In July 2020 we started filming for our project “Finding Europe”. Bille and Georgios (a German-Greek couple) took us to Hanioti, a double-faced holiday village in the south of Thessaloniki. Hanioti has two faces because it contains two European realities. The wealthy holidaymakers frolic along the coastline of the village. In the small houses in the mountains above the village, the staff of the vacation dream often lives in poverty. Those who are “lucky” work hard enough for a meager wage during the summer months, so that there is enough money for food, wood and a few little dreams for the cold, wet winter. Those who are unlucky fall by the wayside.
Georgios and Bille were our guides and translators. Georgios conducted three of five long interviews with people from the region himself. Bille also became a set photographer. Most of the pictures in the gallery below are from her.
Corona hit Hanioti hard. The number of visitors collapsed. Many “villagers” were now unable to find work in the hotels along the beautiful blue sea. The Greek state can hardly help. The Union’s austerity policy has paralyzed the country and has infuriated the Greeks. “Where is Europe when it is needed?” our interview partners kept asking us.
And yet there were tentative dreams of another Europe based on solidarity that might set out to resolve social inequalities within and between countries more resolutely. These parts of the interviews are perhaps the most touching.
We will go south a second time in the next few weeks. This time to Athens, where we want to explore the urban side of the country. Then we will turn to the next EU country, Lithuania.
The corona crisis has of course not left us without a trace. Like hundreds of thousands of self-employed artists and solo self-employed, our work relies on public and contact. But while we somehow muddled through luck and reserves, the contact restrictions in the absence of adequate (state) help posed and still pose an existential threat to many other people in the cultural and art field. For example, for the small Berlin publisher Periplaneta and its employees and authors.
So we all put our involuntary free time together in a solidarity project. We wrote the publisher’s authors and asked them to read from their books at home and filming themselves using their smartphones – to get enough material for an advertising clip. And that worked. You can read more about the story on the publisher’s website.
By the way, Periplaneta made it through the crisis. Not because of the video, but maybe also because of the video.
Our participatory documentary „One Word“ on climate change in the Marshall Islands was selected yesterday for the Tokyo edition of this year’s Liftoff festivals, which of course makes us extremely proud. For a whole week, many thousands of festival goers and representatives of the film business will see our film and that is good, because it is in the Marshallese concern to be heard in front of the world.
The European house was once built by heads of state and governments and was initially primarily an economic project in the interest of a peace order. It was not the European people who demanded and fought for Europe, but the rather moved in the Union like tenants in a house that others built for them. Today, the European house is in need of renovation. Nationalists and separatists threaten it. Britain will leave the EU. People in other countries and regions are also campaigning for the exit.
Many people wrote to us and asked when they could finally watch “One Word” in cinema. The film is still in its festival time. We are planning the cinema premiere for the beginning of November 2020 as a double premiere in Germany and on the Marshall Islands. Afterwards, “One Word” will be shown in selected cinemas in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, distributed by Studio Kalliope. If you want, subscribe to our newsletter. We will send the announcement in good time.
If you want to show “One Word” anywhere in the world at an event or at your school or university, write to us and we will find a way. You are also welcome to call your local cinema’s attention to the film.
The music of our film One Word comes from pretty much from everywhere in the world, including bands like “Radiohead” and “Jethro Tull”. But of course there is also music from the Marshall Islands in One Word. The young guys in the video are also in the film. Christina Schulze met them spontaneously on the island of Ebeye when she had nothing else with her than a small handheld camera with a moderate automatic focus, but with a very good microphone. When we first heard this material in the editing room, we were completely blown away. Do you feel the same?
The last verse is: “Men eo jej aikuiji ej kejatdridrik”. It means: “What we need is hope.”
(English below) (Castellano abajo)Die Musik unseres Filmes „One Word“ stammt so ziemlich von überall her auf dem Globus, darunter Bands wie „Radiohead“ und „Jethro Tull“. Aber natürlich gibt es in „One Word“ auch Musik von den Marshall Islands. Die Jungs im Video sind auch im Film dabei. Christina Schulze hat sie spontan auf der Insel Ebeye getroffen, als sie gerade nichts Anderes dabei hatte, als eine kleine Handkamera mit einer mäßigen Schärfeautomatik, aber mit einem sehr gutem Mikrofon. Als wir dieses Material das erste Mal im Schnitt hörten, hat es uns völlig umgehauen. Geht es euch auch so?The music of our film "One Word" comes from pretty much from everywhere in the world, including bands like "Radiohead" and "Jethro Tull". But of course there is also music from the Marshall Islands in “One Word”. The young guys in the video are also in the film. Christina Schulze met them spontaneously on the island of Ebeye when she had nothing else with her than a small handheld camera with a moderate automatic focus, but with a very good microphone. When we first heard this material in the editing room, we were completely blown away. Do you feel the same?La música de nuestro documental "One Word" proviene prácticamente de todo el mundo, incluidas bandas como "Radiohead" y "Jethro Tull". Pero, por supuesto, también hay música de las Islas Marshall en "One Word". Los chicos jóvenes en el video también están en la película. Christina Schulze los conoció espontáneamente en la isla Ebeye cuando no tenía nada más que una pequeña cámara de mano con un enfoque automático moderado, pero con un micrófono muy bueno. Cuando escuchamos este material por primera vez en la sala de edición, nos quedamos más que impresionados,nos encantó. ¿Sientes lo mismo? English: https://one-word-the-movie.com/ Deutsch: https://www.kameradisten.org/one-word/ Castellano: https://www.kameradisten.org/es/one-word/
As intended a cinema film has now emerged from our participatory project “withstanding the waves” about the impacts of climate change in the Pacific. We’re still working on some color corrections and some changes to the animated credits. But in principle we are through.
After we had developed the basic dramaturgy of the film with our participants on Majuro, it took us another year before the film was finished. Above all, this was due to the incredible amount of material that we brought back to Germany from the many workshops on the Marshall Islands. Almost a year of participatory filming gave us around 420 hours of material that we viewed and categorized from January 2019 until well into May. In addition, our participants from the RMI still sent us even further material via cloud.
The Building Bridges Festival took place on July 26-28, 2019 at Oranienplatz in Berlin. The “O-Platz”, as the people in Berlin call it, has always been a meeting place and it is a reference point for the refugee movement. Fights for the rights of refugees were taken here into a public space and some of them were won here.
This time the “O-Platz” was a festival location where women * opened the feminist perspective on “refugee issues” and led the discourse on how to build an intersectional feminism. The following video was created as part of our 140 gram concept on the sidelines of the conference with the support of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
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