Philosophy and Film: Lisl Ponger Focus

Lisl Ponger, filmmaker and photographer, is one of those remarkable Austrian intellectuals who steadfastly and vividly takes on a position of issues. She is a powerfully eloquent and witty critic of political deficits and inadequacies and an artist for whom discourse is not just another fashionable word, but a necessity.


DIrector: Lisl Ponger, 22 min, Austria, 1999 (35mm film blown up from Standard 8 and Super 8 film)

From the beginning, as the images begin to parade across the screen, the viewer is seduced into their foreign but nonetheless eerily familiar flow. These are documentary sequences of places and people but also of our longing for distant lands, colourful events, and star-pierced tropical nights that no camera can adequately capture. This is the innocence of unconscious complicity, where the naive pleasure of collecting the wonders of the world is assigned a subtext to a way of seeing, a white model of perceiving the world and its unspoken hierarchies.

Three academics will discuss film, philosophy and meaning in context to Déjà Vu.

Darryl Wardle is a philosophy lecturer at UP and has been running Footnotes to Plato, a philosophical film club at UP for the last couple of years. Darryl Wardle is an instructor and academic in the department of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria. His work has been published in a peer-reviewed philosophical journal, and he recently finished his Master’s Degree in Philosophy on the philosophical question on the possible meaning(s) of human existence. He is currently working on his PhD thesis, focusing predominantly on philosophical Existentialism and questions pertaining to our shared human condition in the contemporary world. Foremost among his other interests and passions are literature, music, and cinema. 

Beschara Karam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Science, at the University of South Africa, where she teaches philosophy of film and political communication. Beschara shifted from traditional philosophy to film after she co-wrote the South African White Paper on Film. Her doctorate was on the animated film series The Drawings of Projection  by South African artist, William Kentridge, which positioned his work as an example of post-memorial aesthetics. Beschara’s main research interest is trauma, memory and African film, but she has published and presented on a wide variety of topics from counter-memory and film;  post-feminism;  New Queer Theory; film as subversion and activism; videogames and pedagogy; transgender and film; and, political communication in Africa.

Martin Kabamba, better known under the pseudonym Morrison Taylor, is a long friend of philosophy and the arts. Currently working and living in Johannesburg his breadth of work covers many different mediums with his music being the most notable to date. From chart topping radio singles to flow-charts in the boardroom his depth of understanding has been recognised by many including blogs that have published some of his musings over the past few years. A political science major, he is a strong believer that philosophy without action is a serious waste of time. When he isn’t writing music he can be found working as a copywriter for a small agency with big dreams in the city of gold.”

Event Details

Name Philosophy & Film
Date Sun 20 Aug 15:30