Schlagwort-Archive: film director

Afrika als “Bananenrepublik mit Aidswaisen”

Im Interview mit Alexandra Smit-Stachowski, südafrikanische Journalistin aus Krefeld.

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

In Deutschland leben wenige südafrikanische Journalisten, die von der Ferne aus die Entwicklungen in ihrem Mutterland verfolgen. Eine dieser Südafrikaner ist Alexandra Smit-Stachowski, die im nordrhein-westfälischen Krefeld ihre neue Heimat gefunden hat. Ihre Eltern stammen ursprünglich aus Deutschland. Infolge eines beruflichen Auftrages am Johannesburger Flughafen im Jahr 1967, wurde der Grundstein für den neuen Lebensabschnitt in Südafrika gelegt. Eines Tages kehrte Alexandra Smit-Stachowski mit ihrer Familie nach Deutschland zurück. Am Kap arbeitete sie als TV-Redakteurin für eine Tageszeitung. Mit Berufserfahrungen bei “Independent on Saturday” oder “The Citizen” bringt sie einen praktischen Einblick in die Kap-Presselandschaft mit. Die Aufgaben der Presse Südafrikas sollten in der Erhebung von Einwänden, das Loben von Entwicklungen und die Bereitstellung von Fakten liegen. Lediglich eine handvoll Medienhäuser kontrolliere den südafrikanischen Markt, welche von unterschiedlichen politischen Agenden geprägt sind. Vor allem die Beziehungen zu den Werbekunden, die der Regierung meist ein Dorn im Auge sind, müssen gehalten werden. Smit-Stachowski wünsche sich eine Presse, die konstruktiv in ihrer Kritik und nicht zerstörerisch in ihrer Berichterstattung vorgeht. Das von der Regierung geplante Gesetz zur Presseregulierung, das „Protection of State Information Bill„, wonach Journalisten bei der Veröffentlichung von sensiblen Informationen mit bis zu 25 Jahren Haft bestraft werden können, erwidert die Journalistin mit der Notwendigkeit, dass Medien und Politik den Dialog miteinander suchen sollten. Letztendlich garantiere die Verfassung Südafrikas Weiterlesen

Fotograf Jürgen Schadeberg im Interview

Die Interpretation von Fotos liegt im Auge des Betrachters

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Jürgen Schadeberg ist der deutsche Top-Fotograf bei südafrikanischen Motiven schlechthin. Der Berliner wird nicht ohne Grund als „The Father of South African Photography” bezeichnet. Schon 1950 emigrierte er nach Südafrika, um den Kampf gegen die Apartheid künstlerisch zu begleiten. Er hatte bereits beeindruckende Ikonen wie Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu oder Miriam Makeba vor seiner Linse.  Vor allem die Vereidigung Mandela´s zum ersten schwarzen Präsidenten in Südafrika verbindet Schadeberg mit seinem eindrucksvollsten Erlebnis am Kap. Das Land verfüge mittlerweile über eine starke Werbefotografie, allerdings ist das Dokumentationsspektrum dessen weiterhin schwach aufgestellt. Mit seinen Fotowerken, etwa mit der Township-Fotoserie „Soweto in colour“, schnappt er gerne jene Momente ein, die alltägliche Begebenheiten darstellen. Die Interpretation seiner Bilder, so Schadeberg, überlässt er dem jeweiligen Betrachter. Die gegenwärtige Rückwärtsentwicklung Südafrikas erwidert der Fotograf mit dem Willen, niemals aufgeben zu dürfen. „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ dankt Jürgen Schadeberg für die Bereitstellung von Fotos, insbesondere aus der Kollektion „Tales from Jozi“.

Redaktioneller Hinweis: Es wird vorsorglich darauf hingewiesen, dass eine Verwendung des abgebildeten Bildmaterials ohne entsprechende Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber nicht gestattet ist!

© Jürgen Schadeberg is known as “The Father of South African Photography”

© Jürgen Schadeberg is known as “The Father of South African Photography”

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Mr. Jürgen Schadeberg, photographer and film director from Berlin.

Answer: Mr. Schadeberg, you are known as a very famous photographer, who left Germany for South Africa in 1950. Which reasons had motivated you to emigrate?

I wanted to leave war-torn Germany and find some adventure in the new world.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You accompanied with your arts the struggle against Apartheid. Would you have ever imagined that apartheid will be someday over?

Answer: I believed that such an inhuman system as Apartheid could not have lasted.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You captured with your camera several South African personalities like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu or Miriam Makeba. Which has been your most impressive moment in South Africa?

Answer: When Nelson Mandela was elected President and for a time the country was united.

© Mandela's return to his Cell on Robben Island 1994/ series: Mandela (Picture Source: www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Mandela's return to his Cell on Robben Island 1994/ series: Mandela (Picture Source: http://www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Why did you used monochrome pictures in regard to Mandela & Co.?

Answer: During the fifties in SA there was very little work done in colour because the technology was not advanced enough.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In some media, you are called as “The Father of South African Photography”. Is South Africa having at all a photography industry?

Answer: Yes, there is a thriving primarily commercial photography world but documentary photography is developing well.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Your photo series „Soweto in colour“ is catching day-to-day situations of the township population. Which message would you communicate to the viewers?

Answer: The message is in the eye of the beholder.

© SOWETO TODAY/ series: Soweto in colour (Picture Source: www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© SOWETO TODAY/ series: Soweto in colour (Picture Source: http://www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South Africa is making, today, some setbacks in democracy. With corruption cases, the Secrecy Bill or hate speech by famous figures like Julius Malema, is the rainbow nation coming under pressure. Are you still following the developments in South Africa and if yes, what is your mind in this issue?

Answer: Yes, it’somewhat disappointing but one doesn’t give up hope.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which further dreams would you like to realize?

Answer: To leave in peace and harmony and continue my work.

© Kids on staircase/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Kids on staircase/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: http://www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Malako Club/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Malako Club/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: http://www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Joyce Nzama & Baby/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Joyce Nzama & Baby/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: http://www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Chalsea Hotel/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Chalsea Hotel/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: http://www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Rose Boys/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

© Rose Boys/ series: Tales from Jozi (Picture Source: http://www.jurgenschadeberg.com)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Jürgen Schadeberg, photographer and film director, thank you very much for this interview!

2010sdafrika-Interview mit der Fotografin Zanele Muholi:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/exklusive-interview-with-zanele-muholi/

2010sdafrika-Interview mit dem Fotografen Louis Vorster:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/multimedia-projects-by-louis-vorster/

2010sdafrika-Interview mit dem Fotografen Roger Ballen:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/photos-with-reflection-on-the-psyche-roger-ballen-in-interview/

Review of „Gangster Project“

Pure violence as basis of interaction between people in Bonteheuwel

(Editor: Ghassan Abid, Translator German-English: Serge Aka)

Violence, drugs, unemployment, jail and shot holes in walls, such is how one imagines the daily life of a community dominated by gangsters. With the documentation „Gangster Project“, the director Teboho Edkins introduces the audience to Bonteheuwel, one of the poorest and most criminal suburbs of Cape Town.

© Outtake from documentary „Gangster Project“

In January 2010, Edkins went with a cameraman to a world, where life in prison seemed nicer than that in this dreary place. Bonteheuwel, like many places in South Africa is in the hands of several gangs. Entire streets are under the control of a certain gang. In Bonteheuwel, gangs like Wonder Kids, Stupaboys, youngsters or Junior Night Pigs reign over the territories and their residents. From childhood, the inhabitants of these suburbs realized that pure violence is the only remaining option for them to survive. With bestial film sequences, like the fight of dogs, Edkins brings the viewers in an atmosphere of another South Africa beyond TV glamor.

