorically, to explore how history is written and interpreted. Hidden in the shadows and surfacing and submerging in memories, history becomes a media that creates new realities for old events. Through rhetorics, propaganda, and the ever-present apparatus of cinema, the past becomes a malleable thing.

Programmer: Alfonse Chiu

Alfonse Chiu is a Singapore-based writer, artist, and curator working at the intersection of text, space, and the moving image. Their practice investigates imaginaries of capital and ideologies as shaped by media infrastructures and networked economies. They are the founder of the Centre for Urban Mythologies, a project-based research initiative interested in the (im)material tensions present within the urban contexts of Asia, the editor of SINdie, a Singapore-based editorial platform exploring Southeast Asian film culture(s), and co-founder of the Moving Picture Experiment Group, a curatorial and research collective exploring the polyvalency of the moving image medium in contemporary practices. Their texts have been published internationally in publications such as Hyperallergic and NANG, and commissioned by institutions such as the Asian Film Archive and the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art for Berlinale Forum 2022. They are the 2021 e-flux journal fellow and an Associate Curator with DECK.

Ghosts Like Us
Dir. Riar Rizaldi | Indonesia | 2020 | 20

Exploring the representations of ghosts in Indonesian horror cinema, Ghosts Like Us is a film essay that bridges such filmic hauntings to traditional and contemporary patterns of rural cultural deviance and resistance.

About The Director

Riar Rizaldi works as an artist and filmmaker. Born in Indonesia and currently based in Hong Kong, his main focus is on the relationship between capital and technology, extractivism, and theoretical fiction.     

Golden Jubilee
Dir. Suneil Sanzgiri | India, US | 2021 | 19

The third film in an ongoing series of works about memory, diaspora and decoloniality, Golden Jubilee is a lush and ghostly look at questions of heritage, culture, and the remnants of history in Goa through the filmmaker’s tangled family history.

About The Director

Suneil Sanzgiri is an artist, researcher, and filmmaker. His work spans experimental video and film, animations, essays, and installations, and contends with questions of identity, heritage, culture and diaspora in relation to structural violence. He is a graduate of the Art, Culture and Technology programme at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).      

Kris Project I: The Never Ending Tale of Maria, Tin Mine, Spices and the Harimau
Dir. Au Sow-Yee | Malaysia | 2016 | 15

Deconstructing the narratives of Indian epic Ramayana alongside other folklores. The Kris Project I is a study on the issues of cultural subjectivities of Malaysia and its neighbouring countries, set against the contexts of the Cold War.

About The Director

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, artist Au Sow-Yee now lives and works in Taipei. Her works focus mainly in questioning, exploring as well as expanding the relation between images, image making, history, politics and power, through video installation and other mediums.

No Gods, No Masters
Dir. Sung Tieu | Vietnam, Germany | 2017 | 19

No Gods, No Masters investigates the so-called “Ghost Tape No. 10” that was developed by the United States military in 1969 as part of a “psychological operation” during the Vietnamese-American war to explore the layered histories of spiritual traditions and psychological manipulations, as well as their usage as a means to convey contemporary desires.

About The Creators

The artistic practice of Sung Tieu spans a variety of mediums including sound installation, video, sculpture, photography, performance, and public interventions. In her work, she contends with notions of history and analyses transnational movements of people and capitals.