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desperate optimists curate

"When selecting these short films we had no curatorial framework in mind to begin with. Instead, we simply wanted to watch a range of films and choose the ones we liked the most. Simple. Alas, we failed to unburden ourselves of this remit. Inevitably, and perhaps subconsciously, we looked for connections, even in the slenderest of ways. There’s no doubt that each film can stand up on its own two feet but for us, there might be even more pleasure to be had by their adjacency. We hope you agree."

Desperate Optimists is the creative partnership between Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor. Chatting to Christine and Joe in their East London studio, it is clear that they are engrossed by ideas of community and identity. Molloy and Lawlor talk reminiscently of their experiences of ten years of moving around London, finally settling in Hackney, telling of the people that they encountered and how community values differ from time and location. This awareness of the locality around them is ever-present in their works. Exploring place, belonging and identity of the characters they encounter, they create engaging thoughtful films, with a cinematic awareness that acts as an insight into reality. Desperate Optimists put the people that they encounter at the heart of the work, interviewing them as research and then filming them interacting with their place of living. The ongoing series of Civic Life is a multidisciplinary project spanning creative writing, interviews, and blogging, resulting in community film projects. Civic Life has ultimately influenced the critically acclaimed debut feature film Helen where Desperate Optimists gracefully tackle the sensitive issues surrounding identity. This exhibition of works from the <strong></strong> archive curated by Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor follows the premiere of the latest film in the series - Civic Life: Tiong Bahru.