“Flicker like Flames” is a film work investigating alternative futures, co-created with a class of 12-13 year old students in Rotterdam. Working together to play Utopian archetypes, and imagine alternative realities, we turn an eye back onto a world estranged, to consider the classroom itself as a Utopian realm, a space boundaried from the social world, party to its own rules and arbitrary power relations. Starting with basic structural archetypes of science ction, we have been imagining possible alternative worlds, acting out scenarios from the future imaginary as popular film represents it, as a means of critiquing the present to play out subject formation at a transitional age between childhood and adult life.
By discussing science fiction film, teaching direction and camera work, and sharing creative ownership of the work, the group together determine how to take agency over their own representation, how to narrate around identity and difference, and how to step outside and see reality through fiction. Using simple materials to build simple sets the heterotopic space of the classroom as a utopian space in its own right, which prepares for an imagined future, and the power structures which enforce reality at the critical boundary between childhood, with play as its innate character, and the adult world.
“Flicker like Flames” (Sketches Towards a Speculative Film) is the first of two parts, the production of the second; “Flutter like Birds” is ongoing titled after Johan Huizingers assertion that as humankind is freed from the shackles of work and survival, a new form will arise, Homo Ludens, the man of play, and, governed by play nature, will Flicker like Flames and flutter like birds.