Still from Steel Town
Free Cinema School Salon: On Pedagogical Film, Part II with Daria Martin and Massimiliano ‘Mao’ Mollona
Thursday 24 January, 7-9pm, Centre for Possible Studies 21 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8HR
In this second part of our series of salons on pedagogical film, January’s Free Cinema School will be a presentation of Steel Town (2013) a film by Daria Martin and Massimiliano Mollona. The film is shot on location at Volta Redonda, a Brazilian steel town whose economy, and consequently its citizens’ lives, revolve around the Companha Siderurgica Nacional (CSN), the biggest steel mill in Latin America. Following years of research with unions, Steel Town, focuses on working-class life in Volta Redonda, building a critical dialogue between documentary, ethnography, art and activism in a film that involves members of the Volta Redonda community, workers of the steel mill and a director from Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed Centre (Centro de Teatro do Oprimido – CTO).
Daria Martin Born in San Francisco, USA, in 1973. Lives and works in London. Daria Martin’s films aim to create a continuity or parity between disparate artistic media (such as painting and performance), between people and objects, and between internal and social worlds. Martin trained in humanities at Yale University and painting at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has had solo exhibitions at the New Museum, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Kunsthalle Zurich, among other international public galleries, and a solo survey is forthcoming at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, in 2013.
Massimiliano Mollona is an anthropologist based at Goldsmiths College, London. Specialising in political and economic anthropology and experimental filmmaking, his main research focus is on the anthropology of work and class. He conducted long-term fieldworks in Sheffield (UK) and Volta Redonda (Brazil – still ongoing) two steel-towns deeply affected by privatisations and radical class changes. Mollona also uses film as a tool of political reflection and intervention, with a focus on experimental ethnography, the politics of realism and working class representation. In 2000, he wrote and directed Steel Lives, a film about a community of steelworkers in Sheffield in the post-Thatcher era. In Brazil, he developed several media projects in favelas and hosted film discussions in homes, communities and shopfloors. He has published extensively on political anthropology and film and is regularly invited to talks on film and work at various galleries, festivals and workshops in the UK and abroad, including in 2012, Raven Row, GasWorks, BFI, Steirischer Herbst festival (Graz) and Il Festival della Filosofia in Modena.