The Manifesto “Liberate The Image” is the outcome of 2 years of meetings within the framework of the Documentary Convention organized by DOX BOX e.V., Berlin together with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and other international partners. A group of filmmakers, academics and audiovisual practitioners met and discussed the urgencies facing the access to visual memories and how to establish best practices for the preservation of the audiovisual heritage within the Arab world and the Global South .

A pre-manifesto was circulated after the first-round of meetings in April 2018, outlining the main concerns of the group, which included Ali Essafi (Filmmaker), Jihan El Tahri (Filmmaker), Mohanad Yaqubi (Filmmaker), Monica Maurer (Filmmaker), Nabil Djedouani (Practitioner) and Olivier Haddouchi (Researcher). The pre-manifesto examined  issues of accessibility to films and audiovisual archives of the Global South , and suggested steps towards mapping this human heritage and identifying the holding institutes.

This pre-manifesto was circulated among film industry professionals and feedback was collected and discussed in the second meeting of the Documentary Convention in Leipzig in April 2019.  With the input collected, a final version of the document was shaped by a group of professionals during the Documentary Convention 2019, who included the initial group alongside other audiovisual practitioners such as Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi (Archivist), Kay Dickinson (Academic), Mahasen Nasr Eldien (Filmmaker), Rasha Salti (Curator) and Sara Jubara (Filmmaker).

The group agreed that the main obstacle facing the access and preservation of the collective memories of the South, is the control of the image by institutes and multinational corporations monetizing the archives thus denying access to practitioners with limited means from the Global South.

This manifesto aims to serve as a toolkit for filmmakers, producers and audiovisual practitioners around the world to facilitate their engagement with and use of archive that concern our region.

Our aim is to find ways of injecting  our perspective into the discussion on restitution and include our voices into the global discourse.

We ask our colleagues to disseminate, circulate, discuss the manifesto, with the writers of the manifesto and all those who can be implicated.

We invite the film community to join our effort and to circulate and undersign this manifesto. We welcome contributions to its content and practical suggestions on how achieve its demands. You can contact us at .

The annual  Documentary Convention is co-created by the Berlin-based organization DOX BOX e.V. and the Arab Fund For Arts and Culture. (AFAC),in partnership with Dok Leipzig, Idfa Bertha Fund, International Documentary Association and Sundance film festival for its second edition. DC’19 is a platform for dialogue, collaboration and resistance, designed to inspire creativity, foster connectivity and ignite change. DC19 brought together 150 Arab, European and international documentary professionals and decision makers. The DC’19 was supported by Ford Foundation, International Media Support (IMS) and Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM).

Latest Signatures
144 Mr. Samer Jaber Marketing/Several Brands LLC
143 Ms. Flora Losch researcher
142 Mr. Aboud Rawajbeh Film curator- Screeningroom Amman
141 Dr. Aboubakar Sanogo Carleton University
140 Ms Tina Bastajian filmmaker\researcher/conjurer
139 Ms Jessica Mueller Filmmaker
138 Dr. June Givanni Curator/Director June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive
137 Dr. Lindiwe Dovey Professor of Film and Screen Studies, SOAS University of London
136 Ms Onyeka Igwe Artist
135 Mr Matheus Mello Producer/La Selva Ecosistema Creatiu

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We invite the film community to join our effort and to circulate and undersign this manifesto.

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