Filmmaker: Kai Lossgott

Walking in Plastic by Bandile Gumbi

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Another unique video collaboration from South African artist, poet and filmmaker Kai Lossgott, who sets it up for us as follows:

Slums are rapidly becoming the defining landscape of the twenty-first century, both in the developed as well as the developing world. One out of every three city dwellers worldwide nearly a billion people lives in a slum. Performance artist Mduduzi Nyembe presents a memory of a wounded woman, a dream for an absent father, and a dance in a street market for survival. They are ritual stories of the heartache of the slums substance abuse, violence, gender inequalities, chronic unemployment, families incapacity to provide for and protect their children. Each of Nyembe’s characters, taken from his daily interactions in the township, is left, in the words of poet Bandile Gumbi, “a constant wanderer / always at the beginning of complete circles”, trapped in the existential cycle of poverty.

For more on Bandile Gumbi, see her page on the Creative Africa Network.

enough by Kai Lossgott and Mbali Vilakazi

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A marvellous video collaboration produced for a 2009 poetry festival in Cape Town called Badilsha Poetry Exchange, sponsored by Africa Centre, whose description of the film at YouTube is worth quoting in full:

Sometimes you’ve had enough. And sometimes you have enough. A fusion of sound and light, video poet Kai Lossgott’s and performance poet Mbali Vilakazi’s authentic and intimate multimedia poetry performance enough takes you into the dream cycles of obsessive behaviour and uncomfortable truths in the search for wholeness. It is about the breakdown of society, and people at breaking point.

In a lyrical conversation of experimental music and cinema, the poets draw their self-portraits only to erase them, through testimonies that become ciphers in the round-trip between abundance and gratitude, lack and self-pity. Through spoken word, dance, and gesture, they journey with the audience through breathing rhythms of take and give, where insecurity comes up for air and we open like blossoms.

For more about the poets, see their websites: Mbali Vilakazi and Kai Lossgott.

read these roads by Kai Lossgott

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A very interesting approach to stop-frame animation by South African videopoet Kai Lossgott, who also organized, directed and curated the City Breath Festival of Video Poetry and Performance last year, and is currently searching for experimental films about climate change for a new exhibition called Letters from the Sky. (See the Moving Poems forum for more details on the latter.)

Kai’s notes about this film at Vimeo are worth quoting in full:

The evaporating water puddle images in this stop frame animation hint at the living systemic relationship between Table Mountain’s hydrology systems, the City of Cape Town’s water system and the biological systems of the human body. This is a video poem of unfulfilled desire for the lost personal bond with the natural world. The soundtrack of the video is taken from Adderley Street in the Cape Town CBD, above the underground storm water drain where the now forgotten Varsterivier, among others, (3 million cubic tons of untapped fresh spring water) runs into the sea daily. Fresh water is one of South Africa’s scarcest resources.