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Postcolonial Poetics: Ruins and Ruination

17.05.2022 | Hybrider Workshop der Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe Cinepoetics mit Erica Carter und Anne Eusterschulte.



Research Focus: Audiovisual Cultures

The full-day workshop aimed to discuss historicity and the concept of postcolonial ruination, focusing on Sudanese director Hussein Shariffe's THE DISLOCATION OF AMBER (1975) as well as the book "Imperial Debris" by Ann Laura Stoler. The day started with a short introduction and a screening of the film. Afterward, several groups were formed and provided with a collection of textual and visual materials to prompt reflection. In the afternoon, the discussion then moved to an online meeting where each group presented its findings.

The group "Ruins and Ruination: History and Nature" first prepared an inventory of nature in THE DISLOCATION OF AMBER. While the cosmic elements pervade the film and are visible in the erosion of the buildings, only a few animals and little vegetation are shown. The group thus observed a decoupling of the connection between vitality and movement. At the same time, vitality is present in the medium itself through camera movements and zooms. Countering linear and forward-directed actions, the regulated, reduced, and ceremonial movements in the film suggest an agency in crisis.