Saturday, 20 November 2010

Code Name "Cyclist" (Radfahrer)

Harald Hauswald is a photographer who was once considered to be an enemy of the state. Living in East Germany he was followed for several years by the Stasi. Marc Thummler's film uses the text from the actual state security reports in combination with Hauswald's images to produce a very thought provoking film.
It is the mundane details that the Stasi recorded that surprised me, from how many tins of fish he brought to the number plates of cars going in and out of a drive. There was also a clumsy nature to the observations, losing their trail and being unsure of numbers. They also referred to him as the cyclist, yet he didn't actually own a bike! Hauswald sent many photos to the west for publication, and this led the Stasi to attempt to art critique his work, all of which is contained in his security files.
I was lucky enough to go to a showing of this film at the CCA, where Harald Hauswald and Marc Thummler were present to discuss the work. Hauswald spoke of his experiences - being followed by ten Stasi agents, being questioned and even arrested, all for taking photographs. The film is a good starting point to debate what is freedom of expression, and do we take these rights for granted?
Images taken from here.

No comments:

Post a Comment