Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts

Mia Engberg’s 30% seminar

Mia Engberg is a doctoral candidate in Performative and Mediated practices, with a specialization in Film and Media. Her doctoral project Darkness as Material questions the dominance of the image in cinematic storytelling. Her 30% Seminar explores concepts of inner darkness and expanded attention. The seminar includes a 30-minute sound piece Meditation in Darkness with Dancer*, a 15-minute walk and a conversation between Mia and opponent Anne Gry Haugland.

To contextualize her current research Mia’s films Belleville Baby and Lucky One will be screened the evening prior to the seminar.  


Thursday 3 October, Cinema StDH

18.30-19.45 Bellville Baby
20.00-21.30 Lucky One

Friday 4 October, TV Studio StDH

13.00-13.30 Meditation in Darkness with Dancer
13.30-14.00 Walk to Linnégatan 87
14.00-14.15 Break
14-16 Discussion with Anne Gry Haugland in Room 402

Both the seminar and the sound piece Meditation in Darkness with Dancer will be in English. The two films are in French and Swedish with English subtitles. 

*Text: Mia Engberg Voice: Chrysa Parkinson Sound Design by Michel Wenzer

About the project:

Darkness as Material is the third and final part of a trilogy that began with Aesthetics of Absence (Belleville Baby 2013) and The Visual Silence (Lucky One 2019). In this third project Mia examines darkness and its potential as an affective material in cinematic expression.

The research project is informed by Laura Mulvey’s feminist film theories on voyeuristic pleasure and the dominance of the male gaze. Mia works with the questions: Is it possible to make film that is not built on voyeurism and objectification of the other, to generate an aesthetic that dismantles the subject-object dichotomy, to create cinematic narratives that move from the flat screen into the interior darkness of the spectator?

In the earlier parts of the research Mia studied three distinct aesthetic materials: the detached image, the black image and the narrative voice. These projects also explored new methods for making feature length films, aiming to deconstruct existing hierarchical structures, questioning conditions that have exhausted and conventions that have excluded. 


Anne Gry Haugland is an associate Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, RDAM, where she teaches critical reflection and methodology. She has a Phd from the University of Copenhagen with the doctoral thesis ”Naturen i ånden - om naturfilosofien i Inger Christensens forfatterskab” (2012). She has also presented the research project ”The Poetics of Art - on the concept of reflection in artistic research” (2014-2016). At present she is the head of the research project ”Learning Art”, a collaboration between RDAM and the Aarhus University.

Chrysa Parkinson is a dancer living in Stockholm.  Her artistic research is focused on the performer’s experiential authorship. She lived and performed in New York and Belgium for many years. Chrysa’s writing and films have been published and distributed internationally. Since 2011 she has been a Professor of Dance at DOCH/Stockholm University of the Arts, directing the New Performative Practices MFA program.

Michel Wenzer is a composer, a filmmaker, a sound designer and carpenter. His feature film At Night I Fly tells the story about life time prisoners writing poetry in New Folsom Prison in California. It was awarded with a Guldbagge Award for best documentary. He has made the soundtrack for a number of films, among others Mia Engbergs Belleville Baby and Lucky One. At present he is working on a new feature film and is building a wood workshop in the south of Sweden. Educated at the Royal Academy of Music and Akademin Valand.