Whether tourists or migrants, refugees, exiles, or expats, the world is on the move and mobility has many faces. In the end, we are all Travelling People, with different motives, conditions, chances and opportunities, which sometimes overlap in time and space.
When does the status of a migrant change into that of a tourist? And when does a tourist become a migrant? What complex signals or symbols reveal this status? And what is the relationship between the different groups?
Relying on architecture and urban developments, with travel reports and films, lectures and discussions, the series We, Travelling People examines the questions of where, and by whom, the boundaries between the various forms of mobility are drawn.
Supported by the Foundation Nord-Süd-Brücken and the BMZ.
The film Hotel Very Welcome follows the experiences of five backpacking tourists in Thailand and India. Josh and Adam are friends who are interested in women and beach parties. Their friendship is put into consideration, when one of them runs out of money and is dependent on the grace of the other. Svenja gets stuck in a hotel room in Bangkok and telephones for days with a call center to get a return flight. Liam travels through India in search of the ultimate drug experience. Marion tries to meditate in an ashramcenter. The film ironically questions the possibilities of a globalized search for meaning and condenses a critical portrait of the backpacker generation.
Svenja Steinfelder is an actress and writer, known for Hotel Very Welcome (2007) and Christina ohne Kaufmann (2004).
The documentary La Deutsche Vita presents Berlin through the eyes of Alessandro Cassigoli, an italian immigrant. After seven years in the German capital Cassigoli together with Tania Masi from Florence and William Chicarelli from Brazil starts documenting the Italian community in Berlin. In “one of the hardest winters Berlin has ever experienced” the Italians suffer from the cold, the snow and the bad coffee. Moreover, the protagonist Max, who is an actor, is repeatedly stumbling over his Russian appearance in castings. The film playfully works with prejudices and cliches, revealing the absurdity of “authentic” illusion.
Tania Masi studied Urban Sociology at the Humboldt University in Berlin and Film Production and Screenplay at the International School of Film at New York University. Since 2006 she has been a freelance journalist based in Berlin for RAI TV, Globo News, newspapers and online magazines. At the same time she cultivates her passion for cinema, working as International Sales Assistant at festivals such as Cannes, Venice and Berlin for the sales company Studio City Pictures. La Deutsche Vita is her first feature documentary.
Alessandro Cassigoli was born in 1976 in Italy. He attended film school in Rome and worked as an assistant director for numerous film productions and popular TV series.
The series We, Travelling People features Angelos Tsaousis, bi'bak's fellow from START – Create Cultural Change Program 2018 for a screening of his documentary film The New Plastic Road about the new Silk Road. Together with Sofia Stavrianidou from Hellas Filmbox Berlin we will discuss about the development of the Silk Road and Tsaousis' film. Fingerfood specialities from Tajikistan will be served.
The New Plastic Road reveals the gradual economic and social change underway in the remote, destitute communities within the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region east of Tajikistan in the Pamir Mountains. After China’s decision to open its border with Tajikistan in 2004, an ongoing attempt to resurrect the old Silk Road started, connecting the region with the rest of the world for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union. To make these changes visible, the documentary follows Davlat, a Tajik merchant who lives in the mountainous town of Khorog next to the Afghanistan border. As we are drawn into his world of work, family, and trade we come to understand that the (silk) road on which he depends to make a living is a unique character in itself, connecting him – and us – with people, stories, and a new hope for posterity.
Angelos Tsaousis is a documentary filmmaker from Thessaloniki. In 2017, he was a START fellow at bi'bak in Berlin. With a postgraduate degree in Communication Studies and a specialisation in documentary filmmaking, his main objective is to explore the potential of using documentary form as a social impact and educational tool. He is the founder of DocRepublic – a documentary hub inspiring digital storytellers and public dialogue.
Ulrich Seidl Double Feature
Die letzten Männer
Ulrich Seidl, Austria, 1994, 44 min
The documentary Die letzten Männer shows Austrian men who can’t deal with the emancipation of the women in their country. The teacher Karl Schwingenschlögl therefore hopes to find a wife in the Far East. His future wife should be “clean, domestic, thrifty and obsequious”. Finding the right match should be harder than expected.
