Film series

MACBA seeks to make the work of Fernand Deligny (1913-1996) better known to the general Spanish public by publishing a selection of his texts, entitled Fernand Deligny. Permit, Draw, See and organising a seminar and film season devoted to his life and work. The seminar will trace the chronological stages in Deligny's journey from the psychiatric hospital in Armentières (northern France), where he worked as an educator during World War Two, to Monoblet in the Protestant region of Les Cévennes (south of France), where, in 1969, he established a network to care for autistic children. From psychiatric hospital to network, the challenges are the same: a critique on the 'ideologies of childhood; creation of an alternative environment to the institution, designed not for but according to the specific nature of individuals resistant to dependence; the application, in formalised (not to say artistic) practices, of an anthropological approach to space and the 'human' external to language. In both his writing and his films, Deligny seeks a language that reflects the autistic 'way of being' with neither intention nor plans. The search for an image 'that is not taken', analogous to its original, common outline, is the last stage in a reflection that is both poetic and political. Deligny's rejection of 'specialities', the fact that he resorted to practical knowledge rather than compartmentalised disciplines, finds an echo in a multi-disciplinary seminar bringing together researchers, sociologists, philosophers, psychoanalysts, translators, artists, film historians and art historians. We should also note that film is an integral part of Deligny's work as an experimental practice and not—as is the case with modern pedagogy—as an educational or cultural programme.

Programme by Sandra Alvarez de Toledo


November 4, 11, 18, 25 and December 8

4 November
Ce gamin-là (That Kid), Renaud Victor, 1976, 96'
Made by an autodidact film maker with autistic children from the network, this film completes the important body of texts, documents and images that Deligny published to support his critique of language.

11 November
Le Moindre Geste (The Least Gesture), Fernand Deligny, Josée Manenti and Jean-Pierre Daniel, 1962–71, 100'
With this film, made by young people from La Grande Cordée, Deligny was twenty years ahead of the militant film movement. Some years later, the shooting of Le Moindre Geste can be seen as a collective game directed by a psychotic adolescent.

18 November
Fernand Deligny. À propos d'un film à faire (Fernand Deligny. On a Film To Be Made), Renaud Victor, 1989, 67'
Renaud Victor's piece on Deligny comprises a cinematographic essay on the relations between language and image.

25 November
Matti da slegare (Fit to Be Untied), Marco Bellocchio, 1975, 140'
Filmed by Marco Bellocchio near Parma, this film constitutes a full-frontal attack on psychiatric institutions, calling on society to reincorporate the psychiatric patients it produced itself.

8 December
(Showned at the Filmoteca de Catalunya)
Putyovka v zhizn (Road to Life), Nikolaï Ekk, 1931, 75'
In 1947, Deligny showed this work by Nikolaï Ekk, based on the Soviet educator Anton Makarenko's Pedagogical Poem, at the Travail et Culture popular education association on several occasions. For many years, Deligny considered that this story about life at the Gorky colony for young people, which Makarenko established in the Ukraine in 1921, was a model for libertarian education and an important reference.

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