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Hansabibliothek

Followed by a talk Florian Wüst and Kathrin Peters

Die Brücke + Großbaustelle Hansaviertel + Die Stadt

The first part of the film series combines Großbaustelle Hansaviertel, a film about the construction of the Berlin neighborhood “Hansaviertel” in 1959 commissioned by the Senator for Construction and Housing, with Haro Senft’s Die Brücke (1957) and Herbert Vesely’s Die Stadt (1960). In 1957, Senft and Vesely, with “filmform – the third program”, wrote a first call for the establishment of an explicitly cultural film production within the West German film industry.  Later, they were among the signatories of the Oberhausen Manifesto of 1962. The propagation of an urban layout influenced by social and technical advances is accompanied in this program by the contradictory emotional states of the post-war period, symbolised by the juxtaposition of modern skyscrapers and brightly illuminated shop windows with orphaned urban waste and ruins. 

Die Brücke, Haro Senft, BRD 1957, 15 Min.

Großbaustelle Hansaviertel, Eberhard Riske, BRD 1959, 10 Min.

Die Stadt, Herbert Vesely, BRD 1960, 36 Min.

Florian Wüst is an independent film curator, artist, and publisher based in Berlin. He co-founded the Berlin Journals—On the History and Present State of the City. Since 2016 he works as film and video curator of transmediale.

Kathrin Peters is a professor of History and Theory of Visual Culture at the University of the Arts, Berlin. 

Comic reading by Birgit Weyhe

Followed by a talk Birgit Weyhe

Madgermanes

From 1979 until 1991, around 20,000 contract workers from Mozambique were employed in the GDR. Their stay, limited up to four years, was supposed to give them the opportunity to gain an education and work experience, so that on their return they might contribute to build up an independent socialist Mozambique. This was not the reality — far from it. The “Madgermanes” — a neologism of “mad germans” and “made in Germany” — as they were referred to in Mozambique, came back to a country completely devastated by civil war. Their work experience wasn’t put to any use, and their salary which was held back by the government was never paid out. Birgit Weyhe illustrates this little known narrative in her graphic novel and gives those who were affected a voice to speak for themselves.

Birgit Weyhe was born in Munich in 1969. She spent her childhood and youth in East Africa and returned to Europe only as an adult. She was awarded the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung Comic Book Prize and the Max-and-Moritz Prize for Madgermanes.

Film presentation followed by a discussion. Guest Dan Thy Nguyen, Duc Ngo Ngoc, moderated by Sun-ju Choi

Followed by a talk Dan Thy Nguyen, Duc Ngo Ngoc and Sun-ju Choi

Solidarity in the Cold War

South Vietnamese Boatpeople vs. North Vietnamese contract workers, South Korean "guest workers" vs. North Korean students / orphans in the GDR or Germany. Migration routes and human lives determined by the bitter struggle of the Cold War. What do the Korean War and the Vietnam War have in common, and what does that have to do with Germany at all? Members of the second generation from different Asian-German communities reflect on their own stories or the stories of their parents in West and East Germany.

Dan Thy Nguyen is a freelance theatre director, actor, writer and singer in Hamburg. In 2014 he created and produced the stage and audio play ‘Sonnenblumenhaus’, which was about the Rostock-Lichtenhagen pogrom. Since 2019 he has worked with Studio Marshmallow as the director of the Fluctoplasma festival in Hamburg, 96 hours of art, discussion and diversity.

Duc Ngo Ngoc is a vietnamese-german filmmaker. In 2013, together with for filmmakers, he founded the KAMMER11 film collective. Since October 2015 he has been studying for a masters in film directing at the film university KONRAD WOLF in Babelsberg and has successfully completed a visiting semester at the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema.

Sun-ju Choi is a founding member of korientation e.V. – Network for Asian-German Perspectives, and a board member of ndo (New German Organisations). Together with Heike Berner she published the narrative volume At Home - Narratives from Korean-German Women (2006). Since 2007 she has been leading the Asian Film Festival, Berlin, together with Kimiko Suda. Her dissertation, Vater Staat und Mutter Partei: Concepts of Family and their Representation in North Korean Film was published in 2017.

Director Allegra Schneider, Selamet Prizreni, Dörthe Boxberg, Jean-Philipp Baeck, Bernd Mathis, Germany 2018

45 min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk Allegra Schneider

AS VOLUNTARILY AS POSSIBLE

The so called “person obliged to leave the country” should leave the Federal Republic of Germany “AS VOLUNTARILY AS POSSIBLE”. But behind these bureaucratic terms often hide dramatic personal fates, which have nothing to do with voluntariness. Like the story of Zijush, who was 13 years old when he had to leave Germany. Grown up in Bremerhaven, he has to “return” with his parents and sister to the Macedonian capital Skopje. But instead of new perspectives, he encounters hatred and exclusion: Zijush is attacked because he is Rom.

