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An Objective Approach to Media Coverage on Migration. INTERACTIVE MEDIA DESIGN | 2018





Table of Contents 1. INTRODUCTION




























1. Introduction “Everything was better before.” says Heinzi, the vendor of the last Würstelstand (sausage stand) at the Brunnenmarkt (fountain market) in Vienna. This market neighbourhood has changed significantly in the last 20 years due to migration, and it is where I spent a lot of time getting to know the people during my internship for the documentary filmmaker, Ulli Gladik. It used to be a traditional Viennese market, consisting of Austrian, Turkish, and Serbian stands. However from 2015 on, many Syrian stands were practically built overnight, adding another element of cultural diversity amongst the market stands. This diversity is attracting students and intellectuals, accompanied by cotton bags and Birkenstocks to the neighbourhood next to long established Viennese families that share Heinzi’s opinion. This development of cultural diversity is not only happening at the Brunnenmarkt, this shift is a representation of the whole of Vienna, as well as Europe and perhaps even the entity of Western society. Heinzi, as many others, is looking at this transformation in a very nostalgic way. Along with the rejection of the new and foreign, the sense of communication at the market has changed. The owners of the market stands isolate themselves according to their ethnic backgrounds.The people there are facing a community based on rivalry amongst ethnic groups, but also left and right wing voters.


“Eve wa It seems to be the fault of the beginning of 2015, when thousands of people fled the war in Syria and made their way towards Europe for safety and a life of peace. It has been ever since that the dispersal of the right wing sentiment in my home country has been continually rising amongst a scale of fear of the unknown and the threat of terrorism. Not only has Austria been affected, this attitude can be seen reflected in the rest of Europe and in many other nations across the globe. Since then, migration is a much bigger topic in the media than it ever has been before, although migration has been happening on earth ever since the beginning of humanity. The news coverage today seems to have a pretty good impression on criminality rates and the religious values that immigrants are bringing into societies, especially the tabloid coverage that is feeding on the national fear of terrorism and scores voters for the right wing. But, what if this notion is simply nothing else but gaslighting, because people are scared of terrorism and feel that the safety of the Western world now is at stake? The problem is that the world is getting smaller due to a seemingly unstoppable growth in population. This means migration will continue to become even more of a prominent subject than it is now. Due to warfare, growing population, and climate change, we will need to get used to moving together much more now and in the future. Hence, migration is an unstoppable phenomenon that has been happening on this planet ever since, and will continue to increase and thus should be processed not only through media coverage, but also actual discourse with people that are directly affected by it.


erything as better before.� In order to create an opinion on the alleged people, threatening the Western world by their immigration, it is therefore important to analyse in how far the news alongside politics influence the process of opinion shaping and the construction of truth. Moreover, it is important to ask if the Western news can actually engage, or empathise with matters that no one who is distributing it, has actually experienced. How can we possibly create an image of refugees when no refugee is included in its creation? It is therefore crucial to actively engage with those individuals and to democratically involve these individuals in the opinion shaping process about them and through that create a more realistic and truthful image on the identities and the values that they bring to the Western world, and which seem to threaten it. Although opinions on migration are constructed and influenced through the media, the newsmakers, as well as through politics, it is important to devalue and revalue the opinion shaping process anew through documentary filmmaking as an artistic medium for objectivity, which could offer a constructive contribution to the opinion forming process. So, how could objectivity be established through choosing the appropriate documentary strategy regarding the recent migration crisis?



2. Migration the End of Hospitality? During the eighties, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan fueled the globe with the neoliberalism trade revolution. It was a revolution that offered even more opportunities, more goods and more money to the population through new expansions of businesses all over the world. After a past of colonialism and its hard partial downfall that came along with the two world wars, globalization suddenly became fashionable again. The Western world excessively started to embrace tourism, for which former empires, now ruled as independent countries, seemed to be very convenient. Likewise, there came the movement of emigration workforces disembarking to countries that could provide jobs with better wages than their home countries. As for Austria, around that time a bigger international community started to grow due to the recruitment of the so- called “Gastarbeiter� -Guest Workers. These guest workers were commonly Turkish and of the the former Yugoslav culture and have since integrated into Austrian society and have become a very important part of the Austrian culture. At the time social laws allowed a whole family to migrate and to settle in a new country.



