September 2020, arsenal cinema

Symposium: The right to a public - working with TV archives

Navina Sundaram, (c) Navina Sundaram

For more than 50 years, public broadcasters have been producing, co-producing and purchasing cinema films, launching programs and commissioning freelance authors and filmmakers. The invaluable collection that has emerged can be attributed to the enthusiasm of individual editors and editorial teams, as well as to the public broadcasters' educational mission enshrined in law. However, from the start, there has been a contradiction between the public funding of the stations and limited publicity for the products, which have often disappeared into archives after being broadcast, available for commercial exploitation. In a day-long symposium on September 23 featuring three panel discussions, participants will discuss the possibility of turning TV archives into "living archives" and making their collections available for research and cultural education. Taking as an example the filmmakers Navina Sundaram, Harun Farocki and Sohrab Shahid Saless, who worked closely with NDR, WDR and ZDF in particular, the idea is to develop concrete models, alongside these broadcasters and other social actors, to ensure (public) access to the collections and thus to the visualization of film history.

In the second half of September, we will thus be dedicating the arsenal 3 program (www.arsenal-3-berlin.de) to the symposium, with Harun Farocki's WDR-commissioned film ZUR ANSICHT: PETER WEISS (FRG 1979) and ZUR ANSICHT: PETER WEISS. DREHARBEITEN IN STOCKHOLM, unused material from the same film from the Harun Farocki Institut archives, ORDNUNG (FRG 1980) by Sohrab Shahid Saless that was produced with ZDF, and as a preview to the "Weltspiegel" biography of the NDR journalist Navina Sundaram due to be released in 2021, a 1982 Panorama program.

The full program is avalable here.

The symposium is taking place in the framework of “Archive außer sich” with the support of the Goethe-Institut.