Namibia Today 2018

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 associative material. “Namibia Today” was a journal of the Namibian liberation movement, which was printed and distributed by the GDR 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 with their memories and diverse ways of storytelling stand still in the movement.

UHD video, 21 min, 16:9, colour, sound, loop or linear version

German, English (English or Portuguese subtitles available)

Installation: Projection screen 403 x 227 cm, loudspeakers, dark grey walls, carpet, seats

Cast: Joe Ashipala, Uwe Jaenicke, Felix Kaluwapa, Reinhold Mupupa, Ilona and Hans-Georg Schleicher, Simon Tjimbawe

Camera: Anne Misselwitz

Sound, Dolly Grip: Manja Ebert

Editing, Dramaturgical Advice: Janina Herhoffer

Recording Engineers: Ilja Köster, Simon Tjimbawe

Sound Design: Jochen Jezussek

Colourist: Patrik Metzger

Subtitles: Subtext Berlin

Production Support: Jochen Becker, Lilian Engelmann, Eva Hertzsch, Adam Page, Vincent Schier

The billboard series Namibia Today is part of Art in the Underground 2016/17: The Middle in Nowhere, an art competition by neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst in cooperation with Amt für Weiterbildung und Kultur Marzahn-Hellersdorf, financed by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa – Kunst im Stadtraum. Supported by: BVG, Berliner Fenster, Wall, Lotto-Stiftung

Produced with the support of Kone Foundation and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

World Premiere: 68. Berlinale, Forum Expanded

Installation photograph: Angela Andersson