Speaking Nearby: Playing The Archive, Open City Documentary Festival, 10 September 2022

10 September 2022
Open City Documentary Festival, London
Workshop with George Clark, Linh Hà and the An Viet Foundation archive

A speaking that does not objectify, does not point to an object as if it is distant from the speaking subject or absent from the speaking place. A speaking that reflects on itself and can come very close to a subject without, however, seizing or claiming it.
Trinh T. Minh-ha, “Speaking Nearby”, Visual Anthropology Review, Spring 1992

Speaking Nearby aims to explore experimental ways of work and play with artists and archives. Rooted in an expanded idea of “archives”, Speaking Nearby draws on Trinh T. Minh-Ha’s concept in order to explore the means of articulating memories from the personal to collective and proposing new ways to care for history. The workshop – following first in Hanoi, 25 June 2022 – is part of a long-term project developed through a growing circle of artists building bridges between different collections and communities to propose new and experimental approaches to archival and cinematic imaginaries. 

Initiated by London based artist George Clark, the project seeks to explore two distinct collections: the Vietnam Film Institute (VFI) in Hanoi and the An Viet Foundation (AVF) in Hackney, which holds the largest known collection related to the Vietnamese-British community in the UK. This session will include a deep listening workshop led by musician Linh Hà, screening of work-in-progress films made by George Clark and contribution from cultural producer and community activist Cường Phạm on the emerging An Viet Foundation archive. Together we will explore ways of playing with the archive – with a focus on notions of sound, collaboration and resonance – through which we can begin to speak with these complex histories, institutions and archival objects.