Documents from the South: An encounter between documenta 14 and Kassel Dokfest:
Passing Drama
by Angela Melitopoulos

5:30 pm
Bali, Kassel

Passing Drama, Angela Melitopoulos, 1999, 66 min.

“In Passing Drama, ‘escape’ turns from a subject of narration into a cinematic theme about narration and memory itself. History is presented as a machine which devours minorities in order to feed the majority. Drama becomes a stage for oblivion, oblivion however which hasn’t ceased to stir movements. Drama is also the name of the town around which many refugees from Asia Minor, among them my grandparents, settled after 1923, i.e. after having survived the trauma of deportations and the ‘catastrophe of Asia Minor.’ For many of them, Drama wasn’t the final refuge: in the next generation, thousands of these refugees ended up in forced labor camps in Austria, or became ‘guest workers’ in Germany yet another generation later. […] The tales which these ‘guest workers’ could tell were not only about poverty and civil war, but also about their persistent resistance and the guerilla war, about camps and forced labor, and about a genocide officially termed ‘expulsion’, because evidence of this organized crime is still wanting today.” (Angela Melitopoulos about Passing Drama)

German and Greek with English subtitles.

The performative screening with additional live soundtrack is followed by a talk with Angela Melitopoulos, moderated by Tobias Hering.

Documents from the South: An encounter between documenta 14 and Kassel Dokfest

documenta 14 is hosting the program Documents from the South as part of the Kassel Dokfest. On November 18 and 19, Angela Melitopoulos and Manthia Diawara will each present two program sessions, including screenings of their own films as well as works by other filmmakers. In the films and in conversations following the screenings, the artists discuss what documents from the South could look like and which stories they tell.

Documents from the South takes its cue from the title of the magazine South as a State of Mind, which is published during the years of work preceding the exhibition of documenta 14 and helps define and frame its concerns and aims. “South” is no longer understood as a geographical orientation, but refers to a culturally and historically produced location charged with psychological and political meaning.

Two documenta 14 artists discuss these concerns in relation to their own work with the Dokfest audience: Angela Melitopoulos, in whose films and video installations different phases, ruptures, and mobilities between Germany and Greece play an important role; and filmmaker and writer Manthia Diawara whose films and books have shaped and expressed the critical self-assertion of the African diaspora since the early 1990s.


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