The documentary feature movie has always been a way to generate a strong, immersive, visual narrative out of non-fictional stories that could be hardly delivered otherwise. As such, it’s the ideal form to inject into the public debate any kind of radical, sometimes marginal practice, experienced live by a gang of a happy few, but deserving a broader audience, as well as for developing a counter-narrative around specific topics, run an investigative research, document an artistic practice that can’t be understood in its complexity just by looking at artworks in museums.
Recognising this specific role of documentary film, since 2012 Aksioma has been presenting, for the first time in Slovenia, documentary movies strongly related to its overall programme, and able to generate a better awareness on topics ranging from long-term nuclear waste storage to online memes, from anti-globalization activism to the socio-political implications of pornography. These screenings, initially sporadic and presented at irregular intervals, in the last few years have crystallised into Akcija!, a regular cycle of events taking place in January/February every year at Kino Šiška in Ljubljana.
Highlights from the past include Into Eternity (2012) by Danish artist Michael Madsen, which ponders the future of nuclear waste and explores the horrors of anticipating an unpredictable future; Strange Culture (2012) by artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, an investigation on how the biotech art by the acclaimed collective Critical Art Ensemble came to be understood as bioterrorism in the wake of 9/11; The Story of Technoviking (2014) by German artist and filmmaker Matthias Fritsch, exploring internet memes, privacy, copyright, and the clash between online habits and obsolete regulations; Dust and Illusions (2015) by Olivier Bonin, re-telling the thirty-year-history of the Burning Man Festival, an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance taking place every year in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada; The Yes Men Are Revolting (2015) by Laura Nix, documenting the last pranks of the legendary culture jamming activist duo The Yes Men; Art of the Prank (2016) by Andrea Marini, an emotional journey following the evolution of artist Joey Skaggs – a fierce proponent of independent thinking and the man who has turned the media hoax into an art form; and Burden (2018), by Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey, a feature documentary exploring the life and work of pioneering performance and installation artist Chris Burden. In 2019, the British Unknown Fields Division (co-founded and directed by Kate Davies and Liam Young) guided the viewers of their film Tales from the Dark Side of the City on various expeditions around the world, from the Arctic Sea to the Land of the Never-Never in Western Australia to the Lithium Mines of Bolivia, collecting data about these remote, fascinating places connected to our everyday lives in surprising and complicated ways. In 2020, Akcija! will offer the Slovenian premiere of iHuman, a documentary movie that goes inside the booming artificial intelligence (AI) industry to see what opportunities and challenges computer scientists see as they drive this technology forward (directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Tonje Hessen Schei).