Filipa César and Diana McCarty will become film and video professors at the Merz Akademie

16.03.2021
Diana McCarty (© courtesy of the artist) and Filipa César (© Susana Pomba)

Filipa César and Diana McCarty, two filmmakers and media activists, have been jointly appointed to a professorship of Film and Video at Merz Akademie. In their artistic work, the duo has focused particularly on interdisciplinary projects with a feminist-critical approach. They also want to maintain this way of working at Merz Akademie and further expand the link between all areas of study, especially moving image and Crossmedia Publishing.

Portuguese artist and filmmaker Filipa César’s work engages with the fictional aspects of documentary film and the fluid boundaries between film and its reception. She is particularly interested in militant cinema and the political dimension of the moving image and the technologies used. In numerous workshops and seminars, she has already worked with students at universities in Europe and the USA, including Harvard University. She co-founded the Mediateca Onshore, an archival project and a place of learning with ancestors, nature and people in Guinea Bissau.

US-American Diana McCarty has been working on interdisciplinary projects focusing on gender, art and the politics of media for more than 30 years. She focuses on establishing various media platforms for interdisciplinary work and cross-cultural dialogues that address the social, political, and artistic aspects of today. She gained teaching experience at universities in Germany and Europe, including the Intermedia Department at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Budapest, the Kunsthochschule Köln, the UDK Berlin and the Kunsthochschule Copenhagen.

In 2011, their collaboration began with the project “Luta ca caba inda” (The struggle is not over yet), which concerns the importance of archives for the collective memory of the war of independence in Guinea-Bissau. The cross-genre work, which has been ongoing for 10 years, has produced digital archives, short films, podcasts, and public events. The results so far are summarized in the publication “Luta ca caba inda: time place matter voice” and the essay film “Spell Reel,” which won several awards and was screened at Moma, New York, the Berlinale in 2017, among others. Last year, their latest film “Quantum Creole” also screened at the Berlinale.

In their interdisciplinary projects, César and McCarty show how their research goes beyond film production, is taken up by other means, and has an impact on current cultural and political debates.

“As feminists committed to decolonial and Marxist principles, we understand filmmaking and media production as inherently collective practices. We look forward to discussing with students, challenging existing concepts, and guiding them on their journey as critical filmmakers.”

They are also co-founders of the elsehere artist association.

Dean Prof. Peter Ott is convinced: “With their artistic profile, they are a very good fit for the Merz Akademie, and we look forward to our collaboration.”

“With Filipa César and Diana McCarty, we have been able to attract two exceptional personalities to the Merz Akademie, from whose critical artistic practice and shared idea of thinking beyond genres and formats our students will certainly benefit greatly,” adds Rector Maren Schmohl.

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