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The documentary project Ozero wants to focus on the language of written testimonies by 18-19th century 'Romantic' world explorers. Their writings - emerging after the Enlightenment - are a special genre of travel writing, offering a detailed historical and poetical account of the vast territorial widening of the Modern World in that period. At a time when the globe was open to the wildest fantasies but all at once losing its mystery at a high speed, that globe - largely unknown on a physical level - was to be subjected to human scrutiny up to the smallest detail.
Ozero wants to explore the relationship between these writings and documentary film. Probing the interaction of text, image and sound as associative tools for a precise inquiry into the role of 'alterity' and 'exoticism' in historical space, the project wants to analyze and re-imagine the manifold aspects of Otherness. Ozero aims at confronting the documentary character of the given written testimonies within a contemporary set-up of 'realness' where the spectator is invited to tackle questions about how we can imagine territorial spaces, anthropological differences and personal desires for alterity through time. The project wants to develop tools to let the spectator create his own story between the past and the present, between what's real and what's not, exploring in one go the poetical strength of the testimonial writings and touching on urgent themes related to a potentially disrupted relationship between mankind and nature in our days.
Concept: Niko Hafkenscheid, Valentina Stepanova - With support from: workspacebrussels