(T)here’s still a border

This publication describes a short movie created within Viadrinicum Summer School “Transsectoral UrbanLab. Participatory Urbanism Beyond Metropoleis” and screen for the first at Brandenburgisches Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (Oder) on August 31, 2019.

In her video, Elisabeth Kovtiak reflects on her previous experience of living in a borderland and crossing very fortified border between Belarus and the European Union. The author approaches crossing the border as a liminal experience, negotiating the feeling of (non-)belonging to one of the sides.

Despite the discussions that Słubice and Frankfurt (Oder) should be approached as one city, the author finds the presence and influence of the invisible border exhausting. The exhaustion is caused by the need to readapt all the time. The author finds that the River Oder is not a mere natural border between Poland and Germany: it demarcates the boundary between East and West, just like it earlier divided Slavic and Germanic tribes. This boundary inspires the author to reflect on another frontier that is situated 1000 km to the West – in Belarus.

For Elisabeth, who is a researcher, this video is an opportunity to shift from a scholarly understanding of borderland theory to a more personal take. This video essay is a reflection of a person who is constantly crossing the border for personal and professional reasons — an attempt to discover how it influences one’s personality.

Movie’s info:
Name: (T)here’s still a border
Format: Reflective video essay
Duration: 5:15
Language: English (w/ english subtitles)

Acknowledgements:
Many thanks to the DocLab tutors Anke Riester and Malte Proeckl – your guidance and support meant so much to me. I am very grateful to Viadrinum organizers Stefan Henkel and Kirill Repin. If it wouldn’t be for you the whole thing simply would not happen.

Very special thanks to Constanta Dohotaru, Anna Ganko, Lisa Korneichuk, Emika Otsuka for your assistance in filming. And finally, many thanks to everyone in the DocLab for the inspiring and fruitful discussions we had and for your feedbacks.

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