The production was not without risk, and despite the skepticism of his own parents, the director went forward with the film production. Edkins succeeded immensely into this underworld by means of an insider, called Thurston, who made the contacts to the different collectives of the criminal milieu possible. With Macho behaviors and verbal claims to power like “We have to fight ” (to German: Wir müssen kämpfen) or “We try to protect the area” (Wir versuchen das Gebiet zu schützen), it is clear to the outsider that the social situation in Bonteheuwel can completely overturn any time and especially unexpected.

Edkins deliberately confronts the gangster with gangster-stereotypical perceptions of western life culture, according to which a gangster is for example, someone who comes with a lot of charisma in appearance. “Gangster Project” brings the audience within these 55 minutes to a total realization, that death is omnipresent.

Edkins makes clear with its documentation that the gangster existence is connected primarily with the lack of perspectives of young people, who basically have nothing to lose. The gangsters do not look – like us – in the future, but only in the present. No one wants to be a gangster, if not has to, in order to finally survive. With drug consumption such as TIK these young people try to escape their hopeless reality – even if it’s only for few hours.

Each of these protagonists ultimately illustrates the failure of the South African government, to have this problem under control. The effects of gangs remain open of course on the role of the women, who are after reports of several NGOs in many cases victims of sexual assaults by gangs. It also remains uncertain how the relationship of the gangsters to their own relatives is; and what the parents think of the criminal careers of their offspring.

„SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ recommends “Gangster Project” as impressing, thoughtfully making and frightening film about the true life of millions of South Africans, who know nothing else other than blood, violence and the fear of death.

Absolutely worth seeing!

The German review to „Gangster Project:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/bonteheuwel-toten-oder-getotet-werden/

Interview: Film director Teboho Edkins

German-South African film director about his work and Southern Africa

(Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Teboho Edkins, born in 1980 in the United States of America, grown up in Lesotho, Germany, South Africa as well as France, is film director and following the career of his renowned father Don Edkins, one of the most famous film producers of South Africa.

In Cape Town he studied Arts and he enhanced his course of studies with post graduations in France and Germany.  Teboho Edkins documentaries are characterized by sociolcritical bias, for which he has taken several awards. In addition, he took part  at umpteen film festivals, such as FID Marseille, Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO), International Filmfestival Innsbruck, Vision du Reel Nyon, Tampere Short Film Festival or Berlinale.  Teboho Edkins is explaining to our South Africa web portal his job-related visions and documentaries on South Africa.

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German gateway to South Africa, the in Berlin living filmmaker Teboho Edkins. You concentrate in your work on documentaries with sociocritical messages on South African issues. In „Ask me I’m positive“, „True Love“, or „Looking Good“ you focused your productions on HIV. What are the reasons to debate this pandemic?

Anwer: The HIV pandemic, especially in Lesotho at the time when I made my first film, Ask me I’m positive, was a monster that could simply not be ignored, it was all prevalent but at the same time invisible –not understood. Just image- Lesotho in 2004 was a county where almost 30% of the population was infected with HIV, but only a handful of people were public about their status and three of these were the protagonists in the film. There was (and still is to an extent is) such confusion and prejudice about the disease that it was the only topic I felt I could make a film about.

What helped make the film possible was that it was part of a really exciting revolutionary series of 35 films titled, STEPS for the future, on HIV by Southern African filmmakers that had been launched in 2000.

In my other film True Love, I don’t really deal with the HIV pandemic as such, but it so happens that the character in Lesotho is HIV, so its not about him being HIV positive but rather about a person that happens to be HIV positive experiencing love and sex. (That he is HIV positive is the status quo, I am trying to show how beyond having the virus one lives a normal life- and I think this is really important to understand especially in the context of Southern Africa where so many people are infected).

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In „Gangster Project 1, you are taking a new topic with regard to crime in South Africa. Are you changing your view on other social challenges?