Nonetheless, after all these years of colonialism and the following expansion of neoliberalism, together with its recruitment of workers from countries that would not fall into the category of the so-called developed world, people today are actually starting to withdraw from the embracement of it. The immense storm of refugees in 2015 due to the Syrian war, and the following terror attacks in Europe that preceded this event, led to antipathy towards immigration. Looking at the timeline of deaths from terrorist attacks on European soil, it shows that there have been less deaths through terroristic attacks in Europe today than in the eighties.


Suddenly, after the traditional notion of the individual identifying with a social class, people are now starting to rather identify with their nationality. Accordingly, people who have been identifying as being from the labour class and engaging with labour unions, now rather identify with being Austrian, French, Dutch, or American, for example. In Didier Eribon’s writing “Returning to Reims” he analyses this shift of belonging to an identity of the social classes to identities of patriotism and the right wing through the fast changes towards multiculturality:

Politics now are of a sentimental, emotionally driven affair. The sentiment of the people of a nation seems to be more angry than tolerant and seems to drift further away from solidarity and towards isolation and nationalism. Brexit is a good example of this shift, but it is not only the UK, the rest of the world is seeming to follow this trend. Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, in his film “Michael Moore in Trumpland” says that “The ballot box served as an anger management tool” 2 in the national elections in the U.S. last year.

“So whose fault is it that the new representatives people turn to are of a certain ilk? Whose fault if the meaning of a “we” sustained or reconstituted in this way undergoes a transformation such that it comes to mean “French” as opposed to “foreigners,” whereas it had used to mean “workers” as opposed to the “bourgeois”? Or, to put it more precisely, whose fault is it if the opposition between “worker” and “bourgeois,” even if it continues to exist in the form of an opposition between the “have nots” and the “haves” [...], takes on a national and racial dimension, with the “haves” being perceived as favourably inclined to immigration and the “have nots” as suffering on a daily basis because of this same immigration, one that is held to be responsible for all their difficulties”? 1

I have spoken to people from the labour milieu in Vienna, of which many people have quit labour union memberships and are now even voting for the right wing. A reason they now vote right wing is certainly in an attempt to decrease immigration. A woman, who worked as a travel agency assistant has been unemployed for 5 years. (whilst being a single mother) Now, that travel agencies are dying out, positions she could occupy, regard her as overqualified. The fear rises that there will be even less jobs in the future, because there are more refugees coming into the country. Through talking to this woman I gained a feeling on what being angry towards the state feels like. What seems to be ignored by the green and intellectual fraction thereby, is that people are afraid that immigrants are taking over jobs because they are less qualified and therefore are cheaper workforces. But what if migrants, especially refugees, do in fact serve as a scapegoat for the discontentment of a certain section in population?

1  Eribon, Returning

to Reims, 133.

“The ballot box served as an anger management tool.”

Ulli Gladik, an Austrian documentary filmmaker, is working on her new documentary “Nebenan” in which she is portraying people that are voting for the right wing. The topics the protagonists in the film discuss are of migration and the resentment of it. Gladik is giving insights into the lifestyles and problems of the protagonists that led them to vote right wing and gives them a platform to explain, but also to understand their reasons. Through showing the other side -not the side of the refugees that need to be understood in order to be accepted, she is taking the discourse of seeking empathy with those who feel neglected by politicians and who are also marginalized in society. The viewers will be confronted with individual fates that lead to opinion making on migration, as well as the creation of the scapegoat phenomenon. Similarly in the film “Nebenan” the viewer learns that it could possibly be oneself voting right wing if one had undergone the same blows of fate.

The phenomenon of the new scapegoats has manifested itself in the US with Trump’s Muslim Ban and the alleged Mexican Wall. This issue of right wing politics is also present in Europe. Viktor Orbán in Hungary, or as mentioned before, Brexit in the UK, as well as the recent right wing shift in national elections in The Netherlands, France and Germany as well as in my home country Austria. In Austria, the FPÖ, which is the right wing political party, scored 30% of the people’s votes in the recent national elections in October, majority of these votes gained through the national frustration regarding the refugee crisis. 2  Michael

Moore in Trumpland. Michael Moore.



2.1. Interview with Ulli Gladik

“During my research, I have created the impression that personal happiness does not depend on the individual political opinion. It is about trends, created by the people and the media.”


