James Thompson, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Adam Chodzko,
Re-Positional States weaves the experiences of post-war Italian women textile workers who relocated to the UK as part of government recruitment schemes aimed at addressing labour shortages in Bradford’s historic textile industry, with those of workers who applied to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme following the 2016 EU Referendum.
Commissioned by Pavilion in 2012, An Italian Film (Africa Addio) by Mathieu Abonnenc confronts the contemporary and historic exploitation of copper in the Katanga region of Congo. In the film, copper crosses, once a form of currency but later looted and shipped to Europe, are subjected to a process of recasting at a Sheffield foundry. This process highlights the violence of colonial acts and their continued enactment in today’s post-industrial context.
In his 2009 film The Pickers, artist Adam Chodzko collaborated with a group of young Romanian migrant workers employed at a UK strawberry farm. They alternate their intensive picking work with the editing and mediation of a 20th-century film archive of migrant hop pickers from London. This interplay disrupts where knowledge and power are held in the film.
Image: Re-Positional States, James Thompson, 2023
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Re-Positional States, James Thompson, 2023, 11 min
An Italian Film (Africa Addio), Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, 2012, 27 min
The Pickers, Adam Chodzko, 2009, 18 min