BEYOND SURVIVAL: LAGOS
A screening of artworks addressing tyrannical planetary conditions
Dika Ofoma, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Chitra Ganesh, Amar Kanwar, Ana María Millán, Michael Rakowitz, and Rattana Vandy
Friday, February 16, 2024, 18:00
2/5 Idowu Ajao Street, Ajao Estate, Anthony Village, Lagos
Protodispatch presents Beyond Survival, a screening program of short films and videos addressing tyrannical planetary conditions by Dika Ofoma, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Chitra Ganesh, Amar Kanwar, Ana María Millán, Michael Rakowitz, and Rattana Vandy, produced by Protocinema and presented in Lagos in collaboration with The Drill. The screening will be followed by an informal discussion with Innocent Ekejiuba and artist, Dika Ofoma.
This Protodispatch screening event brings together videos that convey forms of resistance which take us beyond survival in a multitude of forms. The selected artworks depict the regrowth of scorched lands, the exposure of dictator propaganda, fantastical potential futures, and remembering and mourning loved ones murdered in war. Included artists transform the tangible aftermaths of tyrannical acts and conditions by filming that which has been prohibited; revisiting historical events through personal, contemporary narratives; adopting the look and feel of video games and comic books; and reinventing myths and stories. In doing so, they defy rigid perspectives on survival. This screening reflects the growth of methodologies that use knowledge gained in the endurance of horrors, emphasizing the fluid, elastic, and possible, as well as revealing the potential to navigate around what seems immovable, rather than meeting it head-on. Within these works, the critical question becomes, “What grows from the ashes?"
Please join us on Friday, February 16, 2024, for a 75-minute screening program.
Beyond Survival Screening Program
A Quiet Monday, 2023, 22:25 minutes
When the leader of a secessionist group in south-eastern Nigeria is jailed, his loyalists mandate a compulsory "sit-at-home" on Mondays in protest. Siblings Kamnonu and Ogbonna face danger when they defy the Monday restrictions. A Quiet Monday urges viewers to consider the complexity of allegiance when familiar relationships are threatened.
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
Until we became fire and fire us, 2023, 7:35 minutes
Abbas and Abou-Rahme capture nature’s poetic resistance to invasion. By exploring the regenerative cycles of destruction and regrowth, observed in both nature and human activity, the artists confront the dehumanizing erasure of Palestinian life, communities, and lands.
The Face, 2004, 4:34 minutes
Kanwar’s video follows the seldom photographed Burmese General Than Shwe as he visits the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. It subtly contrasts the duplicitous public image offered by oppressive regimes with the genuine reactions of people in close proximity to the dictators.
Monologue, 2015, 19:03 minutes
Similar to treatments offered to phantom limb patients, Vandy offers memory as a treatment for loss in Monologue. But how do you memorialize and communicate with long-lost loved ones when all that is available is the violence of their absence?
Ana María Millán
Wanderlust, 2015-2017, 8:21 minutes
Ana María Millán’s Wanderlust is a bilingual journey into the consciousness of resistance. Psychedelic in nature, the animation reinforces the importance of leading with the heart, even when there is the risk of losing your head (whether metaphorically or physically).
The Ballad of Special Ops Cody, 2017, 14:42 minutes
According to the U.S. military website Stars and Stripes, “Special Ops Cody isn’t a regular GI, and he’s no ordinary Joe. Special Ops Cody is a star.” In The Ballad of Special Ops Cody, Michael Rakowitz sends Cody into Chicago’s Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures (formerly the Oriental Institute) to liberate the Mesopotamian statues within.
The Adventures of White Beryl, 2016, 2:10 minutes
With animation that fuses early video game aesthetics and stop-action animation with ancient Tibetan symbols and myths, Ganesh’s contribution is rich with color and mystery. A rabbit hole of symbolism, The Adventures of White Beryl connects the physical, bodily, and metaphysical realities that support the spirit in confronting conflicts, dangers, and joys inherent to the cycle of life.
Total Running time 78.29 minutes.
About The Drill
The Drill is a Nigerian non-profit cultural organization and an alternative learning system dedicated to the well-being and survivability of African art practitioners. Guided by three pillars - Education, Advocacy, and Resource Aggregation - The Drill offers alternative art education and bridges resource gaps for early & mid-career African art practitioners. Our mission is to cultivate a sustainable African art ecosystem by providing African art practitioners with the necessary tools for sustainable practices. https://thedrill.org/
Protodispatch is a monthly digital publication of artists’ dispatches on the life conditions that necessitate their work. Initiated in September 2022 by Laura Raicovich and produced by Protocinema, Protodispatch has publication partners in US/Artnet.com, Turkey/Argonatlar.com and Thailand/groundcontrolmag.com, with more on the way. Current and past Protodispatches here: protocinema.org/protodispatch
Protocinema is a cross-cultural art organization that commissions and presents site-aware art around the world. Our purpose is to support dialogue between cultures on equal footing and create opportunities for listening & expression. By doing so, Protocinema aids the development of relationships both at the mindfully local & globally interconnected levels. Founded in 2011 by Mari Spirito, Protocinema is an ambulant nonprofit 501(c)3, free of ‘brick and mortar.’ Our locations are varied, responding both to global concerns and changing conditions on the ground. protocinema.org