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Paradox Newsletter April 2018

Mono Men at FOTODOK

Installation view by Olivier van Breugel

Mono Men – Guardians of Time by Olivier van Breugel and Simone Mudde is currently on show at FOTODOK in Utrecht. The Paradox project was selected for their thematic exhibition Why Work? Curated by Rob Wetzer, the show reflects on the (dominant) place of work in our lives and societies. Rapid technological change and neoliberal capitalism have fundamentally changed how we work. Experts predict that 50% of the jobs we know today won’t exist in the next twenty years. With Trump “bringing back jobs” in struggling American industries and countries like Finland experimenting with basic income, there’s a lot to be discussed.

With Mono Men Van Breugel and Mudde address the notion of work and retirement in a Japanese context. Posting at various construction sites, they documented the life of Japanese security guards. Come rain or shine, the workers are always there. In Japan the age of teinen (retirement) is 62. However, retiring in Japan does not mean the same thing as in Europe. Teinen marks the end of ‘lifetime employment’ but not a complete withdrawal from the labour force. This transitional arrangement is designed to free up jobs for younger workers. What’s more, if you have spent your entire career working six days a week and most of your social life has revolved around work, retirement is akin to social isolation.

For the exhibition, Paradox, Van Breugel and Mudde created a site-specific installation of Mono Men: a small-scale model of the full production. Check out the FOTODOK website for upcoming events and talks.

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Greetings from Aleppo wins DIRECTORSNL AWARD

Photo by Mirjam van der Linden

On 26 March, Greetings from Aleppo won the prestigious DIRECTORSNL AWARD for best short movie. Paradox congratulates its makers Issa Touma, Thomas Vroege and Floor van der Meulen! The DIRECTORSNL AWARDS are hosted annually by the Dutch Directors Guild. More than 2000 directors in the Netherlands voted for the most outstanding directorial achievements of 2017. During the festive ceremony at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, Vroege accepted the award for best short film. Other winners include Echoes of IS/Tessa Pope in the digital storytelling category, Brimstone/Martin Koolhoven for best feature film and Liefde is aardappelen/Aliona van der Horst for best documentary.

Greetings from Aleppo is an homage to the resilience of the Syrian people who try to go about their everyday lives in a war-torn city. Between 2014 and 2016 photographer Issa Touma captured everyday encounters in his hometown Aleppo. He filmed everyone from car lovers driving their polished classic cars through the devastated streets to girls giggling about the way the media report about the situation in their city.

After premiering at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in February 2017, Greetings from Aleppo was nominated for the L’OR Gouden Kalf Competition and won a DIG Award. The film is available on De Correspondent (Dutch subtitles only).

In other news: the previous short film by Touma, Vroege and Van der Meulen, 9 Days – From My Window in Aleppo (2016) raked in 2.5 million views from around the world. Check out the film on the YouTube channel of distributor Journeyman. At Paradox we’re continuing our journey with Issa Touma and will keep you updated on our next collaboration: Notes from Aleppo, a personal account of the ongoing war in Syria brought to you in the form of an episode-based app.

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Exhibition Why Work?

Until 27/05/2018

At FOTODOK, Utrecht

Group show including Olivier van Breugel and Simone Mudde.

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Screening A Stranger Came to Town


At Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam

Documentary feature by Thomas Vroege about the personal experiences of four residents of Aleppo, including Issa Touma.

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BITTER Chocolate Stories nominated for ADCN Award

Andrea Stultiens initiates Unfixed Histories exhibition programme

Follow-up: Ad Nuis continues his quest of the oil industry’s excessive power and absurdities