Doc's Kingdom 2017 I Surfacing Trouble

ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ 3 - 8 September






INHABITANTS (Pedro Neves Marques, Mariana Silva, Margarida Mendes)



THE OTOLITH GROUP (Anjalika Sagar & Kodwo Eshun)





The international seminar on documentary film organized by Apordoc since 2000 is just around the corner in Arcos de Valdevez, Portugal.

Doc’s Kingdom is open to the public, with limited capacity, and every registration form (from 25 to 350 Euros) includes all events organized by the seminar from September 3 through 8. A few spots with lodging included are still available. Registration is first-come first served and it can be made at

The seminar is daily structured in morning and afternoon screenings starting at 10 am and 2.30 pm, followed by a collective discussion by the end of the day. Doc’s Kingdom is the unabridged and cumulative experience including film screenings, collective discussions and the informal gathering in itself, with the filmmakers in person during the whole seminar.

Insisting on the collective and unabridged experience, the detailed schedule of sessions is kept secret and it might change according to the unfolding of the week. Each morning, the same group of up to 100 participants enters the screening room without a map, cooperating in an experience that cannot be anticipated.

Doc’s Kingdom 2017 featured artists and filmmakers are: Billy Woodberry, Clara López Menéndez, Jamika Ajalon, Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni, Inhabitants (Pedro Neves Marques, Mariana Silva e Margarida Mendes), James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Louis Henderson, The Otolith Group (Anjalika Sagar & Kodwo Eshun), Regina Guimarães & Saguenail, Sana na N’Hada.

Doc’s Kingdom 2017 é curated by Filipa César, Nuno Lisboa and Olivier Marboeuf:  

We would like to invite you on a journey. Not to cross the ocean but to plumb its surface. Forget the solid and luminous history of continents and their lighthouses that tear into the night with dazzling certitudes. Enter instead into the soft shadow of the depths, on the other side of the opaque mirror of water, into an endlessly changing landscape that ignores the old borders and bodily limits. Liquid movement of subversion, waves of voices as well as radio waves, telepathy. Space is the place. This is the place for no monuments other than the bones of those thrown overboard. Migrants whose only compass is despair, pregnant slave women who fertilize the ocean depths. The land of this other planet, so close, engenders aliens whom we make our kins, as yesterday’s dead will become the allies of our struggles. The drowned and anonymous Maroon breathes into his conch shell the call to revolt. Do you hear it?

Doc’s Kingdom 2017 featured artists

Born in Dallas, 1950, Billy Woodberry is one of the key figures of the so-called L.A. Rebellion (also known as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers). The movement consisted of a generation of young African and African-American filmmakers who studied at the UCLA Film School in the late 1960s through the late 1980s. These independent filmmakers created a Black Cinema that provided an alternative to classical Hollywood cinema. The political and social discourse of 1967 and 1968 were vital in the establishment of this movement in filmmaking that would later be called the L.A. Rebellion. This term was coined by film scholar Clyde Taylor, and the movement sought for a new aesthetic and mode of representation and narration that spoke to the realities of black existence. Woodberry’s film “Bless Their Little Hearts” (1984), an essential work of this cinema, illustrates this in its examination of the tensions caused by class conflicts within an African American family. His film, along with those of Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, Charles Burnett, and numerous others, helped to create narratives that spoke to the black experience. Critics have compared the films of the movement to Italian Neorealism films of the 1940s, Third World Cinema films of the late 1960s and 1970s, and the 1990s Iranian New Wave. Billy Woodberry has taught in the School of Art and the School of Film/ Video at CalArts since 1989. He has also appeared in Charles Burnett’s “When It Rains” (1995), Haile Gerima’s “Ashes to Embers” (1982), and he has provided narration for films such as Thom Andersen’s “Red Hollywood” (1996) and James Benning’s “Four Corners” (1998). Woodberry’s film “And when I die, I won’t stay dead” (2015), a documentary about the life and work of the poet Bob Kaufman, premiered at Viennale ‘15 and was awarded at Doclisboa ’15. 

