Ilustrated Atlas of the Periphery. Part 3

·You are here·

The third and final issue of the Atlas that is in constant state of transformation, being continuously rewritten. Taking away the dust that prevents us from discovering the periphery of the most archaic maps and, using the centre as a point of reference, we draw a map, which in this case is without a doubt, a treasure map.

You are periphery, by José Manuel Sande

Periphery (Spanish Real Academia Dictionary) (20º edition, 1984):
“From latin peripherîa, also from greek with the meaning of bearing around.
1. circumference of circle.
2. edge or outline of curve figure
3. space that surrounds any nucleus”.

(Dictionary María Moliner)
“The closest area to the limits of a certain space”

A few years ago, film historian José Luis Castro de Paz, wrote an article on the document made by a filmmakers´ group close to french Nouvelle Vague. He rightly called it with an evocative and significant title: “Waves are born on the periphery”.As a symbolic mark of historical constants of creation, periphery stresses the need to avoid the adoption of bourgeois ways, the importance of searching new paths, the need to decentralise and to dispose of hierarchical and vectorial elements.

But probably official history, by its own love of terminology, because we are fans of rating and putting reductionist labels, is springing up over the denial of this periphery, started over its own concealment. Fringe area and maudit in the city, an universe treated like dirt by corporatism linked to art, the same hypocritical refuge of twilight bohemians, periphery is an attitude added to an open perspective where you can scan the risk of ostentation and the limits of an artistic experience. Unruly, punk, bard, fake, filibusterer or fool, if life contributes to strengthen frames, the periphery spreads and grows. The unity disappears, the universe closes down and the hope for boundaries extends the space until no more land is left. But then the path is already traced. There is no going back.

“Yesterday is dead and gone and tomorrow’s out of sight”
(Kris Kristofferson)

Jose Manuel Sande is a film historian, member of the Spanish Film Association. He is also a movie critic and he writes articles in different magazines and newspapers, also he is a member of the CGAI programming team.

We exist, therefore we are peripherals, by Miguel Fernández Labayen and Maria Mallol González

It´s obvious that periphery is all that is not in the center. Word´s etymology, from greek peripheria, means circumference and, in general, it is used to nominate the outer boundary of an object. So it leads us to the conclusion, even though it is not a new one, that to define an object, in order for it to exist, it is necessary to define at the same time its periphery, linked inextricably with the center and, therefore, with the relationship between observer and model. Nowadays this concept is applied, beyond its geometrical use, to investigations and researches about geography, economy, political sciences, and visual arts. At this point we want to demand the hybrid character, changeable, complex and plural of periphery. In the audiovisual arts, periphery goes hand in hand with anomalous contexts of production (usually sole proprietorships and self-funded), and with some marginal ways of representation in its sense of the fight against a domination. And also, which is equally important, it is linked with some parallel display cycles, capable to generate an eccentric community organization in its radical and underlying meaning.

It is here, in this definition of periphery where Velado Parcial, Manchas en Totalidade showed works coexists, and where we thought that their author and we actually are. To say that periphery exists regarding the center can sound obvious. But to say that this perphery needs points of agreement to exist doesn´t sound so obvious. So it is here where proposals like (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico de A Coruña make real sense.

If you want other views of audiovisual periphery:

CERDÁN, Josetxo. “Vindicación de la periferia. Revisión crítica de los márgenes del documental español contemporáneo”. En Archivos de la filmoteca: Revista de estudios históricos sobre la imagen, Nº 49, 2005, pags. 146-169

ELENA, Alberto. Los cines periféricos. Barcelona: Paidós. 1999.

IORDANOVA, Dina, MARTIN-JONES, David y VIDAL, Belén (eds.). Cinema at the Periphery. Detroit: Wayne State University. 2010.

Maria Mallol and Miguel Labayen were commisioners in the “Super 8 Contemporáneos”

(S8) first edition. Miguel Fernández Labayen works as a doctor assistant professor in the Journalism Department and Audiovisual Communication in the University Carlos III from Madrid. He has collaborated in the writing of some books about cinema and television in Spain, and he also works as co-director of “Xperimenta, miradas contemporáneas al cine experimental”, a biannual meeting in the Contemporary Culture Centre of Barcelona (CCCB) and member of the selection committee of “Festival Internacional de Documental de Navarra Punto de Vista”. Maria Mallol González works as cultural solicitor. She worked in the coordinating committee of the documental and experimental cinema program Xcentic and also in the audiovisual department in the CCCB, from 2007 to 2009. Se works in the Public Activities department of Reina Sofía Museum.

Peripheral positioning, by Xurxo González

The truth of the matter is that synthesis is counterproductive for an urban development concept but it can be applied to many human activities and, above all, in certain periods (especially in the 70´s), was the main topic in cultural debates. But in my opinion, nowadays, periphery is experiencing a reenactment process or even it´s trying to remove the superficial layers to remain in the essence. I will explain it better. Geostrategic consequences for getting a theoretical globalization unleashed the homogenization

process that deleted in this world – well said – all these elements that show some difference. A thoughtlessness with an adverse effect on the audience. Periphery has traditionally the spatial meaning of distance to a center. Nowadays periphery polished its straight definition, its spatial definition, for a process concept, for staging almoust in a theatrical meaning. Yes, yes, periphery is a positioning that impacts, over all, on the individual that, concerned in his creative present, gets into a conscious comparison or even refuses the criteria laid down in the market of the discipline where he works.
Capitalism system shows its cruelest domination trend making invisible everyone who is against the game´s rules. In view of this, creator take a peripherical positioning for saving his own peculiarity and independence of his work. So now, we must be glad of this cinema meeting which tries to join all these artists with an unquestionable freedom. And if we analyze everything without exclusion, S8 (Cinema Periférico) will be a divergent proposal from the eulogistic meetings with uniform guidelines which subsidize with the help of absolutist institutions.

Xurxo González works as a experienced producer and audiovisual critic for the magazine “Tempos Novos”, as well as he is documentalist and audiovisual files cataloguer for the RTVE-Galicia.