Hungarian Romani, came to Germany in 2015
equal treatment by teachers, discrimination at school, anti-Roma racism – 31:40 – 41:00
situation for Roma in Hungary – 58:00 – 1:06:22
privilege and poverty, skin colour – 1:15:34 – 1:19
choosing Berlin – 1:23:15 – 1:30
Escaped from East to West Germany, summer 1989
demonstrating and freedom of opinion – 42:00 – 47:40
motives for escape and ideas about living in the West – 1:06 – 1:15
items in luggage, planning – 1:17 – 1:25:18
first BigMac, first BILD-Zeitung, setting out to escape 1:33 – 1:39
escape – 1:40 – 1:52:11
accepting help – 1:56:40 – 1:59:20
arrival in West Berlin (from Köpenick to Schöneberg) – 2:00 – 2:09:10
happiness and self-determination – 2:11:15 – 2:13:20
escape from the Soviet Union (Ukraine) – 53:05 – 1:13:30
journey to East Berlin – 45:55 – 47:32
journey to West Berlin – 50:47 – 53.30
application for asylum and move to Bavaria – 1:01:45 – 1:03:20
commuting between Berlin and Bavaria – 1:05:30 – 1:10:06
return to Berlin – 1:13:16 – 1:14:25
Migration from Colombia to the GDR, later to West Berlin
voyage to Germany, arrival in the GDR; childhood and racism in the GDR – 15:19 – 30:40
command of German and discrimination at university – 1:07:40 – 1:10:25
identity, belonging, term “migrant background” – 2:01:21 – 2:07:28
Displaced from Grünberg in Silesia to Germany in 1945, then escaped from East to West Germany
illegal journey to Stuttgart – 28:49 – 41:24
borders, journey and checks – 1:08:58 – 1:13:37
Learning sites | face-to-face + online
This sound workshop is aimed, among others, at schools, libraries, associations and youth clubs. The time frame and spatial framework can be adjusted to meet needs. The recommended time frame is three days à 4 hours.
The workshop is designed for participants who are present in person; a purely online workshop may be feasible if the participants can master the recording function on their smartphones and are used to working independently. Sound editing with Audacity does not function on a collaborative basis. A shared cloud should be used to collect and present sound sketches.
Educational objectives and practical options
The workshop uses creative media practice to complement learning about migration and refugees, especially in schools. Participants also strengthen their social skills, such as group communication and deriving reflections from an artistic exploration of the subject.
Detailed description of the workshop/module
A refugee’s journey usually takes in a number of different places. Before they “arrive”, people must spend time in places that make no reference to traditional thought patterns or to history. Between the place from which they are escaping and the place where they will arrive, people are accompanied by placelessness. Railways stations, ships, airports and motorways are examples for places of transit or non-places. A non-place is a construct coined by the French anthropologist Marc Augé. It designates an absence of place, making it harder for people to build references around it. Although the concept is now widely known, questions can be asked about the way non-places are perceived, such as: Can a non-place generate a sense of home? Does a non-place always result in loneliness? Do non-places have their own identity or do they depend on the subjective perceptions of individuals? These questions acknowledge new references and permit people to fill places that have no history of their own with personal meanings.
In the course of the workshop, with reference to the Archive of Refuge, attention is focused on the following questions: What non-places do refugees encounter during their flight? How do they experience being placeless? And how do these non-places affect people’s lives?
1 Introduction to the workshop (What are the aims? Why are we doing it? Why is your contribution to or exploration of the theme important?)
2 Introduction to the Archive of Refuge and non-places
3 Introduction to sound (2-3 listening exercises)
4 Forming groups, watching video sequences together, group discussions (working on sound sketches)
5 After brief instructions about using the portable recording devices and about recording techniques, the participants groups make their first recordings.
6 Listening to recordings together
7 Brief introduction to Audacity (splitting sound tracks, sound editing, exporting sound collages)
8 Production of sound collages in Audacity
9 Export of finished sound collages as wav or mp3
10 Uploading sound collages onto Soundcloud
Detailed schedule – Day 1
Part 1: Archive of Refuge
Presentation and exploration of the Archive of Refuge (15 min)
Task 1 (45 min): What do you think when you hear the following terms/questions?
