Workshop Fiction at 2 meters distance
19-20 SEP 2020 | Culturgest


“During the current Covid-19 pandemic, we often remember another epidemic. Since June 1981, the HIV virus has infected 75 million people, killing around 32 million worldwide. Since the first cases of infection were reported exactly 39 years ago, AIDS remains unresolved and it is estimated that in 2018 alone (the latest available data) around 770,000 people worldwide will have died of HIV-related illnesses .
“I will not give up my book to save my life”, wrote in 1990, Hervé Guibert, French writer and photographer, HIV positive, in the autobiographical book À l’ami qui ne m’a pas sauvé la vie, about his desperate effort to access an “experimental AIDS vaccine”.
On the 12th of June, the New York Review of Books published an article by Andrew Durbin, entitled Hervé Guibert: Living Without a Vaccine:
“Guibert comes to the conclusion that one of the few AIDS mercies is the emphasis he puts on the little time he gives you. What to do with life that cannot be saved? Use it, Guibert begs his readers, and get mad – or write. Many of the lessons in this account of a life that cannot be saved remain to be learned, even now, when we face a ferocious virus again. (…)
When the United States surpassed the 100,000 dead of Covid-19 on May 27, the New York Times marked this terrible landmark, covering the entire front page with the figures of the victims, in commemoration of the dead. (… )
On January 3, 1992, after the USA had passed the 100,000 deaths from AIDS, the same newspaper devoted only a few paragraphs to the news – at the bottom of page 18. Guibert had died a week ago.”
Last May, the “Protocol for the prevention of contagion due to infection by Covid-19 in the production of audiovisual” appeared in Portugal, prepared by APTA (Portuguese Group of Audiovisual Technicians), which accompanies society’s lack of definition, stipulating rules and restrictions to resume filming.
Restrictions / limitations / conditionalities / setbacks / obstacles / antagonisms / obstacles: synonyms with which we deal daily in cinematographic creation. The more aware we are of this faithful of the balance always present over our heads, the better we can take advantage of these restrictions. Free creation implies the conquest of freedom: collective, because the cinema is not made alone and, even more difficult, the individual, because we have to face our demons.
What to do? Writing, as Guibert implored, or, in our case, FILMING.”

João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata