Film by Stefania Smolkina celebrates world premiere at Diagonale'24 and the International Short Film Festival

The film by Stefania Smolkina Avec la 4e Division Marocaine de Montagne (26', 2024) celebrates its world premiere at this year's Diagonale'24 in Graz and its international premiere at the 70th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.

The 4e Division Marocaine de Montagne was part of the French Allies. Its soldiers fought against National Socialism in Italy, France, Germany and Austria, but were marginalized by official historiography. Based on the archaeology of social and visual media, chronicles, diaries, architectural artifacts, subjective fragments and collaboration with scholars, the work revolves around the relationship and use of photography as an instrument of colonial power, but also as an element of self-representation, as evidence, as a trace. Specifically, the film examines the so-called Moroccan Star, which was engraved by the 4e Division Marocaine de Montagne in Feldkirch (Vorarlberg) at the end of the Second World War. The film was realized as part of a residency at DOCK 20, the project #OhneAngstVeschiedenSein of the Jewish Museum Hohenenems, the S-MAK Lustenau and the Druckwerk Lustenau.

Stefania Smolkina (*1988) is an artist and filmmaker with a focus on research. Trained as a textile and media artist, she works primarily with moving images at the interface of documentary and fiction. Her research-based films and installations examine the texture of memory. Each of her projects grows out of an interest in the political drama of the often unmentioned, overlooked and overshadowed side stories. She studied at the Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design, at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig with Clemens von Wedemeyer and Tina Bara, at the Iceland University of the Arts and at Werkleitz PMMC in Halle (Saale). In 2023 she is the recipient of the artistic work scholarship from DOCK 20, S-MAK, Druckwerk Lustenau, Austria and the research scholarship from the Berlin Senate. In 2022 she was a scholarship holder at Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt, Berlin and part of the Creative Pathways project between Ireland and Germany. She received the state scholarship of the Free State of Saxony, the Junctions21 research grant from PACT Zollverein in Essen and a travel grant from the Goethe-Institut Moscow.
In 2021, Smolkina started teaching at the Evening Academy of the HGB Leipzig and since then has been privately and dramaturgically accompanying various projects on the edge of the documentary. She is part of the initiative Kino in Bewegung.