Ulrich Seidl, Austria, 2012, 120 min.
The feature film Paradies: Liebe is the first part of the trilogy Paradies: Liebe, Glaube, Hoffnung. It deals with sex tourism in Kenya. 50-year-old Teresa, single mother of a teenage daughter, travels to Kenya in search of a man. The film captures the development from hope in the beginning to final disappointment. In the end Teresa learns the bitter truth: prostitution will always be prostitution and love in this context is nothing more than a commercial good.
Are there alternatives to container villages? How do we shape neighborhoods in an immigration society?
How can we re-work, learn and teach to overcome the great challenges of the future? And how can we organize and structure accommodation of refugees that remains humane? The series We, Travelling People this evening focuses on the architecture of spaces, used both temporarily and in different contexts.
The architectural projects by Van Bo Le-Mentzel are one of these temporary living spaces, which are supposed to provide shelter for those who are affected most by the defective German refugee policy. Van Bo Le-Mentzel will present his work at bi’bak and discuss the issue of alternative living concepts in the context of migration.
The talk will be moderated by Dr. Christoph Scheurle Professor for Angewandte Kulturwissenschaften und ästhetische Praxis at the FH Dortmund
Funded by Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken through BMZ.
Christoph Scheurle is professor for Applied Cultural Studies and Aesthetic Practise at the FH Dortmund. He studied at the University of Hildesheim.
Van Bo Le-Mentzel, born 1977 in Laos, became known for the design of the "Hartz IV furniture" for self-construction at low cost. In 2015 he was a visiting professor at the College of Fine Arts Hamburg
The film Callshop Istanbul tells the stories of migrants in Istanbul, for whom the metropolis is a stopover on their way to Europe. Desillusioned supporters of the Arab Springs as well as migrants without documents from subsaharan Africa are gathering in the callshops of the city. Placed all over the city these shops provide a possibility to connect with home.
Workshop: 24.112017, 3pm-6pm
Opening with discussion: 24.11.2017, 8pm
Exhibition: 24.11.2017 from 8pm, 25.11.2017 2pm-6pm
Whenever migration and tourism take place, it is not only the people who are travelling, but also things and objects, which sometimes tell their very own stories.
Objects can represent migration history and contain detailed memories for those who had to leave all of their belongings. As souvenirs, they can act as a reminder of a holiday and while also revealing the tourists’ relation to the visited countries and their imagination of authenticity. Other objects, which are part of our daily lifes in Germany, originally “migrated” from other regions of the world.
We will talk about the mobility of objects in contexts of migration and tourism with invited experts on the topic.
In a workshop we will search for things and objects in the neighborhood, which migrated or travelled temporarily to Berlin. Later we will try to define the finds and learn about their stories through written descriptions. Several methods of creative writing will help approaching the objects and present them in an exhibition in bi’bak.
On Friday the exhibition will be opened with a discussion on the topic of travelling objects. Our guests are Dr. Claudia Tittel from the Bauhaus University Weimar who organized an exhibition with her students on the migration of things this summer and the photographer Sima Dehgani, who will present her work Ein Stück Erinnerung (A piece of memory).
Workshop leader: Maike Suhr
Funded by Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken through BMZ.
Claudia Tittel is a research assistant (Post-doc) at the Chair of History and Theory of Cultural Techniques at the Bauhaus University Weimar. She studied Art History and Cultural Studies at the Humboldt University Berlin and Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne as well as Architecture and Urban Planning at the Ecole d 'Architecture de Belleville Paris and her PhD at the Humboldt University Berlin.
The film Havarie by Philip Scheffner shows the encounter of a cruise liner with a damaged refugee boat on the Spanish coast. One of the guests of the cruise ship is observing and filming the proceedings. Scheffner uses the three and a half minutes long Youtube video and extends it to 90 minutes by underlaying it with a collage of sounds to document the uneven encounter. The concept is based on a novel by Merle Kröger.