Ştefan RUSU

curation / film programs

URBAN ENCOUNTERS: Between Migration and Mobility

Location: Ulanbatar
Period: 24 April- 7May, 2017

Artists:
ALTANTOVCH Bat-Ochir, BAT-ERDENE Batchuluun, John DAVIS, DAVAAJARGAL Purev, DARKHIJAV Jadamba, ENKHTULGA Enkhbaatar, ENKHCHULUUN Batbayar, GALSANDORJ Tsagaantsooj, MUNKHZUL Bum-Erdene, NARBAYASGALAN Ulambayar, MERGEN B., TUMURSUKH Sanjsuren, MARALGUA Badarch, ZOLJARGAL Purevdash

URBAN ENCOUNTERS: Between Migration and Mobility was designed to explore the tensions between the nomadic and settled communities, rural and urban cultures and its economic and social implications. Recent changes—from a pastoral, feudal society to a socialist-industrial-agricultural one and then to a democratic- capitalist one—have made the study of Mongolia's economic and demographic situation quite complex.  The country began to experience significant urbanization and the growth of urban localities only in the 1950s. This development was clearly associated with the overall processes of economic and social change after World War II, and in particular with industrialization and collectivization. The pattern of population distribution and urbanization has been strongly affected by the objectives established in successive five-year plans and by the government policies adopted to achieve those objectives.
Consequently, three major factors have been identified as the main determinants of pattern of urbanization: industrialization, collectivization in the agricultural sector, and official population-redistribution policies (in-migration). Since the 1980s, when Mongolia began the transition to a market economy, the three factors as the main determinants of urbanization have undergone substantial transformations. These transformations constitute a reversal of policies. Industrialization has almost stopped, privatization of agricultural activities is under way, and administrative restriction of movement has been eliminated. These changes are having a major effect on the future of urban population growth and urbanization in Mongolia.
A project co-organised in collaboration with Arts Council Mongolia - URBAN ENCOUNTERS: Between Migration and Mobility, Ulanbator (2017), conceived initially as itinerant project based on “found footage workshop” format in collaboration with John Davis –media artists from SF, US.
URBAN ENCOUNTERS project was designed to explore the tensions between the nomadic and settled communities, the differences between rural and urban cultures and its economic and social conditions. The project consisted in public program (presentations and film screenings) and hands-on workshop - in-depth exploration of the use of archival material, the aesthetics of appropriation, re-enactment, sampling and “detournement”, and the transfer of cinematic language to digital forms. Assisted by ACM around 15th participants produced individual film works, which incorporated archival material mainly originated from - Mongolian State Archive (35mm digitized footage) and MNB Mongolian National Broadcast TV (digitized 16mm footage). The final works where compiled in about 60min. long film program presented at local cinema (iCinema) in UB with full attendance (about 150seats).
The project participants investigated post-socialist context and current condition of Mongolian society in urban areas. In these circumstances the project aims at analysing the urbanisation processes and consequences of transition from rural to the urban centres, since more people are on the move from their nomadic ways in favour of city life. The urbanisation become a complex issue due to social (demand for housing, access to social services - education and health care) and economic (unemployment) aspects that the society is facing in the capital city (Ulaanbaatar), two industrial cities (Darhan, Erdenet) and smaller (aimak) centres.

Project leaders: Stefan RUSU, John DAVIS

Organizer, producer:
Arts Council of Mongolia

Co-organizer:
The Government Agency of Mongolia General Archival Authority

Funders:
The Trust for Mutual Understanding, US
Arts Council of Mongolia-US

Supporters:
Mongolian State University of Arts & Culture
Mongolian National Broadcaster's 16mm Film Project
Museum of Ulaanbaatar City
UB Inn Hotel & Gallery
iCinema
Univision LLC

Screenings:
“Ulaanbaatar” media arts festival and “Altan Khalis” Independent Film Festival in 2017.
"PLAY/PAUSE, FF/REWIND-Shared Practices & Archaeologies of Media" Workshop & Symposium at İ.D. Bilkent University from Ankara.