Programme

Focus

About Germany

»THERE ARE CERTAIN IMAGES – POSSESSING THEM GIVES YOU POWER.« BELIT SAG

ABOUT GERMANY presents itself as an open artistic and political plea for diversity. Identity and visibility, belonging and empowerment are key concepts of this programme, created out of the reflections of people for whom allowing many voices to be heard in our society is a fundamental priority, including: Cana Bilir-Meier, Alex Gerbaulet, Nanna Heidenreich, Janine Jembere, Karin Michalski, Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, Irit Neidhardt, Aurora Rodonò, belit sağ, Britta Wandaogo and Liwaa Yazji.
So, what about democracy in Germany? Aggregate takes a rational and perceptive approach, putting together scenes from our current political and media day-to-day life. Which forms of media-based memory cultures affect us? What is remembered, who speaks, who is addressed? Cana Bilir-Meier and belit sağ incorporate images from private collections into their artistic work, which they place subtly at the centre of their narrative. This gives a voice to those who have gone virtually unheard in public up to now – a resisting and strong voice.
The official handling of the murders of the NSU cell, in which the victims themselves were long treated as suspects by the investigators, has featured a glaring lack of visibility and transparency. For the victims of these crimes, the constitutional process and the media debate have brought no justice. SPOTS take a focused approach in formulating thoughts on the contextual environment in which the ten murders committed by the NSU against our fellow citizens were made possible, and address the blind spots in the investigation of the NSU complex.
The shift to the right in the political debates, the criminalisation of refugees, the paternalistic practice towards people with a migrant background – these are all social tendencies that didn’t simply emerge with the election successes of the new right-wing parties. Political scientist Aladin El-Mafaalani argues that the discourse on integration and discrimination is currently intensifying, precisely because a wide range of social relations have improved. ABOUT GERMANY shows the lines of development and structures of discrimination in German society that have evolved over decades, but also political interventions which have succeeded in overcoming exclusion. For example, the legendary labour dispute fought by women migrant workers for »one more Mark« at automotive supplier Pierburg. Or the drastic act of self-empowerment by Semra Ertan, who burned herself to death in 1982 to highlight racism in Germany.
In Passing Drama, Angela Melitopoulos locates the beginning of the flight of refugees as a mass phenomenon at the end of the First World War. The traumas created from that point continue to have an effect today. The word »Passing« refers to both passing time and a subject moving in a space. In most cases, migration routes and borders do not follow clear lines: they are intertwined with historical and social links. In light of this complex reality, national unity is nothing more than a mere construct. Attempts to impose this construct via force can ultimately only be destined to fail.
_Betty Schiel

NL
2017
Experimental
2’

A short video essay on randomness, storytelling and disrupted stories of NSU victims. e video is part of the SPOTS […]

Aggregate

Marie Wilke

DE
2018
Documentary
92’

Fragments from a country undergoing evolution: Aggregate gathers observations from Germany in 2016 and 2017. SPD parliamentarians in a training […]

Ayhan and Me

belit sağ

TR / NL
2016
Experimental
15’

An incisive video-essay explicitly discusses its own production and censorship, which examines the power of images, the roles and responsibilities […]

DE
1994/2017
Web video
56’

A young woman describes her reaction to the arson attack in Mölln in the early 90ies.

Best court ever

Cana Bilir-Meier

AT / DE
2017
Short film
3’

Abducted cleaning lady, abducted daughter or threatened girlfriend of a German man: on racist stereotypes in German TV. The video […]

Bruderland ist abgebrannt

Angelika Nguyen

DE
1991
Documentary
28’

Bruderland ist abgebrannt (Brotherland has burnt down) is dedicated to the fate of Vietnamese contract workers in the GDR whose […]

Deep Insomnia

Shabnam Azar

DE
2016
Experimental Documentary
7’

On the way back, police at Cologne airport told the driver »You’re not allowed to stop here. Leave right away.« […]

US
1994
Documentary
64’

Made up of hundreds of street interviews done in Berlin two years after the Reunification, Former East/Former West is a […]

DE
2017
Web video
3’

After the NSU claimed responsibility for the crimes in 2011, the German state intelligence agency shredded numerous files of Secret […]

DE
2008/2017
Web video
1’

»I don’t feel like I’m Turkish anymore, actually, but I have to …«

DE
2015
Experimental
5’

Whose eyes look at the images captured by a security camera? In her video work, Azar analyses and re-enacts the […]

DE
2017
Web video
1’

Examining the echoes of crime scenes like a stethoscope.