"If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see."
— James Baldwin
The Prestige of Terror is the title of a pamphlet written by the Egyptian Surrealist George Henein and published in Cairo, in French, several days after the dropping of the atomic bomb. It was not a thesis so much as a manifesto, in which he re-affirms his distaste for fascism, describes this moment in history as the worst day in the career of humanity, in which the ally’s have come to resemble their antagonists. Henein despised the politics of compromise, ‘The Lesser Evil’ as he called it. The Prestige of Terror was a rejection of racism and murder as a justification to win a democratic war.
August 8, 1945
This is not a thesis. Because a thesis should be written not only with sang-froid and all the usual literary precautions, but also requires an accumulation of references and general statistical data to which I am loathe to sacrifice the reaction of disgust and fury that dictates this text to me. On top of which, the former audience for theses, now deserting all prolonged reflection, wallows in the reading of the many copies of “Digests” in circulation and the stories of intrigue, whether sentimental, diplomatic or criminal, that the press, worn-out by all sorts of ignominy, serves it each morning with breakfast.
This is not a thesis and will not be satisfied with being simply a protest. This is ambitious. This needs to provoke men asleep in lies; to give a sense, a target and a lasting impact to the disgust of an hour, the nausea of an instant. The values that presided over our idea of life and which looked after for us, here and there, those small islands of hope and intervals of dignity, are being methodically wrecked by events at which, to make matters worse, we are invited to watch our victory, to salute the eternal destruction of a dragon eternally reborn.
“A City of Sadness (1989, Hou Hsiao-Hsien) is a supreme example of regionalism and multiple languages in Sinophone cinema. There is a plethora of dialects in the film - Mandarin, Fukienese, Hakka, Shanghainese, and Japanese - each coming out of the life-world of specific communities and expressing different cultural identities and political convictions. Most extraordinary of all is Lin Wen-ch’ing (Tony Leung), the deaf-mute photographer. His inability to speak means his refusal to accept any definitive word and official verdict on a series of events in Taiwanese history - Japanese occupation, the Guomingdang takeover, the February 28 Incident, and the White Terror that persisted in the following decades. As a photographer, he documents history in his own quietly perceptive manner with the camera’s eye.”
- Sheldon H. Lu & Emilie Yueh-Yu Yeh, Mapping the Field of Chinese-language Cinema
Abdul Ndadi is an animator from Ghana and a graduate from the School of Visual Arts, NY class of 2013. He’s created an animation film entitled Orisha’s Journey (2014) which will be shown at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival in Japan (21st August 2014 - 25th August 2014).
Orisha’s Journey is a fantasy tale of a girl’s journey through the spirit world (‘Orisha’ denotes a spirit in Nigerian Yoruba cosmology), who must learn about the importance of remembering one’s roots. The film, set in a mysterious walking forest, explores the power of a child’s imagination and the deep meanings and manifestations of Africa.
The film is based on African folklore. I want to show another side to Africa besides safaris, so I explore different aspects of different countries around Africa in order to give the viewer a pan-African experience. It’s important to me that Africans feel that no matter where they’re from, they’re part of my film. In the West, there is not a lot of exposure to real Africans — most people only go as far as The Lion King. I want to take people farther, to create a deeper meaning. There is a word in Ghanaian: “Sankofa” – it means to return that which was lost. It is a symbol for not forgetting your roots and learning from the past. It is said that a tree without roots cannot stand. - Abdul Ndadi