Stadt_Chronik (Crónicas_en la ciudad)

Marisa Maza
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The city, capitalist urban context par excellence, becomes a space for education. In “stadt_chronik” Maza records an instance of education on the streets. Teachers and students travel to different parts of Berlin to learn and search for other functions for our urban settings.

At the start, Stadt Chronik is set within a space that we recognise as a commercial one. The escalator takes us to a landing area where a group of students attentively listen to a teacher. As if they were in a regular lecture, they take notes and discuss the subjects, which in this case include the relationship man-machine, the fight against nature and the machine as the image of contemporary society. After a while, a security guard makes them vacate the site.

Another security guard will follow suit and terminate another “lecture”, which is taking place in the Sony Centre at Postdamer Platz. He also prevents any video images from being recorded. On this occasion, the subject being discussed in “class” is globalisation and the domination of the white race over other historically oppressed races (as in Southafrica during apartheid).

The same exercise takes place in other commercial sites of the city, and subjects such as the symbolism of sports, medicine and ethnology are discussed. This self-organised system of education - based on Berlin’s students’ strike in 2003 - uses those public spaces destined for commerce, for other ends. In the tradition of the independent collectives for free education (comprising small avant-gardist groups as well as the heirs of May 68), this video by Maza presents other possibilities for the use of the public space, making the spectator participate in the excitement that derives from feeling the significance of the concrete moment: Education becomes a performative expression of desires, of possibilities.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Stadt_Chronik (Crónicas_en la ciudad)
  • Direction: Marisa Maza
  • Production: Marisa Maza. 2003.
  • Duration: 00:10:30
  • Languages: German
  • Subtitles: French - Spanish
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright