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ARJUNA NEUMAN & DENISE FERREIRA DA SILVA Ancenstral Clouds Ancestral Claims


ARJUNA NEUMAN & DENISE FERREIRA DA SILVA Ancenstral Clouds Ancestral Claims

screening conversation
WE 26.06 20:30 + talk

Expanding on their exhibition at Kunsthal Extra City, Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman present their latest film.

'Ancestral Clouds Ancestral Claims' is the latest film in their Elemental Cinema series, which began in 2016. This film focuses on air and follows the wind as it moves and carries different things, using it as a guide and analytical tool.

Combining poetry and critical theory, the film offers a touching and emotional perspective on global issues from both human and nonhuman perspectives. The makers' goal is to challenge traditional ways of thinking about and relating to the Earth, inherited from European colonial history.

The screening is followed by a conversation with Denise Ferreira Da Silva, Arjuna Neuman and Kayah George moderated by Olivia Ardu.

The program continues on 27 June with a talk and seminar at Kunsthal Extra City in Antwerp.


Our Grandmother the Inlet
Jaime Leigh Gianopoulos and Kayah George, 2023

in English

A hybrid documentary film that examines the lives of Kayah George, a young Indigenous woman, and her grandmother. Delving into their ancestral lineage, the film takes you on a poignant journey as it highlights the significance of Kayah’s deep connection to water, revered in the Tsleil-Waututh Nation as their oldest grandmother and the birthplace of creation. Amidst the backdrop of industry dominance, the film sheds light on Indigenous youth's mental health challenges and their enduring spirit of gentle reclamation as they strive to reconnect with their culture, water, and land as kin and relatives. With its powerful imagery, infused with cultural nuances and the echoes of past and present Indigenous-led struggles, this timely production carries a profound and relevant message.


Ancestral Clouds Ancestral Claims
Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira Da Silva, 2023, 50’.

in English & Spanish with English subtitles

A poetic exploration of the entanglements and overlaps of historical events in the Atacama Desert (Chile), Ancestral Clouds Ancestral Claims, told from the perspective of the wind, takes us on a visual journey through the many sites and histories of the Atacama. Exploring some of the largest lithium mines in the world; hovering above the remnants of colonial labor camps reactivated under the Pinochet regime, and slipping inside the international observatory of the ALMA large array facility; the filmmakers’ camera uncovers material trajectories whose planetary scope and historical depths remain invisible to the many. By pointing at how these trajectories mutated and expanded into aspects of modern geopolitical issues, the film exposes pillars of Western thought that sustain colonial legacies of inequality, racial exclusion and human extractivism while simultaneously proposing another worldview, one that is carried and echoed by the wind. 


Jaime Leigh Gianopoulos (she/her) is a director and editor based on the west coast. Jaime Leigh’s projects primarily concern the empowerment of women, social and environmental justice. Jaime Leigh is a recent winner of the ‘Hot Doc’s Cross Currents Doc Fund’ (2021) with co-director Kayah George for their documentary film ‘Our Grandmother the Inlet.’ The film is currently in post production, and the team will be launching an impact campaign and legal case to demand the rights of nature for the Burrard Inlet in partnership with ‘Sacred Trust’ led by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Jaime Leigh was one of 5 prominent emerging filmmakers selected for DOC BC’S Breakthrough Program (2022) with her short to feature documentary film ‘Ask The Plantain.’ The short version of the project received funding from ‘The Canada Council for the Arts’ February (2022).

Kayah George ‘Halth-Leah’ proudly carries the teachings of her Tulalip and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is a young Indigenous leader, scholar, and activist. Kayah worked with Sacred Trust and Greenpeace, and traveled globally speaking on Indigenous and environmental issues, most notably COP21-Paris and Garma-Australia and more recently writing an op-ed for Teen Vogue, making it her second time being featured in the magazine. Kayah recently moved to Vancouver from Tulalip to study the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) language at Simon Fraser University full time while traveling and continuing to be an advocate for environmental, social justice, and Indigenous women’s rights.

Arjuna Neuman is an artist, filmmaker, and writer and he is the co-founder of, a resource database for migrants and refugees. Neuman works with the essay as a guiding, multi-perspectival and inherently future-oriented form that underpins his experimental research and creative approach. As a writer he has published essays in Relief Press, The Journal for New Writing, VIA Magazine, Concord, Art Voices, Flaunt, LEAP, Hearings Journal, and e- flux. He studied at California Institute of the Arts.

Denise Ferreira da Silva is an artist and philosopher. She currently is the Samuel Rudin Professor in the Humanities at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures, at NYU. Her artistic and academic work reflect and speculate on questions crucial to contemporary philosophy, political theory, black thought, feminist thought, and historical materialism. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (2007) and Unpayable Debt (2022), amongst many other titles.

Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva’s collaboration includes the films Serpent Rain (2016), 4 Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018), and Soot Breath//Corpus Infinitum (2020). Their films have been exhibited at major art venues, such as the Munch Museum, Oslo; MACBA (Barcelona); Kunsthalle Wien, (Vienna) the Pompidou Center (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London), The 56th Venice Biennale, The Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt (Berlin), Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow) and more.

Olivia Ardui is a Belgian-Brazilian dramaturg, curator and art historian working in the intersections between visual and performing arts. As a storyteller, her narrations unfold in different formats, from critical essays to love letters, formal courses, tarô sessions or speculative shows. In her recent work, she approaches exhibition-making and art history through the prism of fiction, dramaturgy or potential theatrical scripts. Olivia was a curator in the Tomie Ohtake Institute and the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP). She currently holds a teaching position in art history at UCLouvain while working on independent artistic projects.


This program is a coproduction by Kunsthal Extra City, Beursschouwburg, deSingel and ARIA/CCQO and is developed in parallel to the exhibition Ancestral Clouds Ancestral Claims at Kunsthal Extra City in Antwerp (May 11 – September 15, 2024)


image: still from Ancestral Clouds Ancestral Claims, Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira Da Silva, 2023