A conversation with Sungeun Kim


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A transcript of the conversation between festival curator Marta Kucza and the director Sungeun Kim on April 29 after the screening of a film Map Without Island.

Sungeun Kim: The reason I moved from Berlin is because of anti military movement in the south of the island, an ongoing activist struggle since 2007. I joined in 2013. Since then a lot of activists and artists arrived and became a part of the community, part of the environmental activism.

The body movement workshop started with our first gathering, the very first gathering of our protagonists. I wanted to open up the film to a collaborative process. A workshop with the protagonists and the staff. Through that workshop a lot of protagonists expressed their desire to not only do the interviews, but also to express themselves corporally through movement. The task was to trace this kind of performative aspect from the protagonists themselves and to make our own narrative from the footage we shot.

I knew that this film would be some kind of a collage, some kind of a map, but I didn't know exactly what will it look like. Documentation of the initiation workshop wasn't supposed to be in the film at the beginning. The film had to be constructed like that to reflect what we experienced together.

I still live in the community. I work with them on other things, activism, cook together, stuff like that. This was for me also a social experiment. Idealistic ambition at the time, it has been a long journey. The next film will be about ground water on the island.

There's been different reactions of the audience. For instance, in South Korea people thought Jasmine had been deported. She got married to another Yemeni person and just had a baby. Somehow she was pretty much the only Yemeni woman who spoke about her life in public. She wasn't comfortable showing her face, that's why she was the one filming in the beginning. Her presence is still around in my life.

Transcript by: Djahane Zaïr

Published: 09.05.2023.

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