The Dispossessed Inventing Themselves
In the Everyday Struggle for the Fulgor
Against the firmament of the aggressive dispossession of land, bodies and social relationships, this PhD project engages with cinema as radical thought and communal practice. It departs from the concept of the fulgor borrowed from Portuguese writer Maria Gabriela Llansol, who defines it as a moment of sudden revelation or insight, a rupture in time and historicity that harbors the possibility of unexpected encounters from the margins.
How can the margins —“the subaltern, the dispossessed, and the enslaved” (Hartman 2008), but also those who have chosen the margins as a site of resistance (hooks 1990) — come together and redefine the time and place they inhabit? How can they meet and redefine themselves by redefining the relationships that connects them? How can the dispossessed come together and allow themselves to be possessed by the ideas and actions of others (Harney, Moten 2014)? Which role may cinema play in this endeavor? How can cinema, especially minor cinema, forge new and unsettling engagements with the world? In my attempt to address these research questions, and in support of the translation of the fulgor into the field of cinema, I find inspiration in the methodologies of fabulation (Gilles Deleuze), critical fabulation (Saidiya Hartman), and haunting (Avery Gordon).
At the core of this art-based research project is the making of an essay film that proposes to reenact a provisory commune on the site of a historic commune— Comuna da Luz (Commune of Light)— founded in 1917-1918 in the south of Portugal, by the anarchist António Gonçalves Correia. While not many documents remain, what interests me in the re/creating of this collective attempt of living elsewhere and otherwise is the irruption of the utopian, a surplus of dreams that doesn’t fade – a condition I call the fulgor.
Sílvia das Fadas (née Sílvia Salgueiro) is a filmmaker, a researcher, a teacher, a wanderer. She is interested in the politics intrinsic to cinematic practices and in cinema as a way of being together in restlessness and brokenness.