From September 2020 on bi’bak will embark on a cinema experiment at Haus der Statistik.

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA explores cinema as a space for social discourse, a place for exchange and solidarity. SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA brings together diverse social communities, links geographically distant and nearby places, the past, present and future, and decentres an eurocentric view through transnational, (post-) migrant and postcolonial perspectives. SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA is a transtopia, a place where “cross-border ties and connections converge, are reinterpreted and condense into everyday contexts” (Erol Yıldız). As part of the pioneering urban policy Initiative Haus der Statistik, the cinema experiment bridges the gap between everyday urban practices and film to create an alternative art form that connects different social perspectives.

SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA is funded by Haupstadtkulturfonds, Conrad Stiftung and the Programm NEUSTART KULTUR


bi'bakino is a curated film program that focuses on transnational narratives, migration and mobility discourses in film and seeks to stimulate differentiated discussions and changes of perspective. The program highlights films from outside Europe that have often not been shown in Berlin before, as well as archive excavations and rediscoveries. Following the film screenings, moderated discussions take place with filmmakers and experts.

Past event series can be found in the archive.


Curated by Eirini Fountedaki, Cornelia Lund & Holger Lund (fluctuating images), Philip Rizk and Shohreh Shakoory


Critical Conditions

Fields of action in the environmental crisis

Curated by Sarnt Utamachote, Malve Lippmann, Rosalia Namsai Engchuan and Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein & Eirini Fountedaki



Children's cinema from SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA

Concept by Dr. Martin Ganguly


Stories, continued

Films with absent protagonists, after the GDR, after 1990

Curated by Anna Zett and Philipp Goll



Film programme and discussions with a focus on Belarus

Curated by Marina Naprushkina and Agnieszka Kilian


They were invited to rebuild the country; a fact often overlooked regarding the migrant workers who came to West Germany as a result of the recruitment agreement. Over the years, a culture of remembrance largely based on inherited assumptions has developed around the history of the so-called “guest workers”, thus making a nuanced understanding of past and present events difficult. Against this backdrop, The Invitees takes the 60th anniversary of the recruitment agreement between Turkey and Germany as a call to rethink the history of labor migration. Films, discussions and lectures, alongside informal knowledge and post-migrant perspectives, will allow for a critical examination of the recurring narratives and persistent image politics relating to the so-called guest workers. Over eight evenings, the programme will bring together invited experts, feature and documentary films, educational films, and film material from the DOMiD archive (Documentation Center and Museum of Migration to Germany) and other archives. In these ways an important contribution to the process of transnational remembrance will be made, one that does justice to the significance of interwoven cultures of remembrance and presents identificatory ties that go beyond the nation-state.

In cooperation with DOMiD (Documentation Center and Museum of Migration to Germany).

Funded by the Program for the Promotion of Contemporary History and Remembrance Culture Projects of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Programm NEUSTART des Bundesverband Soziokultur im Programmteil kulturelle und soziokulturelle Programmarbeit.

To the events

To the archive


OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Borjana Gaković and Želimir Žilnik

My Brother in a Foreign Land

Inventur - Metzstraße 11 / Inventory - Metzstraße 11
Želimir Žilnik, FRG 1975, 9 min.

Abschied / Farewell
Želimir Žilnik FRG 1975, 9 min.

Unter Denkmalschutz / Under Heritage Protection
Želimir Žilnik, FRG 1975, 11 min.

Bogdan Žižić, FRG / Yugoslavia, 1977, 17 min.

Specijalni vlakovi / Special Trains 
Krsto Papić, Yugoslavia 1972, 12 min.

Na Objedu / At Lunch
Vefik Hadžismajlović, Yugoslavia 1972, 9 min.

Halo München / Hello München
Krsto Papić, Yugoslavia 1967, 13 min.

Dernek / Party 
Zoran Tadić, Yugoslavia 1975, 12 min.

This short film program brings together documentary works from the early and mid-1970s made by Yugoslav directors associated with the Zagreb and Belgrade film clubs and the documentary film school in Sarajevo. From a range of perspectives, the films not only address the problematic selection and recruitment processes of so-called guest workers, but their everyday living conditions in Germany and the lives of their relatives who remained. The highlight of the program will be two films by Želimir Žilnik, long thought to have been lost, which were recently found in the archives of the Documentation Center and Museum of Migration in Germany (DOMiD). Indeed, the very fact that the two films were not adequately preserved – in neither a German nor a Yugoslav national film archive – raises many questions regarding hegemonic film historiography and archiving, and their relationship to themes of migration in both countries. (BG)

Book tickets

Borjana Gaković is a film and media scholar, media policy spokesperson for the Federal Association of Communal Film Work, editor of the quarterly film magazine Kinema Kommunal and a member of the selection and program committee of DOK Leipzig. She works as a lecturer in the field of film and cinema culture at various universities, as well as a freelance writer and curator of historical cinema programs, often with reference to feminisms in film history.

Želimir Žilnik (born in Niš in 1942; currently living and working in Novi Sad) has written and directed numerous feature and documentary films which have reaped many awards at domestic and international film festivals. Žilnik is renowned as an initiator of the “docudrama” genre.


Followed by a talk with Malve Lippmann and Cem Kaya

Good Luck in Germany

Guten Tag (Episode 26)
FDR 196?, 15 min. german OV, 16mm

Tipps für den Alltag II, Ausländische Arbeitnehmer im Industriebetrieb
FDR 196?, 12 min. OV with german subtitles, 16mm

Viel Glück in Deutschland (Episode 2)
Thilo Philipp / Uwe Krauss, FDR 197?, 15 min. german OV, 16mm

Zu Gast in unserem Land: Kemal
Herbert Ballmann, FDR 1977, 50 min. german OV

“I am a stranger here,” “I am a foreigner,” “I don't speak German” are all phrases that can be learned in the Goethe Institute’s elaborately produced 26-part language course series, Guten Tag (Good Day). With a great deal of artistic imagination, scenes around “Language, Culture, Germany” are staged and slowly intoned in an effort to bring the newly arrived closer. Viel Glück in Deutschland (Good Luck in Germany), on the other hand, prepares employees for everyday life in the workplace with vocabulary such as “time card,” “personnel office” and “the foreman is waiting”. In Tipps für den Alltag (Everyday Tips), the portrayal of what is characterized as typically German and represented as the ideal norm also has a comic effect, while the depictions of foreign workers can certainly be perceived as problematic. Similar patterns can be found in the educational film series produced by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Zu Gast in unserem Land (A Guest in our Country). Here, younger generations belonging to the social majority are prepared for confrontations with the so-called “guests”. Following the screening, there will be a discussion in which we dissect the persistent stereotypes unreflectively projected onto later generations of people with an immigration history and the racist behaviors that are subsequently internalized. (ML)

Book tickets

Malve Lippmann studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart and at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts (MA). She worked internationally as a freelance stagedesigner and artist. Since 2010 she has also been active as a cultural manager in various cultural and community projects. She is co-founder and artistic director of bi'bak and Sinema Transtopia.

Cem Kaya is a documentary filmmaker from Berlin with a quirky interest in found footage. Coming from the field of cultural studies, his films combines humorous storytelling with deep background knowledge. Remake, Remix, Rip-Off was screened at some of the most important international film festivals, including Berlinale and  Locarno Film Festival.

OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Madeleine Bernstorff and Sun-ju Choi

Nurse Kim’s Message Home + Ekmek Parası

Nurse Kim’s Message Home 
FRG 197?, 16 min. OV

Ekmek Parası - Geld fürs Brot 
Serap Berrakkarasu / Gisela Tuchtenhagen, Deutschland 1994, 86 min. OV with english subtitles

In Ekmek Parası - Geld fürs Brot (Money for Bread), the money doesn't stink, but the fish does. A smell that is difficult to wash off. Women from Turkey and Mecklenburg work in the fish factory in Lübeck. Here, the camera acts as accomplice: Serap Berrakkarasu and cinematographer Gisela Tuchtenhagen establish a closeness to the workers who candidly describe (in Turkish) the working conditions at the factory, answering questions about life, death and dreams. The supporting film, Nurse Kim's Message Home, produced by Hoechst AG, is accompanied by a paternalistic voiceover and follows a group of Korean nurses working in Frankfurt after the recruitment agreement with South Korea in 1971. (MB)

Book tickets

Madeleine Bernstorff lives in Berlin, creates film programs (often in collaboration) and works as a teacher and author, e.g. of Transnationales Lernen an der dffb. In 2016/2017 she supervised the production of 23 short video spots Unraveling the NSU Complex! with the SPOTS group.

Sun-Ju Choi is an author and filmmaker. She studied literature at the University of Cologne and screenwriting at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin. She is a founding member of korientation e.V. - Network for Asian-German Perspectives and a board member of ndo (neue deutsche organisationen). She currently works as deputy executive director of the Neue deutsche Medienmacher*innen e.V..


Truth, Reality, Representation

Sie dienen Allah und den Deutschen
Michael Brückner / Peter Heller, BRD 1973, 25 min. OF, 16mm 

Die industrielle Reservearmee
Helma Sanders-Brahms, BRD 1971, 36 min., OF 

Ich war Fremd
Fritz Fischer / Lado Pavlik, BRD 1970, 5 min., OF, 16mm

Dokumentarisch = Dokument?
Fritz Fischer / Lado Pavlik, BRD 1974, 17 min. OF, 16mm

Why does a Hessian iron foundry build a mosque for its Muslim workers? Sie dienen Allah und den Deutschen (They Serve Allah and the Germans) shows how one company management tries to use religion as an instrument of conformity. The film’s commitment to better working conditions appears as an authoritative voiceover. Dokumentarisch = Dokument (?) (Documentary = Document (?)) shows how such a narrative is constructed cinematically. Two reports on the housing situation of Turkish workers are juxtaposed, both cut from the same raw material. Like recorded evidence, the film strings together circumstantial proof for two completely different claims. In Die industrielle Reservearmee (The Industrial Reserve Army), skepticism gives way to argumentative conviction. Armed with quotations from Marx and Engels, the film agitates for a class struggle that unites German and foreign workers. The title of the film hails from Marxist economic theory and refers to the societal “class below the lower class” that can be called upon when workers refuse to work; or, to state it more drastically: “For the company owner, a guest worker is more convenient than a slave. He can replace him at any time, with the same dependence.”  Finally, Ich war fremd (I Was a Stranger) avoids a didactic stance entirely as rapidly edited scenes of a construction site are interrupted by feverish image-sound montages all ending in a microdrama. (KA)