The documentary follows Zijush to Skopje, accompanied by his school teacher. It reveals the absurdity of deportation in the case of children whose homeland is Germany. 

Allegra Schneider (tbc), freelance photojournalist, member of the Bremen Refugee Council

Germany 1989/1990

OV

Followed by a talk Almuth Berger

Einheit/Zerfall: DDR im Herbst (Unity/Dissolution: GDR in Autumn)

Television material from an almost forgotten period, spring 1989 until autumn 1990, a time when much was possible politically in the GDR and things were surfacing that had previously been kept hidden: for example, that thousands of contract workers helped to keep the stores running, but were simultaneously exposed to structural racism and increasingly physical violence.

Almuth Berger, who as a priest had been engaged early on in fighting the exclusion of foreigners in GDR society. She co-founded the grassroots movement ‘Demokratie Jetzt’ (Democracy Now), and after ‘die Wende’ (The Turn) she became the “Commissioner for Foreigners” in the governments of Modrow and de Maizière.

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TEMPORARY FRIENDSHIPS

Contract Labor and Internationalism in the GDR

Curated by Tobias Hering and Sun-ju Choi

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TEMPORARY FRIENDSHIPS

The fact that Germany hadn’t necessarily developed into a more free and open society in the years following reunification was realized in particular by the estimated 150,000 migrant workers living in the GDR at the time. From the beginning of the 1950’s, workers and students had already been coming into the GDR on the basis of treaties in the name of “socialist friendship” and had contributed to the wealth of society. Although the GDR was hardly the paradise that it purported to be, many of those from Vietnam, Mozambique, Chile, Algeria, Korea and other countries did manage to settle in the GDR – or at least to find temporary arrangements. The verbal and physical violence, which accompanied the hasty removal of their rights post-1989, briefly highlighted their presence, though it was immediately stigmatised under the heading “foreigner problem”. But racist violence and exclusion did not appear first in 1989, it had already been an everyday experience of many people in the GDR. Just as seldomly was it admitted that vows for “international solidarity” – alongside the often opportunist motives behind them – were taken at face value by many, and that the “internationalist” foreign policy of the GDR did offer real opportunities to East Germans and foreigners alike.

On the one hand, the program seeks to reconstruct the public perception of migrants from the Archives of DEFA and GDR Television and, in doing so, to discover at least traces of reality which exist beyond the ideologically standardised patterns. On the other hand, the program will give space and time for current artistic and activist stances, which deal with the topics from the perspective of the second generation of today.

Funded by Berliner Landeszentrale für politische Bildung.

Sun-ju Choi is a founding member of korientation e.V. – Network for Asian-German Perspectives, and a board member of ndo (New German Organisations). Together with Heike Berner she published the narrative volume At Home - Narratives from Korean-German Women (2006). Since 2007 she has been leading the Asian Film Festival, Berlin, together with Kimiko Suda. Her dissertation, Vater Staat und Mutter Partei: Concepts of Family and their Representation in North Korean Film was published in 2017.

Tobias Hering is a freelance Film Curator and Journalist. Besides other projects, he is currently responsible for the archive project re-selected at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Migration and interculturality have been recurring topics in his work, most recently in the film series In German Society: Passage-Works by Foreign Filmmakers 1962-1992 (Zeughaus Cinema Berlin, 2017, co-curated by Tilman Baumgärtel), a retrospective of films, which showcased non-german filmmakers in the FRG and the GDR. 

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SO DIKHEA? WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Romani Perspectives in Film

Curated by Hamze Bytyçi

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SO DIKHEA? WHAT DO YOU SEE?

What is cliche and what is reality when it comes to the Romani people? Can films about Romani people do without stereotypes? The film series SO DIKHEA? WHAT DO YOU SEE? deals with the consequences of the images and narratives which have been created about, and not with Romani people over centuries. For a thousand years the Romani people have been part of Europe and have shaped its cultures and societies; and yet, they are still perceived as foreign and not belonging. Antiziganism makes us blind to the multi-faceted, complex reality: the reasons for the emigration of the Romani people from the Balkan countries are often disregarded, the importance of labour migration for an aging society is being ignored. In order to change this, the film series SO DIKHEA? WHAT DO YOU SEE? invites for a closer look and discussion. 

RomaTrial e.V. is a transcultural self-organised Berliner-Romani group which coordinates the Roma-Filmfestival AKE DIKHEA? once a year, with the goal of bringing the complex problems of Antiziganism into the public consciousness. AKE DIKHEA? – in Romani, NA SIEHST DU? – shows films with and by Rom*nja, Sinti*zzi and other people with Romno background. The festival will take place in Berlin for the third time, between the 5th – 9th December 2019. 

