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still from The Fear of Leaving the Animal Forever Forgotten Under the Ground (Janis Rafa, 2021)

Janis Rafa and the Fear of Leaving the Animal Forever Forgotten Under the Ground

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Cinema Ecologica: Janis Rafa Special

Janis Rafa’s films view the world from a non-human perspective. Humanity has forever lost its dominant position. Laurie Cluitmans, curator at the Centraal Museum, presents a selection of short films and excerpts from the Greek artist’s oeuvre, connecting them to the climate crisis, landscape and the interior lives of humans and dogs. The screening concludes with a video interview with Janis Rafa.

poster Cinema Ecologica: Janis Rafa Special

Laurie Cluitmans selected Janis Rafa’s film Lacerate (2020, 16’) in which a woman with a pack of hunting dogs takes revenge towards her perpetrator: no longer the victim, she becomes the executioner. Lacerate is a reflection on domestic violence, gender-based violence and the notion of inherited violence between man and nature inspired by biblical iconography and Flemish still lifes.

Also screening: The Fear of Leaving the Animal Forever Forgotten Under the Ground (Janis Rafa, 2021, 12'). Stray dogs are locked up at a neglected, post-apocalyptic location: actual fall out shelter created during World War 2 to protect humanity in case of a nuclear war. This film is replete with contradictions: beastly versus human perspective, perpetrator versus victim, subjugation versus power and cruelty versus empathy.

Janis Rafa (1984, Greece) lives and works between Amsterdam and Athens. Her oeuvre combines film, video installation and sculpture in which she reflects on human existence by focusing on the non-human. The stories are set on the outskirts of the city, full of stray dogs, roadkills, hunted prey, forgotten ruins and desolation. Dead and alive, human and non-human beings coexist. Rafa goes in search of the invisible, the marginal, the mythical and the occult. Rituals of saying goodbye, burial or exhumation, submission or revenge form a circular story. Her work is currently being presented at the Venice Biennale

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Cinema Ecologica

Much in life is uncertain, but one thing is sure: climate change. Cinema Ecologica focuses on how film directors depict the relationship between humanity and the earth: from nail-biting disaster films to artistic meditations, from romantic nature experiences to astounding science fiction.

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still from Lacerate (Janis Rafa, NL/IT 2020)
still from Kala azar (Janis Rafa, NL/GR 2020)
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