Precarity in Film: Experimental Ecologies
Experimental and Alternative Film from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain
See schedule for locations.

Admission is free. To RSVP, click on program titles below.

Precarity—a concept referring to dispossession, scarcity, displacement, and uncertainty—is increasingly common not only in social scientific literature on global conditions of exclusion, poverty, and ecological exploitation, but also in philosophical debates thanks to feminist thinkers like Judith Butler. For Butler, precarity indexes the material conditions of minoritized bodies and communities, as well as signaling the more universal condition of interdependence and vulnerability, the notion that our lives are “always in some sense in the hands of the other.” Whether it be due to limited access to specific technologies, a decision to inhabit a disappearing medium, or the intention to witness spaces of abjection where the eye does not want to look, precarity figures in the production, imagination, and (de)formations of much experimental work.

“Precarity in Film: Experimental Ecologies” features experimental, alternative, independent, and underground films from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain that engage with ecological, racial, and material precarity. The works selected depict and distort, exhibit and expose the extreme conditions facing communities and landscapes of their home territories, as well as the precarious quality of the production and preservation of experimental film.

Filmmakers and artists:
Valentina Alvarado (Spain/Venezuela)
Gabrielle Civil (United States)
Patricia Ferreira Pará Yxapy (Paraguay/Brazil)
Sofía Gallisá Muriente (Puerto Rico)
Narcisa Hirsch (Argentina)
Claudia Joskowicz (Bolivia/United States)
Azucena Losana (Mexico)
Rocío Mesa (Spain/United States)
Everlane Moraes (Brazil)
Tomas Rautenstrauch (Argentina)
Adriana Rondón Rivero (Venezuela/United States)
Malena Szlam (Chile/Canada)

With the participation of:
Erin Graff Zivin (USC)
Julian Gutiérrez-Albilla (USC)
Steven Marsh (University of Illinois, Chicago)
Ronald Mendoza-de Jesús (USC)
Noraedén Mora Méndez (USC)
Ifetayo Olutosin (USC)
Nayla Ramalho (USC)


Tuesday, March 28, at USC
2:30-4:30 p.m.: Experiment and Process, Rosen Family Screening Room, TCC 227

Screenings introduced by Noraedén Mora Méndez (USC).
Gabrielle Civil: Yawo's Dream, 2006, digital, 4 min.; Sucking Teeth (with Rosamond S. King), 2006, digital, 1 min.; dirt reverie for Fugue, 2011, digital, 1 min; Jupiter, 2021, digital, excerpt
Nayla Ramalho: On Teko Haxy by Patricia Ferreira Pará Yxapi and Sophia Pinheiro, 2018, digital, excerpt
Tomas Rautenstrauch (Filmoteca Narcisa Hirsch): On Ulises by Narcisa Hirsch, 1979, Super 8, 7 min. 
Adriana Rondón Rivero: Elvira, árbol, rezo, 2023, video, excerpt
Malena Szlam: Towards a Counter-Cartography of Volcanic Time, 2023, excerpt

7:30–9:30 p.m.: On Precarity, Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
Screenings followed by panel discussion with Erin Graff Zivin (USC), Julien Gutiérrez-Albilla (USC), and Steven Marsh (U. of Illinois, Chicago). Screening time: 66 min.
MERAPI by Malena Szlam, 2021, 16mm > digital, 8 min.
Anagrams of Light by Malena Szlam, 2011, Super 8 > digital, 3 min.
Lunar Almanac by Malena Szlam, 2013, 16mm > digital, 4 min.
Arrojalatierra by Valentina Alvarado, 2021, Super 8, 13 min.
Parallels by Claudia Joskowicz, 2022, digital, 25 min. (13 min. excerpt)
Burbank Neons by Rocío Mesa, 2022, 16mm in-camera-edited > digital, 3 min.
VEGA by Rocío Mesa, 2019, 16mm > digital, 2 min.
Para el ángel que anuncia el fin de los tiempos by Tomas Rautenstrauch and Narcisa Hirsch, 2017, digital, 11 min.
Patagonia by Narcisa Hirsch, 1972, Super 8 > digital, 9 min.

Wednesday, March 29, at 2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
4:30–6:30 p.m.: The Vulnerable Gaze

Screenings followed by a panel discussion with Ronald Mendoza-de Jesús (USC), Ifetayo Olutosin (USC), and Nayla Ramalho (USC). Screening time: 80 min.
A gente acaba aquí by Everlane Moraes, 2021, digital, 15 min.
Pattaki by Everlane Moraes, 2019, digital, 21 min.
Celaje by Sofía Gallisá Muriente, 2020, 16mm and Super 8 > digital, 40 min.
Valle de Lobos by Azucena Losana, 2018, Super 8 > digital, 4 min.

8–10 p.m.: Trembling Landscapes
Screenings followed by a conversation with filmmakers. Screening time: 75 min.
ALTIPLANO by Malena Szlam, 2018, 35mm > digital, 16 min.
TeRReMoTo by Azucena Losana, 2011, Super 8 > digital, 7 min.
La quema by Tomas Rautenstrauch, 2017, digital, 12 min.
Tobacco Barns Light Studies by Rocío Mesa, 2019, 16mm > digital, 2 min.
Dear Friend, by Rocío Mesa, 2020, Super 8 in-camera-edited > digital, 2 min.
Allegro Ma Non Troppo by Everlane Moraes, 2016, digital, 6 min.
Asimilar y destruir II by Sofía Gallisá Muriente, 2019, 16mm > digital, 7 min. 
Vallegrande, 1967 by Claudia Joskowicz, 2008, digital, 8 min. 
Propiedades de una esfera paralela by Valentina Alvarado Matos, 2020, 16mm - double projection, 16 min.

This two-day event is curated by Noraedén Mora Méndez, doctoral candidate in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, and Erin Graff Zivin, professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Comparative Literature, in collaboration with Los Angeles Filmforum.

Co-sponsored by the USC Dornsife Experimental Humanities Lab, USC Del Amo Foundation, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, USC Visions and Voices, Center for Latinx and Latin American Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, Visual Studies Research Institute, Doctoral Program in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, and the School of Cinematic Arts.

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