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'Passages' Frontier Film Festival
This film festival has been created with the goal of fostering audiovisual and cinematographic creation in a frontier town, where the impact of migration and exile has been keenly felt. Over the last 30 years, Portbou has become established as a place to which pilgrims travel from all over the world to pay homage to Walter Benjamin, the German philosopher who committed suicide in the town on 26th September 1940 after being blocked in his attempt to reach the USA, fleeing from the Gestapo. The continuing validity of his thinking is widely acknowledged, with an approach towards modernity that remains applicable to contemporary life.
This first exhibition is entitled PASSAGES in relation to Benjamin's book on the relationship between the city and modernity, using an approach straddling different disciplines. As such, the exhibition aims to address the following issues from various perspectives using the concept of borders as a running theme: centre and periphery, community, otherness, gender; the city as a place of action and boredom; the city as a place for idling and people-watching. In short, the city as a place of borders, whether cultural, family-related, religious or of another kind. The modernity of Benjamin's city culminates in the online world, where commodities are exposed and we all become idlers and people-watchers as we browse.