An art worker practicing in the fields of curating, pedagogy, art criticism and performance,Clara López Menéndez is currently a visiting artist at the California Institute of the Arts and is the director of the platform for experimental queer film and video Dirty Looks LA. Her writing has appeared in Mousse, Art News, Bomb, Little Joe, and she has worked with Redcat, Participant Inc., Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and die neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin among others. For Doc’s Kingdom 2017, Clara proposes “a series of movement exercises, with the intention of enhancing an embodied space of communication between participants, films and the seminar’s spatio-temporality. Doc’s Kingdom is an immersive experience of cinema that attempts at breaking with the regular conditions of spectatorship, generating a space of discussion that takes into account the social generated by watching together, where the exhibition / projection / distribution of images is not left hanging in the silence of contemplation, but is confronted and embraced by dialogue.” 

Jamika Ajalon is an interdisciplinary artist fortunate enough to have collaborated with many brilliant creatives across the globe. Mediums include written and spoken word, sound, and photography, film, video, text, and music. She grew up in the US, completed her masters in London (Goldsmith College), and lives and works for more than 20 years in Europe, including France, England, and Germany. Recent work include, in 2017, “Ready to Rumble” (photo & video exhibition) and “Seen: Space For You” (audio visual anti lecture) at the Academy of Fine Arts, Lepzig Germany, and “Nowhere Blues cut up”, sonic digital poetry video published in April Poets digital magazine.

Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni are filmmakers and artists based in Paris. Their practice interrogates potential forms and fictions emerging from the ruins of the moving image and includes the creation of short and feature films, exhibitions, sound and video installations, performances, eventworks, radio shows and books. Their production (and resistance to production) of the last few years has focused on exploring new configurations of image, sound, text and politics, often using cinema in expanded form to reactivate lost or forgotten archives and histories and to create new modes of collective vision and engagement with contemporary thought. Their films include “Wolkengestalt” (2007), “Facs of Life” (2009), “Through the Letterbox” (2010), “In Search of UIQ” (2013), “Blind Data” (2013), “Disappear One” (2015). Thomson and Maglioni’s work has been presented in a number of film festivals, museums and art spaces including FID-Marseille, Bafici International Film Festival, Jihlava Film Festival, Il Vento del Cinema, FIFVC-Beirut, Anthology Film Archives, Tate Britain, Serralves, Centre Pompidou, Redcat, MACBA, Ludwig Museum, The Showroom, KHOJ New Delhi, Museu de Arte Moderna de Bahia, Castello di Rivoli, Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, Whitechapel, Casco.

Inhabitants is an online channel for exploratory video and documentary reporting. They produce and stream short-form videos intended for online distribution, with each episode focusing on a different topic. They have collaborated with institutions such as Haus der Kulturen Der Welt and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), Museu Colecção Berardo (Lisbon), Contour8 biennale (Belgium), and are currently collaborating with TBA21 for a video series on Deep Sea Mining. Inhabitants are actively engaged with both artists and political agents on the ground, and are open to any inquires and suggestions. Inhabitants was initiated by Mariana Silva and Pedro Neves Marques in 2015 and collaborates with Margarida Mendes as consultant. 

Pedro Neves Marques (b. Lisbon, lives in New York) is a writer and visual artist. He is the editor of the book, “The Forest and the School: Where to Sit at the Dinner Table?” (2015), an anthology on anthropology and Brazilian Antropofagia, and the author of the fiction books “Morrer na América” (2017) and “The Integration Process” (2012). He was a guest-editor for e-flux Journal: Supercommunity for the 65th Venice Biennale: “All The World’s Futures” (2015), and writes regularly for other magazines and books. Among other venues, he has exhibited at PAV Parco Arte Vivente (Turin), Sursock Art Museum (Beirut), e-flux (New York), Kadist Art Foundation (Paris), Sculpture Center (New York), the 12th Cuenca Biennial (Cuenca), EDP Foundation (Lisbon), Serralves Museum for Contemporary Art (Oporto) and Berardo Museum (Lisbon). 

