Laura Horelli’s new video Namibia Today (2018) will have its World Premiere at Berlinale Forum Expanded. The 13th Forum Expanded Programme opens at the Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg on February 14 under the title “A Mechanism Capable of Changing Itself”. The 68th International Film Festival Berlin – Berlinale takes place from February 15–25.
In Namibia Today, seven people wait in an underground station below Karl-Marx-Allee in former East Berlin. Billboards line the walls, each combining a front page of “Namibia Today” with collaged material about the journal’s history in the GDR. “Namibia Today” was a journal of the Namibian liberation movement, which was printed and distributed by East Germany during times of military confrontation with South Africa. SWAPO’s (South West Africa People’s Organisation) editorial board was forced to operate from exile in Angola and without the ideologically motivated help of the GDR, the mass production of the periodical (1980–1985) would not have been possible.
Rushing underground trains pick up the slow moving shot between the billboards and the protagonists, between fragments of image and speech. The participants, both Namibians with a past in the GDR and former East Germans with a connection to the liberation movement SWAPO, stand still in the movement. The present and the past, different locations, many unspokens and unknowns come together in the circular movement of the camera on the underground platform.
Laura Horelli (b. 1976, Helsinki) lives in Berlin and works with experimental documentary video. She is interested in representations and mediations of the past taking on a microhistorical approach. Her works have been exhibited at Venice Biennale (2001, 2009), Manifesta 5, (2004), ARS 11, Kiasma (2001, 2011), Galerie Barbara Weiss (2003, 2007, 2011) and Badischer Kunstverein (2014). She has participated in film festivals like Berlinale Forum Expanded (2017, 2018), IndieLisboa (2017), Kasseler Dokfest (2013) and CPH:DOX (2009). In 2011, she received the Hannah Höch Prize for Young Artists.
Berlinale Forum Expanded, 15.–25.2.2018
More information: Berlinale Forum Expanded