How do you Position yourself regarding the dilemma of objectivity in the genre of documentary film? Do you approach your projects regarding the discourse of actively showing the truth, or do you hold on to a subjective approach? Gladik: I always do in depth research for my projects, in order to get to know different opinions and different sides regarding the topic. Regarding my present project, I am investigating the question of why people are now voting for the Freiheitliche Partei (FPÖ, right extremist political party in Austria), when previously they have been voting for the social democrats. I try to reflect the results of my research well in my films. If and how well I will succeed in this depends on many factors. In order for an audience to follow a film well, it is necessary to build a thorough dramaturgy, as well as to find an array of protagonists that are willing to speak in front of a camera. My aim thereby is to come very close to the realities that my protagonists are facing in their lives. I know that my perception of the circumstances and my point of view play a very big role in filmmaking, but in this film the viewers will sense me behind the camera. As a result they will get to know me, as they will hear me asking questions and bringing forward arguments. The audience will also understand that I am often not of the same opinion as my protagonists.


In your new documentary film in the making “Nebenan” -why do you engage with right wing voters through a direct discourse and why should the viewer believe their utopian/dystopian opinions? Gladik: Because I am curious as to why people are ready to vote for the right populistic, as well as right extremist political parties. What are the personal problems these people experience that lead them to vote for these parties? Does it depend on their political appearance, their simplification of problems, the offer of scapegoats? What are the causes, that have lead these political parties to be so successful? I do not speak of utopian, or dystopian opinions, rather of fears, hopes and positive and negative future scenarios that I am being made aware of by my protagonists. As the film evolves, I am trying to dive deeper into those experiences. An example: One protagonist is suffering immensely under the idea that Vienna is being “Islam -ified”. I am trying to find out why this impression has become of such big concern for him. It turns out that a lot of his neighbours in the building complex he lives in, are in fact, Muslims. He has little positive experience with Muslims and couldn’t have possibly made any either, because he is approaching them with antipathy. But, being a child from Bohemian immigrants he encountered the same antipathy as a child. I let him reflect upon this and especially how he perceived this hostility through his childhood. What is the goal of your film? How do you want to reach the people? Gladik: On one hand to find answers to the previously mentioned questions, but also to create a document functioning as a witness of our time in present-day Vienna.

How will you filter your footage and comparably, where lies the stylistic focus post production- wise? Gladik: I always engage a lot with the material itself. The footage is first transcribed then put in order and viewed over and over again. I am also working on the first of many draft edits. Through this step by step process I am able to find strong and authentic statements. Only when I know the strong and weak points of my material can start to work on the overall style and dramaturgy. Do you think that the general public’s scale of happiness is a mirror of politics? Gladik: No, I don’t think so. During my research, I have created the impression that personal happiness does not depend on the individual political opinion. It is about trends, created by the people and the media. A lot of people tell me: “ I don’t see myself in bad circumstances, but I am scared about the future. I am afraid that my children will have it worse”, etc. I have the impression that the people became scared by one means, through the people looking for refuge in 2015, and another, by the manner in which it has been reported about them. Another potential for fear also lies in the rapid development of new technologies, as well as economy, which is greatly altering our everyday lives. The people are expressing their longing for community and personal face to face contact. The actual engagement with interpersonal contacts is being repressed more and more in our fast paced lives.3 3 

Ulli Gladik, interview with author, December 27, 2017.



3. Western Propaganda? According to Michel Foucault, knowledge is constructed upon nothing else but power relations.4 The artist, writer and filmmaker, Hito Steyerl takes this statement further and discusses it regarding the ontological concept of truth in her lecture “On Documenting Truth and Politics” in Utrecht in 2003: “Truth is just an expression of a will of power which is biologically determined, which is subjective, instrumental and which serves the interest of the ruling class. Truth can be used as a weapon.” 5 Hence, truth serves the established power relations, making it the matter of the leading agency to establish a hierarchical system of values and construct a society according to that. Almost in a feudalistic way, truth depends on the individual in time and space to live in and receive a certain truth. So, perhaps it does not matter if the regime is communist or democratic? It depends where truth is constructed and received in order to maintain a specific ideology, but also to establish opinions. 4 Foucault, Power/Knowledge

-Selected Interviews and other Writings 1972-1977, 114. 5 

BAK, “On Documenting Truth and Politics, Hito Steyerl”.


