PRECARIOUS NIGHTS showing SNOWPIERCER (2013) with lecture by Willem Schinkel and Rogier van Reekum

Film screening programme about economic injustice

film screeningMonday 11 November '19

Focus Filmtheater, Arnhem(archive)

Host: Catelijne de Muijnck
Free for ArtEZ community, if registered via the form below. Other people can buy a ticket at Focus Filmtheater.

In their recently published book “Theorie van de Kraal: kapitaal, ras, fascisme” (which could be translated to Theory of the Corral: Capital, Race and Fascism), the authors Willem Schinkel and Rogier van Reekum use the corral, a closed off space where cattle is kept, as a metaphor or concept for our current biopolitical condition: we are captured in the enclosing movement of capital, a movement that orders bodies, labor and identities for the purpose of accumulation.

After this lecture, we will screen Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2013). The film takes place in the not-too-distant future, as humanity is on the brink of extinction with the remaining humans circumnavigating the earth in a train, built by wealthy industrialist Wilford. The train is defined by a class system, with the people in the back living in poverty and subjected to the random abuse and authority of guards and the people in the front living “quite comfortably”, as they say. Needless to say, this train can’t go on like this forever.

Snowpiercer is written and directed by Bong Joon-ho, who won the Palm d’Or this year for his film Parasite (2019). Due to a feud with Harvey Weinstein, the film’s distributor at the time, Snowpiercer got a limited release which is the reason why many people did not get the chance to see the film on the big screen. On October 28, the film will be screened for a one time viewing at Focus film theater during Precarious Nights. Be sure not to miss it!

precarious [ pri-kair-ee-uhs ]

Adjective ~ from Latin precarius: "obtained by asking or praying". A legal word, 1640s: “held through the favor of another”.

Synonyms: uncertain, problematic, delicate, unhealthy, insecure, on thin ice, unsafe, unsure, ticklish, slippery, unsettled.


Existential vulnerability is by no means solely a phenomenon of current times. We will be and always have been dependent on each other. In the words of Judith Butler:

““We are . . . social beings from the start, dependent on what is outside ourselves, on others, on institutions, and on sustained and sustainable environments, and so are, in this sense, precarious.”

As an instrument of governance, precarization however, is used to normalize a massive reduction of permanent employment contracts, the so-called “flourishing” of a gig economy with minimal or without security benefits, rising inequality and social exclusion. Under the domination of this process, some bodies are distinguished as in need of protection of precariousness, while others are not. Precarity does not limit itself to our relation to work, but it affects our sense of self and how we relate to others.

PRECARIOUS NIGHTS screens three films addressing this topic of precarity, precarization and precariousness, to understand our mutual dependencies and vulnerability and to unsettle hierarchical ideas of class formations. We will walk this slippery slope together with artists, researchers and activists who will introduce the films by means of performance, lecture or other delicate formats.

PRECARIOUS NIGHTS is a collaboration between WALTER books, Studium Generale ArtEZ and Focus film theater.