Hamze Bytyçi lives and works in Berlin. In 2012, he founded the association RomaTrial, in 2013 he was founding member of the International Romani Film Commission. In 2017, he has initiated the Festival of Romani Film AKE DIKHEA?, which he directs since then. In 2018, he was co-curator of the 1st Roma Biennale COME OUT NOW!

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Das Morgen im Jetzt

bi'bak @ Hansabibliothek

Curated by Florian Wüst

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Das Morgen im Jetzt

After 1945, one of the major challenges of Germany's reconstruction was the creation of living space. The general principles of pre-war modernism, which were based off of efficient new construction methods, provided a blueprint for the “city of tomorrow”, a radical departure from the old industrial city with its tenements, dark courtyards and narrow streets. The modernisation of the “urban body” has been described as a healing process which requires authority and guidance from above. By the mid-1960’s, however, the revolution against the so-called “Kahlschlagsanierung”, a process carried out en masse, begun. The relationship between participation and intransparent planning processes, between expensive new construction and affordable pre-existing housing remains contested today more than ever before. Against this background, the two-part film series Das Morgen im Jetzt presents a selection of historical and contemporary short films which primarily use artistic means to examine the reality of the modern city, as well as exemplary approaches to alternative models of architecture and living.

Florian Wüst is an independent film curator, artist, and publisher based in Berlin. He co-founded the Berlin Journals—On the History and Present State of the City. Since 2016 he works as film and video curator of transmediale.

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BITTER THINGS | Frankfurt

Narratives and Memories of Transnational Families

By Can Sungu and Malve Lippmann

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BITTER THINGS | Frankfurt

BITTER THINGS – Narratives and Memories of Transnational Families is a research-based exhibition project by bi’bak that explores the impact of labor migration on the notion of motherhood and family from the perspectives of women migrant workers and children left behind. The installation takes experiences of transnational families from both past and present as a point of departure and brings narratives together with objects, which play a central role within the families.

Labor migration is worldwide creating new models of the transnational family, which despite geographical distances strives to maintain contact between the separated family members. In the time of the recruitment agreements in the 1960s, many parents were forced to leave their children behind since working hours were too demanding to make childcare on the side possible. Today it is predominantly migrant workers from Eastern Europe, who have to leave their families to earn a living in wealthier countries. Turkey, as a former country of emigration, has in turn become a destination for many workers, especially in the care sector, from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus or the Central Asian region.

But, how is the relationship between parents and children to be redefined whenever gifts and material support take the place of shared experience? When physical closeness has to take second place to communication programs like Skype and WhatsApp? How does this changing family landscape impact children and their parents? BITTER THINGS retraces positions on this topic from the 1960s right up to present day perspectives.

Besides the exhibitions a side program with films, lectures and discussions has been curated by bi’bak. Moreover a publication with academic and literary contributions, interviews, songs and photos examining the topic from interdisciplinary perspectives has been released. Order your copy . A booklet with selected texts in German and photographs of the exhibition can be downloaded here.

Concept and Artistic Direction: Malve Lippmann, Can Sungu
Exhibition Design: Malve Lippmann
Editing, Research: Maike Suhr

A project by bi’bak in cooperation with Historisches Museum Frankfurt.

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Please rewind

German-Turkish Film and Video Culture in Berlin

Concept by Can Sungu

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Please rewind

Berlin is home to a large German-Turkish community which is today an integral part of the city’s cultural life. Over the years, this community has established a Turkish film culture in Berlin. Starting with screenings of Turkish films in Berlin cinemas, the Turkish-language video conquered the market in the 1980s as a welcome alternative to exclusively German TV channels. The numerous video stores which offered these films played a key role, along with the ‘Turkish Bazaar’ at the metro station station Bülowstraße. Video sessions with neighbours and friends became important social events in family life. In addition to the vast range of Yeşilçam productions, with its comedies, action films and melodramas, Turkish films which were produced in Germany also became popular, specifically those that dealt with migration experiences, alienation from the region of origin or country of origin, identity, religion and family. These films and their aesthetics have shaped a whole generation of recognized German filmmakers, such as Thomas Arslan, Fatih Akin, Ayse Polat, and many others. Thus far, the history of this migrant film culture originating in Germany has not received enough attention; indeed, it is almost completely absent in discourses on post-migrant films. This film culture and the associated places, actors and transnational narratives are an important testimony of German film and German cultural history and must therefore be remembered and acknowledged. With this publication, bi'bak embarks on a rediscovery of German-Turkish film and video culture in Berlin.

Curated by Can Sungu. Contributions by Ömer Alkin, Cem Kaya and others. 

Funded by the Förderung zeitgeschichtlicher und erinnerungskultureller Projekte of Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.

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