The Poetics of Fragility
Nicolás Grandi & Lata Mani
A Transmedia Project 2016
Film | Artist Book | Website

The Poetics of Fragility (HD 63 minutes) is a kaleidoscopic exploration of the texture, vitality and aesthetics of fragility. It interweaves stories of bodily frailty with optical vignettes of nature’s delicacy to reclaim fragility as intrinsic to existence, not something to be bemoaned or overcome.

Shot in the San Francisco Bay Area in September 2015, the film features internationally renowned scholar-activist Angela Davis, the acclaimed playwright and critic Cherrie Moraga, Nora Cortiñas, the inspiring founding member of Madres de Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora, actor-dancer Greg Manalo, feminist performance artists Thao P. Nguyen and Martha Rynberg, theater scholar Jisha Menon, healer Christopher Miles, creative writer Xochitl M. Perales and the young trombone talent, Jasim Perales.

The Poetics of Fragility is conceived as a “videocontemplation”: a form that Nicolás Grandi and Lata Mani have been developing to explore the audiovisual medium as a sensuous tool for social inquiry with a philosophical impulse. The visually arresting and formally plural film unfolds through stories that build on and amplify each other. Moments of emotional intensity alternate with speculative calm, dramatic narration with poetry and critical inquiry into prevailing understandings of fragility.

This film screening is possible through the Department of Visual Arts with support from the Critical Gender Studies Program.

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Nicolás Grandi is a Buenos Aires based filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist and educator. He has been teaching film theory and practice in universities, schools and community workshops in Argentina and India and has cofounded several collectives working at the intersection of film, poetry, music and sculpture. He currently runs transdisciplinary art labs. His films which include La Pasión Según Ander (2005) and Simon Decouvre (2000) have been screened widely at film festivals around the world.

Lata Mani is a feminist historian, cultural critic, contemplative writer and filmmaker. She has published on a broad range of issues, from feminism and colonialism, to illness, spiritual philosophy and contemporary politics. She is the author of The Integral Nature of Things: Critical Reflections on the Present (Routledge, 2013), Interleaves: Ruminations on Illness and Spiritual Life (Yoda, 2011), Sacred Secular: Contemplative Cultural Critique, (Routledge, 2009) and Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India (University of California Press, 1989).

Trailer for The Poetics of Fragility: https://vimeo.com/171583149