Still aus: Aus westlichen Richtungen, Juliane Henrich, 2016
Filmprogramm kuratiert von Florian Wüst

By the second half of the 20th century industrial development and urbanization had provided a certain level of prosperity even for the working classes. With the dismantling of the welfare state – initiated in Germany by the so-called Agenda 2010 reforms – the social question has once again come to the fore within the capitalist system. Cities are managed like companies, public property is being privatized, neighbourhoods are being broken apart by commercial interests. These tendencies, however, are being countered by a growing array of tenant, garden and community initiatives and their demands for the “right to the city”. For it’s the residents that provide a city’s quality of life. The film programme Nicht mehr, noch nicht [No more, not yet] takes a closer look at the current and future conditions of co-inhabitance in the city and countryside from a variety of perspectives and seeks to assess the appearance and reality of societal processes. By looking back at the housing struggles and urban development concepts of the 1960s, 70s and 80s in both East and West, and the various migration movements that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall, a historical arc takes shape that nevertheless demonstrates that the urban fabric has the potential to take on the challenges of a society that continues to grow both more individualistic and more diverse. The selection of short films and full-length documentary and feature films curated by Florian Wüst will be complemented by the contributions of guests. Janina Kriszio and Cornelia Lund will showcase the unique artistic and activist methods that have been used to wage urban political struggle from the bottom up in the city of Hamburg over the last few decades. Under the title Wir geben Ihrer Zukunft ein Zuhause [Giving Your Future a Home], Gerhard Wissner Ventura shows a selection of short films on the subject of the city that were featured at the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival – a long-term partner of Werkleitz in the framework of the A38 grant.

 

demo_lition © Doro Carl, Claudia Reiche
1.10. 18:00 to 31.10. 22:00 Schleifweg 6
demo_lition

Im Zuge städtebaulicher Nachverdichtung und Gentrifizierung bieten zahlreiche Abrisse ein Spektakel präziser Zerstörung, von dem sich Schaulustige oft kaum losreißen können. Kollektiver Protest entsteht als Ausnahme. Stattdessen: Bewunderung für die unwahrscheinliche Kraft der Abrissgeräte oder gebanntes Entsetzen vor dem Anblick des Rückbaus. Der Experimentalfilm aus dokumentarischem Material von verschiedenen Baustellen und Interviews mit Betroffenen konstruiert einen neuen visuellen Raum, der mit einem Hörraum verschiedener analytischer und emotionaler Äußerungen in eine fragile Konstellation gebracht wird. Den Gegenstand des Films bildet die ungewisse Zone zwischen den spektakulären und den unanschaulichen Seiten des Kapitalismus.

22.10. 17:00 Festivalzentrum
Terrible Houses in Danger

As one of the most popular and at the same time most expensive cities in Germany, Hamburg is no exception when it comes to the struggle for urban living space. The discussion around the “Right to the City” movement has been driven by a broad range of initiatives and participants who organize political activities with great creative and aesthetic ingenuity. The short film programme Terrible Houses in Danger is dedicated to this approach, which in Hamburg has a long tradition. The initial stage of the battle for housing in the 1970s was shaped in large part by the video activists from the Medienpädagogik Zentrum Hamburg (Media Educational Centre or MPZ). The title Terrible Houses in Danger was taken from a well-known video produced by MPZ in 1985, which lent a powerful voice to the building occupations of the Hafenstraße. The portrayal of this prominent house occupation is complemented by shorter films and videos from the last few years that present different actors and the methods they use in their urban, grassroots political struggles – from ironic instructions on how to decrease the value of one’s neighbourhood in Abwertungskit, to the music video “Echohäuser-Song” made during the struggle for the Esso houses, to the crowdfunding trailer buy buy st. pauli, to Doro Carl’s and Claudia Reiche’s documentary essay Bodenerhebungen (Grounds Rising) about the conversion of a large brewery and railyard in Altona.

