Danai Anagnostou (b. 1993, Athens) is a Producer for Film, Media & Live Art based in Helsinki. She is the Curator for the Society of Cinema the Museum of Impossible Forms. In 2020, Anagnostou began her Doctoral Studies at Aalto University, School of Film, Television, and Scenography, where she studies hybrid models for production, curation, and education in the field of filmmaking.
Into the midnight sun season, the newest practice of mine is to take note of the mild everyday episodes that occur through physical contact:
A dog bit my thigh and a little mauve bruise appeared the next day. The last time I laid on someone’s stomach, they burped silently, and I was astonished when their breath began to smell like potato onions. Touching nettles gives me hives, but there is an open tab on my internet browser with a recipe for a dense and dark stinging nettle soup.
A friend texted me a link for a poem by Ocean Vuong today, where I read that only music rhymes with music1. We are planning to meet at a festival in November. Now it’s June and the sunlight enters the room at 04:00 AM each day, while I am dreaming of completing phases and making sense. My downstairs neighbor told me that they keep twenty birds in their apartment. I couldn’t hear them before I had the information.
This playlist is a mixture of film and tv soundtracks or references, but mostly an array of memories from the past sixteen months. It is a connect-the-dots exercise, or technique to practice bodily self-awareness after a prolonged period of collective disembodiment and distance. It grew as a mesh of repetitions, notations, and remembering. It grew as a soundtrack, not as a score; it contains contrasting rhythms and moods.
A very substantial reason why I chose the line of work I do today, was to connect. To connect with the numerous makers and collectives whose positionality and work through film are a practice of social organization, a feminist open-ended transmission of knowledge, a collective form of thought and action. The temporary slowing down of content production last year was a decisive moment for recomposing the structure and context of filmmaking as work and as a form of communication. It’s already happening.
Staying connected at the time of remote work or participation remains dubious. Have I been everywhere in 2020 or was I nowhere? Entering spaces virtually allowed connections and collaborations that would otherwise be inaccessible due to geographical distances or substantial costs is a solid argument. Yet feelings of disembodiment, self-detachment, and many cases of alienation in local communities and breaks in support structures and absolute precarisation have influenced most of us. Where do we focus our communications and how do we expand and sustain our alliances from now on?
To connect-the-dots once more, sharing a collection of songs – or a single song really – is very much similar to sharing emotions, skills, knowledges, time, food, or a room. Like being on a film set, a screening room, or a conversation together. Like sending the spontaneous text message to a stranger telling them how much you enjoyed their film.