Von der telematischen Gesellschaft zur retrotopischen Stammesgemeinschaft: Zbigniew Libera’s Film Walser (2015)
This essay uses Vilém Flusser’s reflections on the medium of video to examine the work of the Polish visual artist Zbigniew Libera focusing on his latest film Walser (2015), his first and only feature film for cinemas. The film is set in a post-apocalyptic age. Only one tribe has survived which lives peacefully and harmonically with nature at the margins of civilization. One day, a stranger visits it. The aim of the essay is to explore the portrayal of the tensions between individual and collective in the film in order to reconstruct Libera’s idea of a community based on the principle of dialogue, an idea that can be compared to Flusser’s own vision of the future and his theories of cultural history. In the last part of the essay I try to interpret Libera’s deconstructionist approach using Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of retrotopia.