Introduction and moderation: Janina Kriszio, Cornelia Lund
With special guests: Doro Carl, Claudia Reiche

Abgefärbt, Fabian Fess, Gerrit Pawliczak, Kurt Pöschl, 2017
22.10. 20:00 Festivalzentrum
Initiativen im urbanen Raum

Freiimfelde, a district of the city of Halle, is in a state of transformation. Abandoned for years, neglected and forgotten, the area has become an experimental field for new approaches to city development. Halle was once the city with the most abandoned buildings in all of Germany. This was especially the case of Freiimfelde, which is separated from the city centre by the main train station. In 2012 the urban design project Freiraumgalerie began creatively utilizing empty buildings and transforming Freiimfelde into an urban canvas by means of graffiti and street art. The activities of local and international artists generated new public awareness for the district. Four years later the preconditions for long-term development seem to be in place, as manifested in the conversion of an empty lot into a public park by dedicated residents. The documentary film Abgefärbt allows the individuals involved to speak for themselves and explores the possibilities and limitations of resident participation in light of the current debate around forms of temporary usage, redevelopment and the gentrification of urban residential and public spaces. Abgefärbt will be screened for the first time for an audience as part of the film series Nicht mehr, noch nicht and will also be shown as part of the festival exhibition.

Introduction and moderation: Daniel Herrmann, Florian Wüst
With special guests: Fabian Fess, Gerrit Pawliczak
Followed by a public discussion with protagonists of the film and urban political actors from other districts of Halle

24.10. 20:00 Festivalzentrum
Wir geben Ihrer Zukunft ein Zuhause

The core of the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival are the some 30 short film compilations that are selected and curated by a six-person team every year from the approximately 2000 works submitted. Traditionally the festival focuses on such themes as architecture, city development and urbanity, as is reflected in such programme titles as Wohnen im Quadrat or StadtPlan: Trümmer der Zukunft. For the Werkleitz Festival 2017, the last ten years of the Kassel festival archive were combed through for works on the subject of the city, housing and community. The result is the short film programme Wir geben Ihrer Zukunft ein Zuhause (Giving Your Future a Home), the title of which was borrowed from an advertising slogan devised in West Germany in the 1970s, which is still used by all regional offices of the LBS bank. A seemingly individual dream is reduced here to a common denominator. The international works featured in the programme examine the housing and living spaces of human beings. The films ask how the notions and realities of life in the urban setting are changing. Collective and individual longings are explored, the faith in the future harboured by architects and the functional mechanisms of capitalism are critically examined and the question is raised whether proven models shouldn’t simply be copied.

Introduction: Gerhard Wissner

27.10. 19:00 Zazie Kino&Bar
Preis des Wohnens

The issue of affordable housing is back. Rising rent prices and expensive new construction projects have made affordable apartments a rarity in big cities. The free market economy has consistently failed to solve the problem of housing for the less well-off. In the past only government investment, especially in the form of construction programmes for subsidized apartments, has proven capable of providing adequate housing for all income levels. Yet the model for the construction of subsidized apartments introduced in West Germany in 1950 was characterized by one element that distinguished it from both the centrally planned economies of East Germany and other socialist states and the programmes of the country’s western European neighbours: the status “subsidized apartment” was and is temporary. After a set period of time the apartments built with public funds become private property. This is one reason why the number of subsidized apartments in Germany is decreasing despite new construction and why renters are confronted with massive rent increases as soon as their apartments lose their subsidized status. In the context of the long history of policies of more or less subsidized housing in Europe, this international selection of historical and contemporary short films explores the issue of housing as one of the most basic human needs and the effects of a primarily profit-based approach to city and regional planning.

Introduction: Florian Wüst

Unser kurzes Leben, Lothar Warneke, DDR 1981
27.10. 21:00 Zazie Kino&Bar
Unser kurzes Leben

Produced by the state-owned East German DEFA studios, Unser kurzes Leben (Our Short Life) is a film adaptation of the unfinished autobiographical novel Franziska Linkerhand by Brigitte Reimann, which appeared in 1974 after the author’s death. The young, ambitious architect Franziska (Simone Frost) moves to a small city with great enthusiasm as she is eager to break away from her former professor and leave behind her failed marriage. She is assigned to the local state-run architectural agency where she is confronted with colleagues that have long since capitulated to the practical necessities of the socialist status quo. Franziska, however, would like to rethink the strict separation of residential, work and leisure spaces – as embodied in a new concrete construction being built on the edge of the city – and initiates a competition for the reconstruction of the old city centre. In the dump truck driver Trojanovicz (Gottfried Richter) she finds new love, but the relationship founders due to his conformist attitude. The collaboration with her new supervisor (Hermann Beyer), on the other hand, takes a positive turn after some initial difficulties. Following her probationary year Franziska decides to stay in the provincial city. Lothar Warneke’s film offers an impressively realistic view of the interior life of East Germany in the early 1980s.

