The right to a place: Die Gärtnerei, a cultural project for refugees and the neighborhood, initiated by Schlesische 27 and raumlabor Berlin, symbolically occupied the recultivation of an abandoned cemetery in Berlin-Neukölln with a homesteading movement. The experimental documentary film Terra Nova tracks projections of the future from 2015 and 2016 made by project participants and outside experts and seeks to align them with the actual physical transformation that took place on the abandoned cemetery.
Terra Nova – a new land as the “glimpse” of possible futures, as one initiator called it in July 2015. After the project ended in December 2016, most of the West Africans who were originally involved in it are no longer in the city. From the beginning of the project in spring of 2015 until the end of shooting in May 2017, the public perception of immigration to Germany altered radically multiple times.
Meanwhile, the abandoned cemetery evolved from an idyllic empty space to coveted Berlin building land. The aim was to capture the visionary aspects that were not yet thought through to the end in order to later compare them to reality.
Re-reading the story of the project, as the filmTerra Nova attempts to depict it, asks what will prevail in the redefinition of a terrain vague in the urban landscape. A new land, the process of planting and growing, are interpreted as a projection into the future and sign of endurance. Yet it is nothing more than a picture in the frame of a temporary cultural project that cannot resolve the fates of the individuals involved.
Terra Nova was shown in October 2016 in a multi-channel installation as part of the Soundtracks series in the Gärtnerei in Berlin-Neukölln. This version of the film contains new and unreleased material.
HD, 63 min., 2017
German, English, French, Arabic, Hausa with English subtitles
With: Sanoussi Annagui, Yesser, Sadjo Djalo, Moussa Sissoko, Issifi Adamo, Fetewei Tatekegn,Hanne Seitz, Barbara Meyer, Jan-Peter Voß, Carlos Manuel, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Sascha Bunge, Detlev Schneider, Jürgen Quandt, Christof Mayer, Matthias Lehmann, Uwe Cramer, Annett Gröschner, Beate Storni
Director, editor: Constanze Fischbeck
Assistant, dramaturge: Sascha Bunge
Artistic assistant: Carlos Manuel
Camera: Siska, Constanze Fischbeck
Sound: Malte Eiben, Max Schneider
Sound mixing: Gregor Pfeffer
Color correction: Thomas Ballschmieter
The filmTerra Nova was made with kind support from HKW. Die Gärtnerei is a project by the Internationale Jugendkunst- und Kulturhaus Schlesische 27 in cooperation with raumlaborberlin, partner: Evangelischer Friedhofsverband Berlin Stadtmitte, funded by: Federal Cultural Foundation, Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband.