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  5. SİNEMATON: A Catalyst for Transtopian Space

SİNEMATON: A Catalyst for Transtopian Space

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Invented in France as a film jukebox, the Scopitone was popular in Parisian cafés of the 1960’s where it delighted audiences with chansons by well known stars of the era. As color TV increasingly dominated daily life, the Scopitone gradually disappeared from city centers and migrated to the cafés of the Maghreb diaspora. Films now featured songs in Arabic and Kabyle that addressed significant moments of migrant life, making the Scopitone not merely a gadget for entertainment but a beloved medium of expression for migrant communities. Inspired by the historical Scopitone and designed by artist Jan Kulka, the SİNEMATON is a hybrid karaoke-film-jukebox for analog and digital formats that will be installed in the foyer of SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA. In this spirit, the SİNEMATON will turn the foyer into a convivial space of song and dance, taking the audience on a collective, audiovisual journey. The changing program, conceived of by invited curators, will offer a range of insights into transnational forms of film and music.

The project launches on 18th June at 18:00 with an event that pays homage to the Scopitone’s legacy. The line-up features:

Scopitone Arabes

Curator, researcher and Scopitone expert Hajer Ben Boubaker will begin the evening with a presentation about the Scopitone’s importance as a form of cultural expression for the Maghreb diaspora, including a preview of some of the Arabic and Kabyle language songs it once played which addressed significant moments of migrant life.

Comrades I Love You

Selected by Popo Fan and Sarnt Utamachote, Comrades I Love You will include a music video by artist Ming Wong and, as an homage to the Scopitone’s role as a collective, audiovisual jukebox, a karaoke live-act engaging the audience.