Vivianna in Bremen // Final Report

We have come full circle. I’m writing the final report in the same room where I packed my things for the Bremen adventure. This is a chance for self-reflection I suppose although my mind is not in the same place as my body at the moment. 

A year ago, I walked up the steps of this beautifully intimidating institute for the first time, having no idea that I would end up co-creating a short film. It didn’t occur to me that these initially hard-to-reach people, who only spoke German during the meetings (*cries in Mediterranean*), would offer to organise a screening at the end of my project. 

The Deutsches Tanzfilminstitut Bremen provided a safe nest where I had the opportunity to learn how to film and edit dance performances, participate in audiovisual piece productions, and understand the importance of archival preservation. They also taught me how to be patient. Sometimes you spend two weeks putting QR code stickers on video cassettes (which can be fun with the right people by your side). And the next day you might have a 10-hour shooting in another city. It’s all part of the deal and preparation for future potential jobs. 

One of the highlights of volunteering for me has been the virtue of expressing my needs. There were times when I forgot that I was a volunteer and not a worker.  This is a self-centred project, aimed at your personal growth, which has a different meaning for each individual. Sometimes you need to remind the people around you of this, either at work or in your social environment. And you also need to be aware that they cannot guess your needs and desires if you don’t let them know about them.

As this experience has already come to an end, I feel that I have left a place that is calling me to return. I didn’t expect the deep connections I made with people, the way they inspired me and motivated me to be creative. I appreciate more than ever the severe loneliness I was feeling at the beginning, which helped me to get on my feet and become more independent. And eventually led me to these wonderful people that I will hold in my heart for years.

Bremen itself felt like a bittersweet shelter from the very first day. With its small houses and the unlimited nature, it promises to be the right place to console your emotional rollercoaster that comes with living alone in a foreign country.

Someone told me that once you go to Bremen you’ll always come back, and it’s true. She’s always coming back (I hope TAFI people will read this report and get the reference). 

Until then,

Tanzt, tanzt, sonst sind wir verloren… 

-Pina Bausch-

Vivianna was hosted by Deutsches Tanzfilminstitut (TAFI) on our project co-funded by the European Union.