Progress in the Valley of the People Who Don't Know (2019) Poster

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30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain the legacy of the German Democratic Republic is at stake in the ruins of the 'Progress' factory. Once producing harvester machinery the factory grounds today house asylum seekers who are confronted by weekly racist demonstrations in East Germany. Former factory workers of 'Progress' help Syrian refugees with their German Integration Course. What starts with a German language lesson in the 'Progress' ruin ends with classes of political education and a GDR military camp. Driven by the personal entanglement of the director the re- enactments are deconstructed and the social conditioning of the GDR everyday life becomes apparent. In this memory work the language itself is of importance which invites assumptions, but never confirms them. It wallows in memories and forbids itself to do so at the same time. Archive material re-establishes the bond of a socialist friendship between the GDR and Syria that connected both countries in the 1980s. The ...

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