Letter to T: in nulcearity, we are connected (2023)
Director: Zimu Zhang
Runtime: 21 mins
Language: Mandarin, Uyghur with English Subtitles.
With a contemplative letter to a friend as its point of departure, this video essay examines the complex, paradoxical visuality of the atom bomb in China. From 1960s military documentaries to contemporary CGI enhanced fictions, a visual trope of the communal “People’s Bomb” was orchestrated in counterpoint to the evils of imperialism and the untamed wilderness of the Gobi Desert. Amid the ecological crises of the Anthropocene, Letter to T suggests that despite the disenchantment with and the re-politicisation of the image, we might find radical sources of connection and endurance in nuclearity.
About the Director
Zimu Zhang is a researcher, curator and moving image practitioner. She completed her PhD research on ecology and visual culture in 2022 at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. She is an alumna of DocNomads Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in documentary filmmaking (2012 – 2014), SIC (SoundImageCulture, 2016) and Berlinale talents (2016). She is the recipient of the 2022 Landhaus fellowship at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU and 2023 VisitANTS fellowship in Critical Studies of Biodiversity and the Anthropocene Research at University of Oulu, Finland.
About Monographs 2023
Monographs is a series of video and text essays on Asian cinema commissioned by the Asian Film Archive (AFA). Monographs offers a critical platform for writers and thinkers to discourse upon the moving image beyond the walls of the cinema. Responding to changing geological and socio-political landscapes, Monographs 2023 explores the tensions between form and formlessness, sound and silence, as landscapes are continually sinking, shifting, stirring.
You can view the video essays part of Monographs 2023 as part of an exhibition at the Oldham Theatre foyer from 26 October – 8 December 2023.