Answer: Well I am not really a political activist, so I make films on topics that I find relevant and interesting, and that I want to explore filmically. After the HIV films for instance I made Gangster Project 1, a sort of deconstruction of a Gangster Rap video with real gangsters and then I also made Kinshasa 2.0  a short film about democracy and the internet using second life, a virtual world …

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Your new movie will be handling with crime in South Africa, too. What’s the exactly title of your newest production, when it will be come out in Germany and what it is about?

Answer: The working title of my latest film is Gangster Project . (its sort of picks up on the idea of Gangster Project 1). Briefly it is a feature length half-fiction half documentary Gangster film shot in Cape Town, South Africa.. The basic story is a young white person wanting to make a perfect gangster film, without really knowing what gangsters are, he meets various gangsters, finally casts what he believes are the perfect gangsters for his film, hangs out with them and pretty soon finds their life uninspiring and boring, the violence they commit petty and dirty so he starts to instigate acts of violence himself (all in the spirit of making his gangster film), and so paradoxically grows closer to them and understands them as people with real fears, too frightened to leave their house…

© Teboho Edkins (third one from left) with actors of his movie "Gangster Project"

We are still in the postproduction phase of this film, so it will only be properly finished, that at is colour graded, mixed etc end of November. We will then initially launch it onto the film festival circuit, including festivals in Germany and then perhaps a television station might buy it or it might show in a small cinema here and there for a short time…. its early days yet.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How do you would like to describe the current crime situation in South Africa?

Answer: I am not an expert on crime in South Africa but the statistics all say its one of the most violent countries in the world, has one of the highest murder rates, rape rates etc.

I do understands though that the crime is very uneven (South Africa is famous as the land of contrasts no? ) meaning that you are much, much more likely to be killed or raped if you are poor and live in a township, so the crime has to be understood geo politically, within the political apartheid context of South Africa. Which is why in my film the white boy leaves his relatively safe neighbourhood to go where the violence is and is consumed by it…

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which experience has you already done with German partners in respect of film distribution. Your documentaries are targeting explicit South African problems, so the question arises if your arts getting a good feedback by German cinemas, broadcastings and spectators?

Answer: That is an interesting question. I studied at a post grad art institution in France and did a post grad film school in Berlin so even if I made films in Southern Africa I often did it through European Institutions and funding and I would like to think that if the film is good as a film, then the location is not as important as the way one goes about making the film and the filmmaking process make it interesting beyond its location.

So in fact my films have had most of their successes and distribution at European films festivals like Oberhausen Short film festival, Visions Du Reel, Leipzig, Berlinale, Marseille etc as well as European television stations like ARTE, YLE, TV2..

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Will it be imaginable to produce one day movies from genre entertainment/ science fiction, such as your South African colleague Neill Blomkamp with District 9? These movies are very successful according to turnover, but their are losing in many cases the real message to the public. Do you agree with this opinion?

Answer: Its often true that the larger a budget a film has, the more it is controlled by the producers or the studios and leaves the director less and less control. And I don’t’ think I would ever want to make a film over which I don’t have control, even (or especially) if it’s a Slasher Zombie set in a nature reserve..

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which are your next cinematic ideas and will you shoot a film with your father Don Edkins, who is counting to one of the most famous film producers from South Africa?

Answer: In fact I am currently working on my next idea, (which is partly why I am in South Africa as I write this), but would rather keep quite about if for the moment, its still very half baked. And yes working with my father Don Edkins, – he produced my first two documentary films, was really rewarding (even if it made my mother a bit irritated that is all we would talk about, and bring the stress to the dinner table) and I would love to work make more films with him.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Teboho Edkins, thank you very much for your time to this interview!

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This interview has been translated in German. For this one please click on following link:https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/filmregisseur-teboho-edkins-im-interview/

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Teboho Edkins at „Berlinale Talent Campus“:

http://www.berlinale-talentcampus.de/campus/talent/teboho-edkins/profile

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2010sdafrika-Artikel published on artsouthafrica.com:

http://www.artsouthafrica.com/?news=203