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Laura Horelli

Uutisten aika

Doc. expérimental | hdv | couleur et n&b | 39:11 | Finlande | 2019

“Uutisten aika (Newstime)” is a found footage film, which discusses cultural differences, being an outsider, the Namibian independence struggle, and Finland’s long-term ties with the southern African country. The work consists entirely of archival material from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. TV-programs showing everyday life are set against a voice-over by Ellen Ndeshi Namhila reading from her autobiography “The Price of Freedom”. Namhila spent seven years in Tampere as a refugee on a scholarship, studying library science. She recounts her experiences, ranging from single parenthood to observations on missionaries in Namibia and the church in Finland. Everyday scenes manifest how Namhila possibly saw the fairly homogeneous Finnish society she lived in. News clips on the Namibian independence struggle frame the narrative. They feature SWAPO (The South West Africa People’s Organization) students, visiting politicians, and representatives of the United Nations and NGOs. Since Namibia was under the apartheid regime until 1990, archival material about the history of SWAPO can be found in countries where members of the liberation movement were in exile.

Laura Horelli (b. 1976, Helsinki) lives in Berlin and works with experimental documentary video. She is interested in representations and mediations of the past taking on a microhistorical approach. Her works have been exhibited internationally at the Venice Biennale (2001, 2009), Manifesta 5, (2004), ARS 11, Kiasma, Helsinki (2001, 2011), Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin (2003, 2007, 2011), Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2014), Galerie für Gegenwartskunst E-WERK, Freiburg (2019) and JMAC Gallery, Katutura College of Arts, Windhoek (2019). She has participated in film festivals like Berlinale Forum Expanded (2017, 2018, 2019), Nordisk Panorama (2019), Docaviv (2019), ISFF Oberhausen (2018), BFI London Film Festival (2018), IndieLisboa (2017), Kasseler Dokfest (2013) and CPH:DOX (2009). In 2011, she received the Hannah Höch Prize for Young Artists. Her film “Namibia Today” received a honorary mention at the Festival CineMigrante, Buenos Aires (2018). Horelli was a visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin (2007) and is a lecturer at the University of Cologne (since 2018).