Alternative Histories of Modern Conflict

Wednesday, 4 June, 16.30h, Cinema
Saturday, 7 June, 18.00h, Cinema

An eclectic program of films, videos and lectures exploring non-mainstream representations of war and how the military makes an imprint on civil society. With the current ‘war on terrorism’ as waged by the US, which up to now has culminated in the live broadcast of the invasion and defeat of Iraq, we experience a new dimension of war, i.e., as a spectacle of mass media. Nevertheless, politically motivated conflicts more than ever pose a techno- logically enhanced and devastating threat to numerous human lives.
The series features historical and contemporary works by international artists and filmmakers comprising critical, satirical and subjective responses to the realities of war. These works are shown in combination with music videos, documentary films and official recruitment and propaganda footage. Alternative Histories of Modern Conflict is realized in collaboration with the Lux and the Imperial War Museum, London.
Curated by Florian Wüst, Berlin / Rotterdam.

Starting with the Seattle WTO protests in 1999, the various anti-globalist demonstrations and street clashes with police forces heralded a new stage in urban violent conflict. In Genoa 2001, especially, peaceful protests and civil disobedience were crushed by a police that have militarized in gear, tactics and aggression to a point beyond control by civil jurisdiction. The program brings together an experimental film from 1979 and a recent documentary, both dealing with the circumstances of extra-parliamentary opposition.


Knut Hoffmeister
16mm / 00:09:00 / Germany / 1979
In the late 70s, West-Berlin is a city under siege. The evidence is everywhere: waves of riot police, annual military parades and Wild West battles on TV. With a rattling pace and images of machine guns, the film, originally shot on Super 8, ironically reflects this condition.

Oliver Ressler / Dario Azzellini
video / 00:54:00 / Austria / 2002
The video deals with the origins of the Disobbedienti, their political foundations and forms of direct action on the basis of conversations with seven members of the movement. The Disobbedienti emerged from the Tute Bianche during the demonstrations against the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001. The Tute Bianche were the white-clad Italian activists who used their bodies – protected by foam rubber, tires, helmets, gas masks and home- made shields – as weapons of civil disobedience


Event archive

Website by HOAX Amsterdam