Laura Horelli’s Uutisten aika (Newstime, 2019) will be screened at Berlinale Forum Expanded, which marked the world premiere also for Horelli’s earlier works Jokinen (2016) and Namibia Today (2018). Berlinale Forum Expanded will be held from February 7–17. The screenings of Uutisten aika take place on Sunday, February 10, at 15:00, and on Monday, February 11, at 14:00.
Uutisten aika is a found footage film, which discusses cultural differences, being an outsider, the Namibian independence struggle, and Finland’s long-term ties with the southern African country.
The work consists entirely of archival material from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. YLE (The Finnish Broadcasting Corporation) programs showing everyday life are set against a voice-over by Ellen Ndeshi Namhila reading from her autobiography “The Price of Freedom”. Namhila spent seven years in Tampere as a refugee on a scholarship, studying library science. She recounts her experiences, ranging from single parenthood to observations on missionaries in Namibia and the church in Finland. Everyday scenes manifest how Namhila possibly saw the fairly homogeneous Finnish society she lived in.
News clips on the Namibian independence struggle frame the narrative. They feature SWAPO (The South West Africa People’s Organization) students, visiting politicians, and representatives of the United Nations and NGOs. Since Namibia was under the apartheid regime until 1990, archival material about the history of SWAPO can be found in countries where members of the liberation movement were in exile.
Laura Horelli, born in 1976 in Helsinki, Finland, lives and works in Berlin. Her works, mainly digital films, explore the intersection of the private and public spheres. She has received grants and scholarships and her work has been shown at numerous international exhibitions and festivals.
Berlinale Forum Expanded, February 07–17 2019, Germany
More information: Berlinale Forum Expanded