This is the first time I created a story out of something I witnessed. It was in 2006. I was 23 and doing volunteer work in the rainforest of Ecuador. Beautiful and green but with copper and gold underneath. International companies were trying to get rid of the stubborn campesinos, who didn’t want to sell their land. Paramilitary were spreading tear gas to provoke them. A chaotic week of curfew, hostages, and helicopters started. I took many pictures and tried to understand what was happening. The photos of the attack got smuggled out by the ambulance and printed in newspapers in Ecuador and Canada. I made this photofilm here later and never really published it. It is a bit clumsy; I would do it differently today. But I kind of like it. You can see what time did to cheap digital material and I know what time did to my way of telling stories. I wasn’t a journalist then. But those campesinos and their fight for their land made me really want to become one. I had to do a lot of stories about cats and cakes in between. But every now and then I can tell stories about abuses and people who make a difference, people who are struggling with the system, with circumstances or thought patterns. That for me is political.
Elisabeth Weydt, Hamburg/Germany — Digital Journalism, Solitude fellow 2016
Elisabeth Weydt is a freelance journalist from Hamburg who works for different media companies in Germany. She also occasionally works as a production coordinator for film productions. Her big topic: civil society – where people engage in structural violence. She wishes cigarettes wouldn’t make her sick so she could fulfill the cliché of the constantly smoking journalist.
by Solitude fellows
In its new collective publication, Schlossghost #1, Akademie Schloss Solitude examines the ways in which politics meet artistic and aesthetic practices in contemporary societies. For this the Solitude-fellows who had residencies in 2014, 2015 and early 2016 were invited to reflect on following questions: »Would you say that your practice is political? If so, how would you describe its political dimension?« Schlossghost #1 takes over the role of the traditional yearbooks by the Akademie. Every second year since 1990 they were summarizing all the facets of the work done in Solitude and maintained as a final truth Stéphane Mallarmé’s affirmation that »the ultimate state of the world is a book«. This new publication has lost its materiality and exists only as a virtual yearbook, or one could say as the ghost of a book. WWW.SCHLOSS-GHOST.COM