Mariana Silva (b. Lisbon, lives in New York) is a visual artist. Among other venues she has exhibited or screened her work at Gwangju Biennale (South Korea, 2016), Moscow Biennale (Russia, 2016), EDP Foundation (Lisbon, 2015), Astrup Fearnley Museum (Oslo, 2015), Parkour (Lisbon, 2014), e-flux, New York (2013), Indie Film Festival (Lisbon, 2012), Whitechapel Gallery (London, 2011), Kunsthalle Lissabon, (Lisbon, 2011), and Serralves Museum for Contemporary Art (Oporto, 2010). 

Margarida Mendes is a researcher, curator, activist currently directing Movimento Oceano Livre - Environmental movement against deep-sea mining. In 2016 she was part of the curatorial team of the 11 Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, and was the co-director of “escuelita” at Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo Madrid - CA2M. Between 2009 and 2015 directed the project space The Barber Shop in Lisbon, where she hosted a programme of seminars and residencies dedicated to artistic and philosophical research. Exploring the overlap between cybernetics, the history of science, extractivism, cosmology and experimental film, her personal research investigates the dynamic transformations of the environment and their impact on social structures and cultural production. Some of these concerns have been further explored telephone-based project The World in Which We Occur, co-directed with Jennifer Teets. Margarida holds an MA in Aural and Visual Culture from Goldsmiths College, London, and in 2013 she was part of the Synapse Curatorial Research Group included in the Anthropocene Project at Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, publishing in the volume Textures of the Anthropocene: Grain Vapor Ray, edited by MIT Press (Cambridge, MA).

James N. Kienitz Wilkins (b. 1983, Boston, MA) is an artist and filmmaker living in Brooklyn. His short films, features, and multimedia projects have been presented at international film festivals and venues including the New York Film Festival, Rotterdam, Locarno, Toronto (Wavelengths), Vancouver, CPH:DOX, MoMA PS1, Migrating Forms, Edinburgh (Black Box), and beyond. Past movies includes the experimental documentary feature “Public Hearing” (2012), and the short “Special Features” (2014), which won the Founder’s Spirit Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival 2015 and a Grand Prix at the 25 FPS Festival 2015. In 2016, he won the annual ART AWARD at the LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International for his short “B-ROLL with Andre” (2016), and was also selected as one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. He’s received grants and support from the New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Jerome Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Experimental Television Center and Wave Farm, among others. Residencies include Triangle Workshops, Residency Unlimited, Vermont Studio Center and the MacDowell Colony, where he was awarded an NEA fellowship. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City.

Louis Henderson is an artist and filmmaker whose works investigate connections between colonialism, technology, capitalism and history. His research seeks to formulate an archaeological method within film practice reflecting on animistic materialism. Henderson has shown his work at places such as: Rotterdam International Film Festival, Doc Lisboa, CPH:DOX, New York Film Festival, The Contour Biennial, The Kiev Biennial, The Centre Pompidou, SAVVY Contemporary, The Gene Siskell Film Centre and Tate Britain. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Video Artist at the 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA, and a European Short Film Award—New Horizons International Film Festival, Wroclaw, Poland. His work is distributed by LUX (UK) and Video Data Bank (USA). 

The Otolith Group was founded in 2002 and consists of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun who live and work in London. During their longstanding collaboration, The Otolith Group have drawn from a wide range of resources and materials. They explore the moving image, the archive, the sonic and the aural within the gallery context. The work is research based and in particular has focused on the essay film as a form that seeks to look at conditions, events and histories in their most expanded form. The Group have exhibited, installed and screened their works nationally and internationally, they are commissioned to develop and exhibit their artworks, their research, installations, and publications by a wide range of museums, public and private galleries, biennials, foundations and other bodies. This work acts as a resource that is documented on this website and supports The Otolith Group’s public platform in its function in the UK under the name of The Otolith Collective. In 2010 The Otolith Group were nominated for the Turner Prize. 

