A MAN CALLED LOVE:
A MAN CALLED LOVE is a short essay film based on Francisco Candido Xavier (1910 - 2002), a Brazilian psychic medium who dedicated his life to notating the words spoken to him by disembodied spirits. The dead spoke and he wrote it down, as a kind of secretary. A task similar to the civil servant job he held until retirement. Psychography is a technique of channelling spirits in order to write and Xavier is described as the biggest and most prolific psychographer worldwide at all times, having written over 400 books. In the 60s and 70s he was a celebrity in Brazil, drawing large crowds whenever he appeared in public.
One of the books psychographed by Xavier is the novel "Our Home". First published in 1944 and continually in print since, the novel describes a city 'in the vicinity of Rio' where the recently deceased learn and work. The book goes on to narrate a tropical vision of social democracy, describing a town with magnificent squares and benches for a million people, where delicate flowers grow amid illuminated fountains.
Speaking about Xavier is also to speak of race and class relations in Brazil and to think over the military dictatorship lasting from 1964 to 1985, the period in which Xavier reached his greatest popularity. The project touches on the development of Spiritism, its dissemination in Brazil, its early association with utopian socialisms, and later its overt distancing from politics at the time of the military dictatorship.
The film makes use of archival images of Xavier, images of spirit materializations produced in the 30 and 40s in Brazil as photographic proofs of the spiritual world, images of Rio and Sao Paulo urban centres as well as images from the late 60s protests against the military regime in Brazil.
JAN LETON AND THE ARCHIVE
In the early 19th century, Jan Leton was given as a gift to the bailiff of
A document in fiction form, Jan Leton and the Archive is a narrative in which a researcher attempts to find out more about a man, who had arrived as a slave but was perhaps later freed, had been buried in the forest but was perhaps later dug up and reburied in the church grounds. In an attempt to unpack the archive and produce a critical document, the narrative tries to articulate the
The slides are reproductions from Skagen’s local history archive collection, and were taken in 1989 during a performance of the local theatre group (Egnspil) re-enacting Jan Leton’s arrival in Skagen.
Jan Leton and the Archive was shown as a slide projection with voice-over in Overgaden and at Rethinking Nordic Colonialism: An Exhibition Project in Five Acts curated by Tone O. Nielsen and Fredderike Hansen (for more information see www.rethinking-nordic-colonialism.org).
LISTED ENTRIES ON JAN LETON
In the early 19th century, Jan Leton was given as a gift to the bailiff of Skagen and lived there, as the bailiff’s slave, until his death in 1827.
Listed Entries is an index, or a dictionary with missing letters, listing the sometimes disparate ways Jan Leton’s presence in Skagen has been formulated orally and in print.
The entries were collected from primary sources such as Skagen’s death register, from newspapers archived in Skagen’s local history museum and from conversations I had with people who had heard the story while living in Skagen. The sources span a period of 178 years, from 1827, the year of Leton’s death, to 2006, when I compiled the information.