A Transgenerational Commentary on a Song (inter∞note 02)

By Sónia Vaz Borges in conversation with vinit agarwal


From the Event:

15th October 2020 8 PM (CEST) Screening/live-stream of OYOYO (1980) by Chetna Vora with A Transgenerational Commentary on a Song. By Sónia Vaz Borges at KV Leipzig and online. The evening will be introduced by researcher and poet vinit agarwal as well as curator and theorist Doreen Mende and end with the possibility for Q&A: questions can be posted via chat during the screening already.

In the context of the exhibition Hidden Labour Across (inter∞note 01) at KV Leipzig we are very pleased to present the film OYOYO (1980, 48min) by the Indian director Chetna Vora on 15 October 2020 at 8 pm (CEST) for the first time in Leipzig as well as via live-stream. A commentary by the militant historian Sónia Vaz Borges will frame the educational as well as transgenerational significance of the Cape Verdean song OI OI OI OI OI or “Forti trabadja pa alguém” [So much working for other people], which is a central piece in Chetna Vora’s film as well as available in the exhibition space of KV Leipzig via QR-Code during the duration of the exhibition.

OYOYO (1980) is a cine-portrait of an educational internationalism with the students Tungalag Sodnomgombyn (Ulaanbaatar/MN), Emilio Fernandez (Concepción/CL), Carlos Neto (Bolama/GW), Irene Blanc (La Habana/CU), Ansoumane Mané, Emma Korouma (Segou/ML), Manuel Coelho Mendonça (Vorela), Carmen Maria Barbosa eSá, Jose Júlio Delgado (Bissau/GW), Theodros Alemu (Addis Ababa/ET), Monica Mateluna (Santiago/CL) and many more who were studying economy at the “Hochschule für Ökonomie Berlin-Karlshorst” in the late 1970s. The director is the Indian filmmaker Chetna Vora who mobilizes the film-camera as a means to listen to the problems that the students encounter in their education, what they miss in the GDR, and how they imagine their future. The candid conversational scenes situated in the students’ dormitory in Berlin-Karlshorst alternate with music by Cuban songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, the Brazilian singer Nara Leão and songs in Cape Verdean creole.

OYOYO, dir. Chetna Vora, camera Lars Barthel, editor Petra Heymann, 1980 / 48min., (c) HFF Potsdam-Babelsberg / GDR.

Chetna Vora (1958-1987), filmmaker, studied at the Academy for Film and Television Potsdam-Babelsberg from 1976 to 1982. Both, OYOYO (1980) and Women in Berlin (1982) compose Vora’s graduation from the HFF Potsdam-Babelsberg, where the film Women in Berlin was not only banned by the school’s direction for its realistic and critical portrayal of women in the GDR, but before it was completed, the exposed material was confiscated and destroyed. She was able to manage to save an illegal VHS-copy of the film.

Thanks to Lars Barthel and HFF Potsdam-Babelsberg for support and permission to screen the film. Hidden Labour Across (inter∞note 01) is the first curatorial iteration at the KV Leipzig (on display till 17 October 2020) as part of the series K––Enzyklopädie––V and relates to the transdisciplinary study Decolonizing Socialism, Entangled Internationalism (2019-2025), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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