Author: Ben Eastop

Separation by the Sea

Difference Screen – Summart, Istanbul 27 May 2015 Istanbulʼs main street, Istiklal, is a constant human tide across its width, flowing past shops, restaurants, and enticing side streets, all day and late into the night – like the Bosphorus itself which separates east and west. Galatasari fans celebrate winning the League in Istiklal We are drawn time and again into this human surge to take us into different parts of the city and, on one occasion, come across SALT Beyoglu. The space is filled with high, curling white walls which, it turns out, constitute a laser-cut reproduction of part of the coastline, an installation by Neyran Turan. His silent movie,

New York – can it be real?

UnionDocs, 25 October ‘That which on first glance is alike, on closer inspection tells us apart’ Like a guiding proverb, these words appear in Barbara Rosenthal’s film Secret Codes shown at Difference Screen’s second New York screening at UnionDocs, centre for experimental film and media in Willamsburg. Black and white hand-print images from prison archives flick between texts in English, German and Yiddish allude to commonalities and differences. The sound track by DJ Robeat (electronic musician based in Germany, who Rosenthal works with) winds up the pitch. A sudden colour image of the artist’s crossed hands indicate that her own identity is key. New York artist Shelly Silver has lived

Wroclaw Perspective

WRO Art Center Wroclaw 21 May 2014 There seems to be so much to Wroclaw that is no longer here – histories and people that have passed and gone. It’s survived a millennium of changing rulers who have swept across this part of central Europe since the end of the old Polish Piast kingdom – Czech Bohemians, Austrian Hapsburgs, Prussians, Russians – Napoleon came through its gates – then the grotesque Nazi occupation followed by communist suppression. The evidence of such enormous changes is still there, but harder to find. Before the Second World War, Breslau was Germany’s third largest city. As Poles from the east repopulated the evacuated city

Island hopping

We’ve travelled from one very small island, Lots Ait, just 500m long in the River Thames in West London, to Visby, Gotland, an island in the Baltic Sea some 160 km long, for our next episode of Difference Screen. For centuries Gotland was a strategic trading and military position in the Baltic and made its wealth as one of the Hanseatic Ports – a trading post midstream of trade routes between Baltic ports, including Gdansk, Hamburg and Novgorod, and as far as the east coast of England. For us, a strategic point for ‘trading’ international artists’ films – and exchanging thoughts and experiences with people here. Medieval port, Gotland Visby

Sarajevo Diary

Friday 7 Feb 2014. A sunny, spring-like morning with no hint of the eruption of anger that was about to hit the streets of Sarajevo later that evening. Groups were gathering in the square outside a grand city government building – joined by two sparse lines of riot police. Kriterion Kino, where we are presenting Difference Screen, is just round the corner from the square. Staff were preparing for a big party with an American DJ – crates of beer were stacked on the floor – sound systems and search lights being tested in the auditorium, which doubles as a cinema. At dusk, as we walked back towards our hotel

Screening on Barge Ideaal 21 Sept

From Seoul and Ulaanbaatur, Difference Screen came back to the UK for a screening on Barge Ideaal on Lots Ait, (Lot = share, or parcel of land; ait or eyot = middle English for river island), an island in the River Thames on the western fringes of London. To an island, then onto a barge, two steps removed from the shore, a calmness descends as you cross the footbridge and leave behind the frantic city, and set our audience of neighbours, friends and new visitors into a mindset of a different space. Boats define their own set of rules, as vessels that contain and displace, that can only be entered from


Difference Screen reflects on the world very much above ground – artists responses to social upheaval in landscapes, places and people – so starting underground may seem an oddity. But the possibility of screening artists’ film in the extraordinary red-yellow caverns of Clearwell Caves on 5 and 6 July was not one to be missed. The caves are actually disused, ancient iron ore mines, dating back 4,500 years – now open to the public. The walk deep into the earth in these meandering rocky spaces will create a powerful, experiential context for the films. Inge Lise Hansen’s Travelling Fields (pictured) seems appropriate, as Difference Screen emerges from underground to continue