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panel discussion
Far Near Distance
Regimes of Representation
Free admission
Entfernte Nähe
To what extent can representation influence perception by omissions, accentuation and stereotyping? Institutions and hegemonic social classes establish frames and thereby determine the form, properties and motifs that render the world’s cultures visible. They define the discursive space within which the “Other” is allowed and supposed to position itself. In addition, the panel will examine the strategies used by filmmakers as well as the relationship between their strategies and the environment and society under focus. These questions will be considered in relation to examples taken from film, video and the media in general.


John Akomfrah is a filmmaker and co-founder of the Black Audio Film Collective. In 1986 he made his name with the film Handsworth Songs, which takes a critical look at racism and the riots in Great Britain in the 1980s. In 1998, he directed Speak Like A Child. He has given lectures on “black” British cinema at many institutions and universities such as the California Institute of Arts, the Art College of Chicago, the Tisch School of Art, New York and the London Institute. His contributions deal with film theory and aesthetics.

Hito Steyerl, film critic and filmmaker, studied documentary film and film theory at the Academy of Visual Arts, Tokyo, and the Münchner Film- und Fernsehhochschule. She now lives in Berlin where she teaches as a guest professor at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. Her contributions and film reviews primarily deal with globalisation, racism and post-colonialism.
She is also active in the Bewegung für Migrantinnen. She is currently working on a new project entitled Europe’s Dream. Her films:
Germany and Identity, 1994
Land of Smiles, 1996
Babenhausen, 1997
The Empty Centre, 1998.

Dorothee Wenner has been living in Berlin since 1988. She is a freelance filmmaker and writes regularly for the taz, Die Zeit and the Berliner Zeitung newspapers, alongside other publications. Since 1990, she has been a member of the selection committee of the International Forum of New Cinema at the Berlin Film Festival.
Films (selection):
Die Polen vom Potsdamer Platz, 1998
Ladies Special - Der Frauenzug von Bombay, 1999
Happy End in Switzerland, 2001
Unser Ausland - 10 Experten aus 10 Ländern, 2002.
See also