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Contesting Identity Through the Cityscape of West-Berlin: Women & Film

Contesting Identity Through the Cityscape of West-Berlin: Women & Film

Bowie, Laura ORCID: 0000-0002-9084-2142 (2022) Contesting Identity Through the Cityscape of West-Berlin: Women & Film. In: Architecture and Its Stories, All-Ireland Architecture Research Group Annual Conference, 24th -25th March 2022, Dublin. (Unpublished)

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During the late 1960s, Berlin's cityscape became synonymous with the changing mood of the protesting younger generation; they read their desire for change and the issues and potentialities of the city and society as embedded in the construction, destruction and voids within urban space. Serbian-born author and film-maker Irena Vrkljan (1930-2020) was one of four women who was in the primary class of the newly founded Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (German Film and Television Academy Berlin or dffb) in West Berlin in 1966. She created films that explored the forgotten spaces ofWest Berlin as a means through which she could work through the changing spaces of the city as reflective of her own experience and the experience of a generation. Haus (Dedication to a House) (1966), Berlin unverkliuflich (Berlin Not for Sale) (1967), and Berlin (1969) all explored the value of subjectivity in the cityscape as a means through which lost (hi)stories can be uncovered, captured, and used to inform future trajectories. Along with her husband-to-be Benno Meyer-Wehlack (1928-2014), they both used the city ofWest Berlin to explore the nature of contemporary society. Meyer's radio plays, novels, and narrations ofVrkljan's films painted "realistic" portraits of a city exposing the wounds of the post-war world. With governments in east and west dogmatically focused on the future, the experience of living within the island city caused this couple and their generation to view the city's voids as spaces of potentiality intrinsically linked to the past. Perpetually pulled between the past and future, into those gaps this generation filled with creative autonomy - spaces where potential futures were actively practised. This paper will explore the medium of the city, through film, radio-play and novel, as a site through which the identity of a generation was explored, understood and contested.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: visual culture, narrative, film, novel, Berlin, 1960s, urban space, urban history
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 07:05

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