RECLAIMING THE CITY
A film by Stefan Rusu
Official presentation in the frame of 7th Berlin Biennale
16.06.2012 | 8 pm | KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Through a complex interweaving of field trips and interviews, archival footage,
personal narratives and interventions in public spaces, the film reveals a
number of sites of the New Berlin that uniquely exemplify the contradictions
and tensions of social memory and national identity in the late twentieth and
early twenty-first centuries. It is conceived as an investigative documentary,
and is a quest through dramatic socio-economic restructuring processes, the
physical transformation of the city following the fall of the Wall, and the impact
of gentrification processes on public space.
The film is based on city walks with Svetlana Hagen, Erik GĂ¶ngrich, Jochen
Becker, Mathias Heyden, Berndt Langer, who guide us trough Kreuzberg,
NeukĂ¶lln, and Prenzlauer Berg districts, among othersâ€”areas that are trapped
in a continuing cycle of gentrification. Along these trips we re-visit Tempelhof
Airport, haunted by the ghosts of the Cold War; and we climb to the top of
Reichstagâ€” rebranded from a symbol of defeat into a temple of democracy.
The journey continues as we visit a number of former and still existing squats,
in order to compare them with more recent initiatives and models of urban
resistance. Following this path, the film spotlights agents of changeâ€”cultural
workers and activistsâ€”and explores the political dimension of public space.
Commissioned by the 7th Berlin Biennale, and co-produced by KSAK Center for
Contemporary Art, Chisinau.
With kind support from Goethe Institute, Bucharest; ERSTE Foundation,
Vienna; and Romanian Cultural Institute, Berlin.
Stefan Rusu is a visual artist, curator, editor, and filmmaker based in Chisinau
and Bucharest. His artistic/curatorial agenda is geared towards the processes of
transformation and changes in post-socialist societies after 1989.
More info: http://www.berlinbiennale.de/blog/en/events/reclaiming-the-city-a-film-by-stefan-rusu