Regina Guimarães (Porto 1957) & Saguenail (Paris 1955) develop their lovers’ work lover in the on the margins of writing, film and translation. They live and work together since 1976. Hélastre is the name and sign of their common work.

Sana na N’Hada (1950) took part in the Guinean liberation struggle against Portuguese colonialism, in which he first participated as a paramedic and later as a filmmaker. He became a pioneer of Guinean cinema when, in 1967, together with three other Guinean students he went to learn film-making at the Cuban film institute ICAIC, profiting from an agreement between Amílcar Cabral and Fidel Castro. Upon their return in 1972 the group started a regular film praxis from which emerged the Guinean film institute INCA. Sana na N’Hada co-authored most films and footages preserved today in the INCA archive. His filmography includes documentaries “O Regresso de Amílcar Cabral” (1976), “Les Jours d’Ancono” (1978) and “Fanado” (1984), the fiction film “Xime” (1994), which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival, and most recently “Bissau d’Isabel” (2005), and “Kadjike” (2012). Sana na N’Hada has worked with many filmmakers, including Anita Fernandez, Chris Marker, Sarah Maldoror, Joop va Wijk, Leyla Assaf-Tengroth and regularly with his long term colleague Flora Gomes.


Filipa César (1975) is an artist and filmmaker interested in the fictional aspects of the documentary, the porous borders between cinema and its reception, and the politics and poetics inherent to moving image. Since 2011, she has been looking into the origins of the cinema of the African Liberation Movement in Guinea Bissau as a laboratory of resistance to ruling epistemologies. César premiered her first feature length essay-film “Spell Reel” at the Forum section of the 67. Berlinale, 2017. Selected exhibitions and screenings have taken place at: 29th São Paulo Biennial, 2010; Manifesta 8, Cartagena, 2010; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2011–15; Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2012; Kunstwerke, Berlin, 2013; SAAVY Contemporary, Berlin 2014–15; Tensta konsthall, Spånga, 2015; Mumok, Vienna, 2016; Contour 8 Biennial, Mechelen, Gasworks, London and MoMA, New York, 2017.

Nuno Lisboa is the director of Doc’s Kingdom since 2013. Between 2006 and 2017, he has programed - with José Manuel Costa, Ricardo Matos Cabo, Federico Rossin, Aily Nash, Filipa Cesár and Olivier Marboeuf - nine editions of Doc’s Kingdom seminar: “The circulation of the word”, “Landscape: the work of time”, “Requestioning the political image”, “The archive-image”, “Idea of an island”, “The end of nature”, among others. In 2017, Nuno Lisboa was the programmer of the 63rd Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, entitled “Future Remains”, and featuring Vincent Carelli, Filipa César, Kevin Jerome Everson, Dominic Gagnon, Laura Huertas Millán, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Sana Na N’Hada, Peter Nestler, Laura Poitras and Eduardo Williams.

In the age of hyper-mediatization and the capitalization of knowledge, Olivier Marboeufis interested in the specific conditions of transmission of minority practices, strategies and forms of life. By speaking of an ecology of shadow, he tries to define a space for secrecy, a retreat from light that is necessary for the sharing of experiences and situations of knowledge that exist underneath the speakable and visible and that engage the body as cure. Situations of presence and goodwill that create an ephemeral space that counters the reification of culture in the form of institutions. How can we welcome that which has not yet been named and emerges unexpectedly? How do we take stock of it? Perhaps by utilizing the forces of speculative narration, which translate an experience without overtly telling it, by remaining in its peripheries with neither map nor light, and permitting it to be felt. 



by vários
Afroscreen | 20 August 2017 | Doc's Kingdom