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Archiving By Other Means: An Ethical Deconstruction of Filipa César’s Spell Reel

1st March 2024 · 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Doors open: 6:00pm

Brockway Room

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 Archiving By Other Means: An Ethical Deconstruction of Filipa César’s <i>Spell Reel</i>

This Spring, Conway Hall is partnering with The CERA PROJECT to screen Filipa César’s award-winning documentary Spell Reel (2017).

Winner of a José Saramago Foundation Award at Doclisboa International Film Festival, and screened at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival, César’s film transports us to Guinea-Bissau through a post-colonial lens to revisit and reconstruct the revolutions of the country’s War of Independence (1963 – 1974) and engage with its societal legacy today. Spell Reel explores the conservation of cultural and historical artefacts, and raises crucial questions about their future archival processes.

Adopting a multifaceted approach in its visuals and interrogation of what it means to archive, Spell Reel documents the intricate process of restoring film footage captured by the revolutionary figures of Guinea Bissau’s fight for independence by the Arsenal Institute of Film and Video Art of Berlin. What results is a film which questions the complex relationship between the archivist and the archive itself: What is the nature of ethics when we archive non-western histories?

The film’s screening will be followed by a panel discussion with opportunities for the audience to share their thoughts on the ethical questions that César’s film raises.

The CERA PROJECT founded by the curator Inês Valle, is a non-profit contemporary art organisation which started in East London (UK) and is now based in Lisbon (PT), with the aim of promoting and exhibiting contemporary art that falls outside of Eurocentric and Western narratives. Over the years, the CERA PROJECT has curated programmes encouraging critical engagement with contemporary global issues, inviting spectators to think a bit differently and participate in dialogues with artists, curators, writers, scientists and collectors.

Dr Katy Hunter is a researcher specialising in Lusophone and Francophone African film. Her research interests include the ethics and politics of film archiving, intermediality, and cinematic engagement of the body and senses. Recent publications include works on memory in Angolan cinema, and gender and violence in Iberian and Latin American cinema.

Dr Ana Temudo has collaborated in several museum research-based projects that promote interdisciplinarity among the humanities, arts and social sciences, including the Pitt Rivers Museum. Her doctoral thesis “Representational Politics of Guinean Heritage in Portuguese Museums in the Transition from Colonial to Postcolonial Period: Histories, Transits and Discourses” is funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

Age Recommendation



Standard £15 Concessions £12

Access Information

Due to the age and Grade Il listing of the building, there is no lift access to rooms above the ground floor.

All the ground-floor rooms are fully accessible by wheelchair. Main Hall (street access, step-free), Brockway Room (street access, step-free), Bertrand Russell Room (street access, shallow ramp), Hive Cafe (street access, step-free), There is also an accessible toilet on the ground floor opposite the Brockway Room.

If you have any questions regarding your access needs, please get in touch with our team and we will accommodate as best as we can. Get in touch:

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Further Info

If you have any accessibility enquiries, please contact us at / 020 7405 1818.

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