Lothar Warneke, DDR 1981, 113 min
Introduction: Florian Wüst

Das Fremde, Detlef Gumm, Hans-Georg Ullrich, DE 1994
31.10. 20:00 Operncafé
Das Fremde

Co-produced by the German broadcaster WDR, the documentary film Das Fremde examines different experiences of migration, return and alienation in one’s native country in the particular historical situation of the eastern regions of newly reunified Germany. Jean-Jerome Chico-Kaleu Mujemba, economics professor from Zaire, visits schools in the state of Brandenburg in order to help combat prejudices among children, many of whom have had little or no contact with people with dark skin. The Wentzel brothers are restoring what was once their family estate in Teutschenthal near the city of Halle, while the young Count of Solms is preparing to relocate his father from Namibia to Baruth Castle. A real estate agent from the Sauerland region intends to buy land in order to build holiday apartments for West German investors. In Greifswald a teacher from Hamburg of Turkish descent teaches unemployed engineers. Youth living near what was once the border region between west and east complain about the living conditions of their native region, which they don’t want to leave. The story that connects the film’s different elements is told by the doctor Gabriela Willbold, who was born in the city of Cottbus to an African father and German mother. She speaks of her life with a different skin color in both the former East Germany and the newly reunified republic.

Detlef Gumm, Hans-Georg Ullrich, DE 1994, 86 min
Introduction and moderation: Daniel Herrmann, Florian Wüst
With special guests: Detlef Gumm, Hans-Georg Ullrich, Gabriela Willbold

3.11. 19:00 Zazie Kino&Bar
Stadtkörper

“Cities are always idiosyncratic” writes the sociologist Armin Nassehi in the edition of Stadt. Ansichten published in the Kursbuch series in June 2017. In cities things convene that don’t belong together. Whether we like it or not. Diversity and multiplicity – not as a normative concept but as a consequence of a place where everything happens simultaneously and overlaps, where not just dissent but indifference can prevail: in cities it’s above all foreign entities that come together. Urbanity stands for a practice that through the interchange of distinct elements or by maintaining a distance based on mutual recognition extraordinary forms of life and culture emerge and co-exist alongside one another. The necessarily conflictual dynamic inherent to the nature of urbanity, as described by Nassehi, has always stood in contrast to the attempt to generate unity – through controls, planning, etc. This tension, which has especially influenced societal development in the 20th century, is the focus of the short film programme Stadtkörper (Urban Bodies). Three artistic works are presented that utilize essayistic and performative techniques to explore, imaginatively expand or intervene in the fractal spaces of the city. The concept of the body serves as a metaphor to describe urbanity as an organic construct that must be nurtured and maintained and that consistently defies a purely rational order.

Introduction and moderation: Florian Wüst
With special guest: Juliane Henrich

Das Gegenteil von Grau, Matthias Coers, DE 2017
3.11. 21:00 Zazie Kino&Bar
Das Gegenteil von Grau

Abandoned properties, empty buildings, anonymity, stagnation. Not everyone who lives between the cities of Dortmund and Duisburg is willing to accept these conditions. On the contrary. More and more people who are confronted with the eternal local restructuring of the Ruhr region are discovering opportunities for themselves and intervening in everyday urban life. Living rooms in the middle of the street, neighbourhood shops, renter initiatives, repair cafés, refugee kitchens and community gardens are being born in the niches of various cities – independent, autonomous and collective. Das Gegenteil von Grau (The Opposite of Gray) is the new documentary film by Matthias Coers, director of MietrebellenWiderstand gegen den Ausverkauf der Stadt (2014). Made in collaboration with the network “Recht auf Stadt – Ruhr”, the work portrays different groups who are living out practical utopias and creating independent spaces as they struggle for a solidary and ecological form of co-inhabitance in the urban fabric.

Matthias Coers, DE 2017, 90 min
Introduction and moderation: Florian Wüst
With special guest: Matthias Coers