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Collaborative Projects with Youngs

Project What are we struggling for? .Next Project...
I was invited to Berlin for a one-week film laboratory on Jan 3, 2008.
Winter Academy Berlin is a kind of workshop in Lichtenberg where Theather Parkau invites visual and performing artists. The aim of the workshop is to create a movie or a show together with a group of kids and teenagers in a week. I was invited to Berlin Winter Academy for a movie lab with teenagers aged between 13 and 15. Lab went onfor a week. The concept of the lab was to ask the question "what would you fight for?" both to ourselves and people
 we meet on the street. Everything would be filmed. We planned to make up a text out of these interviews and ask from a musician to make up a hiphop song from our text. And then we would make a music video synchronizing the song.

Day 1
We talked about what we would fight for. We discussed how to use the camera, where to focus when shooting, how to make the interviews for about 1 and a half hours. Then we started working just away. We took the tram to Warschauer. There we started interviewing people. We walked up to Schlessichertor shooting graffitis that might help us when making the video. Meanwhile we asked each other these questions, and taped it. As children learned that everything could be taped, that everything could be an ingredient in our movie, everyone started taping everything from buildings, to roads, to the train that passed from the bridge above us. Everyone was relaxed after a few interviews. When we started making interviews on life and difficulties in a Turkish doner house, now everyone put aside their shyness and started shooting and asking question with 3-4 cameras at the same time. As it become a bit dark, we decided to go back. All along the road we talked about what kind of a text we could form with our experiences today.

Day 2
After making up our daily plan, we hit the road to get to the ice rink. I was sick, I felt that I had a fever. But it was my second day and the lab was just 5 days. I did not have time to rest. Feeling cold, I just stood and watched the team making interviews. By now everyone was an expert. After our meal in DB, we started studying on making up a text, iMovie and basics of simple film editing program. One day before the lab started I taught my assistants with Performing Arts background, Carolin and Nicole, how to edit movies. They helped the group whenever I could not reach everyone. On Tuesday, right after the lab was over, I went to the Doctor and I learned that my body temperature of 38.8 degrees. I took my meds and slept right away.

Day 3
I was still sick. We did not go out to shoot. We had 12 hours of tapes and many interviews. Maybe 25 or 30 ones. All morning, I was running between the desks helping out with the edits. In the afternoon, our musician Pebert came. Pebert is a cute guy that has already made many workshops with kids and teenagers before. He connected with the kids right away and helped them to make up a text that would reflect their own realities. Other than Soren, everyone was a bit ashamed to share their texts. But everyone was different and everyone's struggle was different. How would it be possible to make up one uniform song from all these different texts? We are very curious.
Day 4 Thursday
We go on with the editing. At lunch time the group attended the conference organized by Wunderkammer on internet and web. I continued cleansing some of the images that are not good in the tapes. Kids that finished audio records go on with film edits. Matthew and Quentin finished their first videos. So did Mimi. and Dean. In the afternoon Pebert came and he recorded everyone's voice one by one. Today I will be able to work in Rathaus Gallery which will be our study room from now on. I am working till 11 pm.
Day 5 Friday
We go on editing. Other than the music video, we do a few documentations too. The interviews that we made, our short trips around the city.. there are many things in this video. Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone makes up an individual video. Matthew is very hardworking, he does not even move when working. He works the most. Judith and Mimi works hard too. Soren focuses more on the text. His text formed largest part of the music. Quentin mostly prefers to work with Matthew. Dean finished his second video today. So did Matthew. Judith's second documentation is also finished. The ones that are done with the film, focuses on our one-week diary made up of photos and texts. This way, they had to learn the INDESIGN program one way or another. Today, for the first time, I was not sick, I got permission to stay in the lab till 7. I was done by 5:30. Including burning the dvd for the team. Yes, everything is on time. Our video is nice too.
Day 6 Saturday
I slept for an hour and came back to the lab. But I'm fine. We have a presentation in the afternoon. The presentation was successful. It was obvious that everyone was proud of what they have done. Our second presentation was even better. Because everyone was expressing themselves better, standing next to the film that they have made. At night, we joined the party as a team. I danced till 1:30. I just slept for an hour but I was motivated by my team and we kept dancing. Even Quentin danced. Tonight when I was leaving, I realized how I got used to their presence. Would I see them once again? When they grow up and choose visual arts, would they call me? I told all of them to call me whenever they needed. And it was over. I will keep on experiencing new things somewhere else in one week. In spite of all the difficulties and conflicts, Ciao Winter Academy!
Yes, our concept was "struggling" but no one asked me, what I was struggling for, this week? I was struggling as my assistants did not know anything about editing. Once in a while, I struggled as my assistant Carolin took children away from their desks claiming that they could not focus, and I had to make up for their missing time. I struggled about taking and leaving the keys of Rathaus Keller, making us lose 40 minutes everyday. And I struggled to understand the people not trusting us to give us a key, and this key making us lose time that we do not have. Why was trust missing here? When I was making workshops in museums of many countries, I could easily work next to pieces of art worth million euros. And how couldn't they trust me? I really struggled hard to understand this. I also struggled to understand that as an answer, they told me there were many computers in the building, that could be stolen. How could that happen? actually, I had 2 laptops and 3 cameras in the building. They could be stolen more easily as they were more mobile. And moreover, my stuff was not even insured. I struggled to understand how they could not take the risk if I could. When I was sick on Tuesday, the answer that took around 15 hours to get  when I sent a text to one of the organizers.. What if I could not catch the Doctor, what if I could not get well in 2 days.. I also struggled to understand no one called to ask how I was when I was sick.
But at most, I struggled to understand why I could not stay and work late in the room of Rathaus where we worked. If there is work to do, there could not be limits to how much you could work, you work till the job is done. Especially when making a movie, no one can set a time limit of 10:00  to 17:00 and make up a successful lab. And this is what I struggled most about. If video artists are invited, there should have been some people who know about video art. Because I had a hard time trying to make them understand that it would take to much time to finish our works. I struggled very hard because of their passive attitude although I explained this in the first meeting in Berling and the second meeting in Vienna and also all along the lab in Berlin. The only thing that I did not struggle about was the time spent with one of my assistants Nikole and my crew Matthew, Dean, Judith, Mimi, Quentin and Soren. And of course Pebert.

Winter Academy labour 6
6 January-12 JAnuary 2008 Berlin

Mathew, Dean, Judith, Mimi, Qentin, Soren
Assistants: Nicole, Caroline
Musician : Pebert