Book tickets


Followed by a talk with Madeleine Bernstorff and Yüksel Yavuz

Antonio - Wo ist er zu Hause? + Mein Vater, der Gastarbeiter

Antonio - Wo ist er zu Hause?
Hans Rolf Strobel, BRD 1974, 17 min. OF, 16mm

Mein Vater, der Gastarbeiter 
Yüksel Yavuz, Deutschland 1995, 53 min. OmdU

In Antonio - Wo ist er zu Hause (Where is he at Home?), 13-year-old Antonio from southern Italy acts as moderator and translator, guiding the audience through the economic living, working and family conditions both here and there. Mein Vater, der Gastarbeiter (My Father, the Guest Worker) is about Yüksel Yavuz's family history, which expands to become a social history: His father left in 1968 and worked for 16 years at a Hamburg shipyard; his mother "took care of the running of everyday life" in the Kurdish part of Turkey. “I saw that my father worked like a maniac to leave traces that would compensate for the traces on his body.” We watch on as tanks belonging to the Turkish army race through the barren mountain landscape (the Hamburg shipyard didn't give permission to film). (MB)

Book tickets

Madeleine Bernstorff lives in Berlin, creates film programs (often in collaboration) and works as a teacher and author, e.g. of Transnationales Lernen an der dffb. In 2016/2017 she supervised the production of 23 short video spots Unraveling the NSU Complex! with the SPOTS group.

Yüksel Yavuz was born in Karakoçan in eastern Turkey in 1964 and has been living in Germany since 1980. He studied sociology and economics in Hamburg. With My Father, The Guest Worker, Yavuz presented his first cinematic work, which won several prizes. Other films, which have also won several awards, include: Aprilkinder (1998), Kleine Freiheit (2003), Close up – Kurdistan (2007), Longing for Istanbul (2010) Hêvî (2012), AMED – Memory of a City (2016).

Director Peter Beauvais FRG 1968

72 min., OV

Followed by a presentation with Ömer Alkın

Der Unfall

After his brother, a guest worker in Germany, suffers a life-threatening accident, Paco travels from Spain to Cologne. Did a racially motivated attack lie behind it? As a discourse film of the WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk), which addresses current topics such as racism, labor migration and colonial exploitation, Der Unfall (The Accident) still has a powerful impact today. The event will address the film's topicality and aesthetics, asking: What did we know back then and what are we (still not) learning about migration? (ÖA)

Book tickets

Ömer Alkın is a media & cultural studies scholar and filmmaker. His research focuses on migration, film and racism. His writings have appeared in numerous books and journals. Most recently, “Die visuelle Kultur der Migration. Geschichte, Ästhetik und Polyzentrierung des Migrationskinos” (2020, transcript). He lives and works in the Ruhr region and in Cologne.

OV with English subs

Followed by a presentation with Ömer Alkın

Bağrıyanık Ömer ve Güzel Zeynep + Geyikler, Annem ve Almanya

Bağrıyanık Ömer ve Güzel Zeynep
Yücel Çakmaklı, Turkey 1978, 30 min. OmdU / OV with English subtitles

Geyikler, Annem ve Almanya
Tuncer Baytok, Turkey 1987, 71 min. OmdU / OV with English subtitles

Two figures are particularly central to migration: those who return home and those who remain at home. Despite this fact, both are often forgotten in discussions about migration. With two films found in the archive of the Turkish state broadcaster TRT and shown for the first time in Germany, this film evening is dedicated to these two often neglected figures. In Bağrıyanık Ömer ile Güzel Zeynep, Ömer, a returned migrant worker, confronts his wife Zeynep about adultery in front of her lover: Poetically he shares the memories of his time abroad. The result is an idiosyncratic view of 1970s Munich from the perspective of an immigrant worker whose self-image has been wounded. In Geyikler, Annem ve Almanya, Nigar recapitulates her childhood in Turkey during the absence of her migrant father. Memories of life in the village, the move to Istanbul, longings for the father's indefinite return, and the mother's sudden departure for Germany reveal the effects of migration on a child’s life. (ÖA)

In cooperation with Philipps-Universität Marburg, funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation).

Book tickets

Ömer Alkın is a media & cultural studies scholar and filmmaker. His research focuses on migration, film and racism. His writings have appeared in numerous books and journals. Most recently, “Die visuelle Kultur der Migration. Geschichte, Ästhetik und Polyzentrierung des Migrationskinos” (2020, transcript). He lives and works in the Ruhr region and in Cologne.