INTERACTIVE: A former airfield, now one of the world’s largest urban parks, Tempelhof Field acts as one of the city’s most vibrant and juxtaposing locations.
Astra Zoldnere
Zoldnere is a Latvian film director, curator and publicist. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: December 13, 2019

Berlin’s Tempelhof Field is a powerful example of how civil society can make changes. A former airport, now one of the largest city parks in the world, it was originally planned to be a new area for developers and real estate magnates. Locals, however, wanted to keep it for their own recreational activities and creative expression. After the 2014 referendum, the Tempelhof Field was decreed to stay as it is. Now, it has turned into a creative urban space where experimental and utopian models of living and innovative human expressions are practiced.

In the interactive online documentary Field Trip , the viewer is invited to take a virtual journey through Tempelhof Field where users create their own walking routes while switching between conversation partners.

Field Trip-post1
Field Trip, an interactive documentary

Tempelhof Field and Gezi Park

Tempelhof Field succeeded where Istanbul’s Gezi Park failed. The initiatives to save both took place around the same time. In Berlin, everything went peacefully, whereas in Istanbul the protesters met violent opposition. In both cities, the parks mean more than a simple green area. The movements supported human rights and freedom of expression.

Taking into account the similarities of both events, it seems logical that one of the characters in Field Trip is Mustafa Altioklar, a Turkish filmmaker and political oppositionist in exile. In one of the 14 episodes, he suggests shooting a film about the Gezi protests in Tempelhof Field. The idea seems similar to the approach Jean-Luc Godard took when making his film about the war in Vietnam. The French New Wave filmmaker proved that one doesn’t need to visit the actual place to be able to reflect on it. Godard’s Camera-Eye is a part of the omnibus film Far From Vietnam (1967). Instead of invading Vietnam with his camera, Godard offers a space for Vietnam in Paris. A French filmmaker’s struggles against «economist and aesthetic …

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