European Souvenirs

European Souvenirs.

Live Cinema show: an expedition through media archives, personal memories and collective imagery.

European Souvenirs combines different cultural expressions as well as disciplines (music, animation, video art, dramaturgy, photography, film), taking us on a trip through time and history. European Souvenirs is a collective exploration by five young media artists featuring media found at archives in their countries and existing imagery of Europe and its travellers. This expedition is deeply influenced by the hegemonic media landscape we silently consume in our daily life: music videos, commercials, tv news, pop culture ultimately.

How do we imagine Europe? How do non-Europeans imagine Europe? What does it mean to be European, indeed? What is Europe really about? How do we imagine ourselves and the otherness? What does it mean to stay together? How are cliches, stereotypes, etc. being built in our societies? What happens when we ask these questions, when we ask ourselves our deepest fears, certainties and assumptions?

Commissioned by the European Cultural Foundation in its quest for new European inspiring narratives, ZEMOS98 (Spain) has designed with its partners in theDoc Next Network an independant, process-oriented, investigative, collaborative, innovative and high quality multi-media project that will shake up our minds and our prevailing imagery of the places we live in.

European Souvenirs departs from the convention of the traditional audiovisual memoir: the (media) archive. The show is a collective exploration by five young media artists featuring media found at archives in their countries and existing imagery of Europe and its travellers.

Universal concepts such as ‘family’, ‘travel’, ‘borders’ and ‘memory’ are the starting point for their expedition. They explore personal, local and common meanings of the footage and sounds from the archives, as well as creating their own productions and fieldworks. Inspired by their personal memories, they offer us a journey down our own memory lane.

They bring us precious European Souvenirs – sounds and images from different pasts and European contexts. They invite us to make new connections between different European landscapes, identities, imaginations – and to draw new borders in our own memory map.

The artists work with audiovisual material from leading European institutions that have opened up their archives for this project:

Eye Film Institute (NL), Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (NL), Nationaal Archief (NL), Sarnamihuis (NL), Fundacja Archeologia Fotografii (PL), National Digital Archive (PL), NInA. Narodowy Instytut Audiowizualny (PL), Photoregister – project of Archaeology of Photography Foundation (PL), Filmoteca de Andalucía (SP), SALT (TR), British Film Institute – BFI (UK), Antonio España archive (ES), Family Rahman archive (NL), José Luis Tirado archive (ES), Archive.org, Doc Next Network media collection and found objects from different flea markets.

Curated by Spanish artists and remix experts of ZEMOS98, European Souvenirs has been created by an artistic ensemble of five European media-makers that were born during the decades of the 1980’s and later in Spain, Poland, UK, Turkey and the Netherlands. They have different profiles complementing each other as media artists, performers, 3D animators, documentarians, musicians, DJs and VJs. The audience enjoys an audiovisual journey through the re-interpretation of home and institutional archives. This performance capture the views of a new generation of media-makers to address key concerns and issues of the Europe we live in for a broad audience in Europe and beyond.

European Souvenirs is a live cinema performance that will be staged for the first time at Imagining Europe on Saturday, 6 October 2012 at the renowned cultural space De Balie in Amsterdam, and has been performed in Vienna, Bilbao, Sevilla, Geneva and Pristina. The tour will continue in 2013 for cities like Utrech, Istanbul, Warsaw, London…

The video is an excerpt from 15 minutes.

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