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Emily Smith

DEEP ROOTS | DORMANT BRANCHES / Mixed media. Germany 2012 / German (OmeU)

Not far from Berlin, Lunow sits on the edge of a familiar past and an uncertain future. Residents stand tall in the face of steady depopulation, rising unemployment and an ageing trend. This ethnographically-informed audio/visual documentary focuses on two generations: a handful of retired volunteers from the heritage museum who collect, preserve and share the town's stories and artefacts, while the teen club, born after the Berlin Wall fell, are entering adulthood with bravado while facing limited prospects. Both generations hold tightly to their roles in the village yet are connected in more ways than one might expect.

The three short films of DEEP ROOTS | DORMANT BRANCHES manage to peel away the stereotypes about post-unification, small town Germany weaving together ethnographic, collaborative and self-reflexive methodology. Conceived as installation films, the exhibition space is further activated through the materiality of photography and presentation strategies that challenge how visitors experience the ethnographically-informed research. The MA Thesis project will be presented in Lunow in May 2013.

Direction, main camera & editing | Emily Smith

Additional video & photography | Tanja Borchert, Jakob Lorenz, Nico Lücke, Maxi Ladewig, Janine Bergholz & Franz Grimm

Additional editing | Tanja Borchert

with Board members of the Village Heritage Museum, the Teen Club, the Horn Ensemble Freienwalde, local cheerleaders, the sports association. The collaborative film with the Lunow Teen Club includes video from the teen's mobile phones.