What parts of the story really caught your attention and why?
How are decisions made about what goes into history books?
What do you associate with the term “migration”?
What do you associate with the term “refugee”?
Share thoughts about places of transit and non-places
Task 2 (50 min): Choose a video and take 20 minutes to look at it. Answer the following questions:
Who is the person being interviewed?
Was there anything in their story that particularly interested you? If so, what?
Part 2: (120 min) Working with sound / recording
Joint listening exercises (see Listening exercises)
Formation of groups (recommended: max. three people per group)
Production of sound sketches in groups (see Sound sketches)
Instruction in the use of recording devices
Recording of sounds
Part 3: Working with sound / Audacity (180 min)
Introduction to Audacity (see Introduction to Audacity)
Production of sound collages on Audacity (see Design options)
Export sound collages as mp3 or wav
Upload sound collages to Soundcloud
Short exercises are recommended to enhance sensitivity to sounds and listening.
Exercise 1 – Questions:
Question 1: What was the first sound you heard this morning?
Question 2: Are there things you find “lovely” to look at but “nasty” to hear”? Are there things you find “nasty” to look at but “lovely” to hear?
Exercise 2 – Listening together (1 min) and exchange (5 min)
The participants spend one minute concentrating on listening to their surroundings. Then they should discuss the following questions with each other: What did you hear? What sounds did you perceive as the loudest and the quietest?
Exercise 3 (Alternative to Exercise 2) – Sound walk [in German](15 min)
A sound walk is a listening walk during which participants attune their ears actively to their acoustic environment, the soundscape. The rules for a listening walk are as follows:
participants should try not to talk during the walk;
all technical devices such as mobile phones should be avoided;
if the group is big, people should keep their distance from each other (about 1.5 metres apart).
Every sound walk should be followed by a short exchange of experience, supported by questions:
What was the acoustic experience like?
What did you hear?
What sounds did you perceive as the loudest and the quietest?
Were there any harmonious and/or discordant sounds?
What did you think of the spatial acoustics? (Point out that different materials reflect sound differently.)
Before the participants begin recording sounds, each group should create a rough sound sketch. It provides orientation and sets out an approximate plan for the sounds/noises to be recorded.
Tools: paper (A4 or bigger), pens
> How does the interviewee describe memories, impressions and emotions that might be associated with the concept of non-places?
> What defining terms are used in describing that memory (e.g. silence, noise, uncertainty, fear, loneliness, home etc.)?
> What sounds/noises might illustrate these associations?
> Don’t forget: A voice can also be used as an element in the sound collage.
Introduction to Audacity
The brief introduction should make it as easy as possible to start using Audacity and provide some initial orientation:
Name and save your project
Generate tracks, import audio files and check out functions (solo, mute, gain, pan)
Tools: select, align
Edit and crossfade (fade in /fade out)
Note: A manual explaining the software is available online
Sound collage can create a powerful dramatic framework with just a few tricks. Although the workshop will encourage participants to experiment with sound, the following “tools” are helpful:
Volume: Well-chosen volume settings for specific sounds can generate effects such as depth, e.g. if a sound is to seem distant, the volume can simply be lowered. If the sound is to be dominant or feel close-at-hand, it can be raised.
Stereophony can add a “spatial” dimension to a sound collage. It means that the sound comes not only from the centre, but also from the left or right. Different sounds can be skilfully distributed along the stereophonic structure to lend “depth” to the collage. Tip: Fine editing can also make a sound move (e.g. from left to right). Audio software often has a pan slider to create this movement automatically.
One dramatic device is to set up a relationship between sounds, e.g. quiet sounds/loud sounds, harmony (birdsong)/noise (motorway), short sounds/long sounds, distant sounds/close sounds, etc.
Although sounds have different physical sources, some sounds have similar structures, rhythms and shapes. Interesting soundscapes can be created by establishing a relationship between these, such as by superimposing several different sounds.