Laura Horelli’s Namibia Today and Uutisten aika in an exhibition in Katutura, Namibia

Two works by Laura Horelli, Namibia Today (2018) and Uutisten aika (2019) are shown in an exhibition Changes in Direction. The exhibition is open until October 25 in JMAC Gallery, College of the Arts, KCAC, Katutura, Namibia.

In Namibia Today, the artist traces the GDR’s relationship to Namibia, the former colony of Germany. In the medium of a film installation, she examines the history of Namibia Today, the magazine of the Namibian liberation movement (SWAPO) that was printed in the GDR.

Uutisten aika (Newstime) is a new film with found-footage dealing with cultural differences, being an outsider, Namibia’s struggle for independence and Finland’s long-term relation with the SWAPO. On the images level, we see archive material from the Finnish broadcast station YLE. On the soundtrack we meet Ellen Ndeshi Namhila, a well-known writer and historian from Namibia, who reads from her autobiography The Price of Freedom. In the 1980s Namhila came via an academic programme to Tampere, a small town in Finland, where she studied library science. In parallel to Namhila’s personal narrative we learn through the historical film footage of the official history of those years.

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), ISFF Oberhausen (2018), IndieLisboa (2017), Kasseler Dokfest (2013) and CPH:DOX (2009). In 2011, she received the Hannah Höch Prize for Young Artists.

Laura Horelli: Changes in Direction, October 17–25 2019, JMAC Gallery, College of the Arts, KCAC, Katutura, Namibia