portrait Barotsi

Rosa Barotsi

Affiliated Fellow 16-17, Fellow 14-16

Film Theory / Cultural Studies / Politics

ICI Berlin
Christinenstraße 18-19, Haus 8
D-10119 Berlin


Rosa Barotsi studied English Language and Literature at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, after which she received an MPhil in European Literature and Culture from the University of Cambridge. Her paper on Nanni Moretti was published (with Pierpaolo Antonello) in Pierpaolo Antonello and Florian Mussgnug (eds.), Postmodern impegno: Post- hegemonic approaches to ethics and socio-political engagement in contemporary Italian culture, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009. Her PhD thesis, also completed at the University of Cambridge, was entitled Contemporary European Cinema, Time, and the Everyday. In it, she discusses the recent cinematic phenomenon known as Slow Cinema - a strand of contemporary filmmaking that makes extensive use of distended durations and the “dead time” of quotidian activities - as both an aesthetic and a cultural product. She argues that Slow Cinema is an amalgam of retrogressive and radical qualities, both reacting against the dominant socio-political structures as well as participating in and perpetuating them. Rosa is interested in how political meaning is created, conditioned, and reshaped by social and institutional contexts in contemporary cinema.

ICI Project (2014-16)

Errant Visions: Slow Cinema and the Failures of Efficiency

Slow cinema, a favourite of film festivals, is a contemporary style of cinematic production that utilises a consciously deliberate pace and minimal narratives with a focus on the mundane. Slow cinema’s time wastefulness has been seen as a reaction to capitalism’s dogma for temporal efficiency. This project proposes to launch a conversation about what it means to do political cinema today, through an examination of Slow cinema’s ‘failure’ to produce efficient narratives. Does its time wastefulness serve to uncover the debt-dependent underbelly of capitalism’s imagined efficiency? Or does the trend-ification of failed temporalities by the festival circuit and a certain configuration of middle-class audiences not ensure its co-optation by neoliberal strategies? My goal is to show the notions of failure and misuse in contemporary art cinema both as tools for radical politics and as endemic characteristics of ‘debt capitalism’. At a particularly pressing socio-historical moment for European politics, such an investigation will help assess the effectiveness of radical failure as a form of resistance, and suggest alternative ways of doing political cinema.

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