Translated title of the contribution: Batum

Robert Godman (Composer), Kamila Kuc (Film-Maker)

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


Batum takes as its starting point the experience of near drowning in the Black Sea of Batumi, Georgia. As such, the film is induced with a desire for an auto-ethnographical self-interrogation. Images that feature in the film are a constellation of personal and prosthetic memories, acquired through historical and cultural knowledge as exemplified by the poems of Osip Mandelstam and Joseph Stalin, among other cultural tropes. 

While making Batum, Kuc set to explore a certain displacement of identity that emerges when we encounter past experiences. She sought to experience how memories become fiction once recorded and how in this process of recording, the camera itself holds a mysterious agency. The film also investigates how the complex relationship between personal and collective memories often subverts the social and political identity constructions.

The sound for Batum is derived from speech, the sound of the ocean and the national anthem(s) of Georgia. These rather diverse sources are fused together, creating hybrid convolutions appearing to be ‘within’ each other (allowing the sea to speak, the voices taking on the rhythm of the national anthem etc).  As a technique, it is a form of spatialisation for creating abstract spaces that cannot exist in reality.  However, environmental sounds can therefore take on a human characteristic - providing an emotional response for the listener.

See 'Ciné, ma vérité: Memory as a Creative Force in the Process of Constructing Subjectivities', David Camarena, Bryan Konefsky and River Quane, eds., Girlfriends: An Ovular Peek into She-ness and Cinema (Albuquerque: Basement Films, 2016).

Batum has been shown widely throughout Europe and USA.

Experiments in Cinema, Guild Cinema, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 10 April 2016

Cinememory: Negotiating the Past Through Film, Grand Illusion Cinema, Seattle, USA, 26 July 2016

Museum of Human Achievement, Experimental Response Cinema, Austin, Texas, USA, 4 August, 2016

Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest, Bucharest, Romania, 11 August 2016 Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London, 28 September 2016

Genesis Cinema, Whitechapel, London 4 October 2016

The 11th Austin Polish Film Festival, Austin, Texas, AFS Cinema& Hall (Marchesa), Austin, USA, 15 October 2016

London Experimental Film Festival, 17 October 2016

London Short Film Festival, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), 8 January 2017

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick, Scottish Borders 5 March 2017
Montreal Underground Film Festival (MUFF), MICROCINEMA, 6029A ave. du Parc, corner Van Horne, Montréal, Canada 18 May 2017

BEAST Film Festival, Porto, Portugal 22 September 2017 (with artists' talk given by Kamila Kuc and Rob Godman)
Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA as part of Disasters in Peace, 21st March 2018

Awarded a nomination for the Experimental Film Category Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest Competition 2016. 
Awarded a nomination for the Creative Arts Film Festival 2016.


Translated title of the contributionBatum
Original languageMultiple languages
Media of outputFilm
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


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