ARD, one Sunday evening in the mid-1970s, 7 pm: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to today's edition of Weltspiegel.” The name of the presenter: Navina Sundaram. An Indian woman on German television? As a political editor and foreign correspondent? Unimaginable! How do you read 50 years of contemporary German history through the eyes of a woman who had to fight for her visibility in a public sphere dominated by men and the German mainstream? Who to this day steadfastly refuses to decide for a single homeland, a single identity? And who has nevertheless claimed for herself the right: “come to stay”? Raised in New Delhi, she has worked as a filmmaker, travel correspondent and presenter since 1970. Straight-talking, she not only writes but intervenes. The Fifth Wall presents Navina Sundaram's domestic television reports from 1973 to 1983 to a Berlin audience for the first time. To take Sundaram's point of view, putting her reports, contributions and moderation at the center, means to look at the history of German television from both internal and external perspectives. Sundaram stands at the center as an author who takes a journalistic stand on internationalism and decolonization, the class question, racism, immigration, and Indian and German politics. The films are supplemented by documents, commentaries and other finds from the archive. Of course, always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 pm.
Funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and in cooperation with the project Archive außer sich by Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art and the Federal Agency for Civic Education.
Navina Sundaram grew up in New Delhi, India, where she studied English literature before coming to Hamburg in 1964 for a two-year apprenticeship at NDR. From 1970, she worked as a political editor for the broadcaster. She is a filmmaker, reporter and a presenter for the programs Weltspiegel, Gesichter Asiens, Panorama and Extra Drei, among others. From 1992-93, she was ARD correspondent and head of the South Asia television studio in New Delhi. After ending her work for NDR, Navina Sundaram continues her work as an independent director of documentaries and is the author of numerous texts and lectures.
Merle Kröger works as an author, dramaturge and curator in Berlin and has been part of pong Film since 2001. She also works as a university lecturer in Halle and Mainz. She has published five novels, including Grenzfall (2012), Havarie (2015) and Die Experten (2021). As a curator, she has worked with Arsenal Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V. since 2007 on projects including Work in Progress, Living Archive, and Die fünfte Wand. Navina Sundaram: Innenansichten einer Außenseiterin oder Außenansichten einer Innenseiterin, which received a nomination for the Grimme Online Award 2022. www.merlekroeger.de
Mareike Bernien lives in Berlin and works as an artist between performative film, sound and text. Using a media-archaeological approach, her work questions the ideological certainties of representation, its material-technological prerequisites and historical continuities.