Screening Program:
Beyond Survival


Salt Beyoğlu

December 14, 2023 19.00

Video Still From The Ballad Of Special Ops Cody 2017 By Michael Rakowitz Courtesy Protocinema1 Michael Rakowitz’in <i>The Ballad of Special Ops Cody</i> [Özel Kuvvet Cody’nin Şarkısı] (2017) videosundan bir kare
Protocinema’nın izniyle
Still from Michael Rakowitz’s The Ballad of Special Ops Cody (2017)
Courtesy of Protocinema
Walk-in Cinema

Salt is hosting the screening program Beyond Survival, organized by Protocinema. Exploring forms of resistance beyond survival, the program brings together a selection of short films and videos by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Chitra Ganesh, Amar Kanwar, Ana María Millán, Michael Rakowitz, and Rattana Vandy.

The Protodispatch selection depicts the regrowth of scorched lands, the exposure of dictator propaganda, fantastical potential futures, and remembering and mourning loved ones murdered in war. Included artists transform the tangible aftermaths of tyrannical acts and conditions by filming that which has been prohibited; revisiting historical events through personal and contemporary narratives; adopting the look and feel of video games and comic books; and reinventing myths and stories. In doing so, they defy rigid perspectives on survival. Within these works, the critical question becomes, “What grows from the ashes?”

This free-admission program will take place on Thursday, December 14 in the Walk-in Cinema. The films will be screened in their original language with Turkish subtitles.

Protocinema is a cross-cultural art organization that commissions and presents site-aware art around the world. Founded in 2011 by Mari Spirito, Protocinema aims to support dialogue between cultures on equal footing and create opportunities for listening and expression, fostering the development of relationships both at the mindfully local and globally interconnected levels. Initiated in September 2022 by Laura Raicovich and produced by Protocinema, Protodispatch is a monthly digital publication of artists’ dispatches on the life conditions that necessitate their work.


Until we became fire and fire us, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, 2023, 7’35”
Abbas and Abou-Rahme capture nature’s poetic resistance to invasion. By exploring the regenerative cycles of destruction and regrowth observed in both nature and human activity, the artists confront the dehumanizing erasure of Palestinian life, communities, and lands.

The Face, Amar Kanwar, 2004, 4’34”
Kanwar’s video follows the seldom photographed Burmese General Than Shwe as he visits the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. It subtly contrasts the duplicitous public image offered by oppressive regimes with the genuine reactions of people in close proximity to the dictators.

Monologue, Rattana Vandy, 2015, 19’03”
Similar to treatments offered to phantom limb patients, Vandy offers memory as a treatment for loss in Monologue. But how do you memorialize and communicate with long-lost loved ones when all that is available is the violence of their absence?

Wanderlust, Ana María Millán, 2015-2017, 8’21”
Millán’s Wanderlust is a bilingual journey into the consciousness of resistance. Psychedelic in nature, the animation reinforces the importance of leading with the heart, even when there is the risk of losing your head, whether metaphorically or physically.

The Ballad of Special Ops Cody, Michael Rakowitz, 2017, 14’42”
According to the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes, “Special Ops Cody isn’t a regular GI, and he’s no ordinary Joe. Special Ops Cody is a star.” In The Ballad of Special Ops Cody, Michael Rakowitz sends Cody into Chicago’s Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures (formerly the Oriental Institute) to liberate the Mesopotamian statues within.

The Adventures of White Beryl, Chitra Ganesh, 2016, 2’10”
Fusing early video game aesthetics and stop-action animation with ancient Tibetan symbols and myths, Ganesh’s contribution is rich with color and mystery. A rabbit hole of symbolism, The Adventures of White Beryl connects the physical, bodily, and metaphysical realities that support the spirit in confronting conflicts, dangers, and joys inherent to the cycle of life.

Total running time: 56’4”

Limited seats. No reservations.