After watching Álvaro Longoria’s “The Propaganda Game”, a documentary from 2015 about North Korea, I became reassured of Steyerl’s theory, since I understood that truth for the individual does indeed depend on time and space. Longoria’s documentary offers a different angle on growing up in and adapting to a regime. It documents the point of view of the people living amongst this regime themselves, rather than the point of view from the western part of the world. After watching this film it seems that both truths, the North Korean and the non- North Korean are open for interpretation. An example is the regime’s reasoning for holding nuclear weapons, which differs essentially from the reasoning that is received in the west: In Longoria’s documentary we learn that North Korea having nuclear weapons is a method of protection, almost like a survival technique. The non- North Korean interpretation on the other hand is that the North Korean regime is possibly preparing for a war. Through the filming in North Korea, Longoria himself claimed that he was noticing how this regime’s manipulation was influencing him, when he started to become convinced of some of their values.6 North Korea surely is an extreme example of how truth is distributed amongst the globe and various regimes, but what if the the people of the Western world are also manipulated by some kind of feudalistic, ideological, or consume oriented sort of Western propaganda? 6 

The Propaganda Game. Álvaro Longoria.


The Color Coded Terror Alert System by the Department of Homeland Security does not really differ from North Korean propaganda, as it is suggesting threats to the nation only in a rather different light: It was launched in the U.S. in 2002 as a reaction to 9/11 to measure terrorist threats. The philosopher and social theorist, Brian Massumi reasons that “control, and therefore politics can be established throughout the exploitation of emotions. The classifications of the Color Coded Terror Alert System are as the following: Green“low”, blue- “guarded”, yellow- “elevated”, orange- “high” and red- “severe”. Brian Massumi calls it “the calibration of public’s anxiety.”7 It is very severe, that the emotion triggered by this system is actually fear resulting from the nationwide trauma of 9/11. Apart from security issues that have needed to be investigated on, but more importantly, trauma that would have needed to be healed, for the government it is is surely not difficult to exploit an extreme situation such as 9/11 in order to gain more control over terrorism, but also over the people to reinforce the power of control. In the case of the U.S., but also North Korea, this way of preserving control is hiding behind an anti terror facade and scapegoats that have become of new archetypical importance over time.

It seems that after 9/11 the world wide anti terror era had begun. This sentiment of fear towards migrants showed immediately, when the approval of asylum in the U.S. underwent massive depression compared to the years before. Here visible in the chart of the Migration Policy Institute. We see where this post 9/11 mentality has led the whole world up until now. The last elections of the U.S. showed us an extreme exaggeration of anti terror politics and the fear of the people partially voting for a man, who is expected to lead the USA into a new golden era. 15 years after 9/11 the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump, actually tried to establish a nationally wide ban for people from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya to enter the U.S. 9 Through practising politics of fear10, Trump is in a conflict with the media, since his actions are not based on rationality, but rather on emotions, using very simple and straightforward language, appealing to a larger range of Americans.

Gambino, Laughland, Siddigui, “Trump Travel Ban”. 9


Altheide, Terrorism and the Politics of Fear.

“There was simply nothing to identify with or imitate. The alerts presented no form, ideological or ideational and, remaining vague as to the source, nature, and location of the threat, bore precious little content. They were signals without signification. All they distinctly offered was an activation contour: a variation in intensity of feeling over time.” 8 7

Massumi, Fear -The Spectrum Said, 32


Ibid., 32




3.1. Post Truth Through Trump, the globe emerged into the time of Post Truth, as we do not know what is true anymore and what is not. The Oxford Dictionary has declared Post Truth the expression of 2016. The Oxford dictionary describes Post Truth as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief ”. 11 Like the nazis in World War second, calling the press “Lügenpresse” (lying press), Trump is publicly criticising the media, calling them “fake news” and is presenting “alternative facts”. These terms have also become some of the most discussed expressions of 2017. “Donald Trump has used existing mistrust to create a whole new reality. By systematically flip-flopping and demonstrably lying, he confuses the public to the extent that in the face of controversy, people start doubting the truth. Users of this manipulation tactic, known as gaslighting, aim to create uncertainty in individuals or groups by consistently denying accusations, contradicting themselves, and lying until their targets doubt their own sanity.” 12 11  12 

Oxford Dictionaries, “Word of the Year”.

Wijnberg, “This Is How We Can Fight Donald Trump’s Attack On Democracy”.


“Dona used e trust whole Trump’s politics are alike every other populist politics, speaking an easy language everyone can understand, promising utopian solutions, such as building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and criticising the media. It is not a surprise when links between the Second World War and recent political development are made. The only difference is that the archetype of the scapegoat has altered, since nowadays refugees from countries where the majority of the people are Muslim are labelled with a terrorist tag.


ald Trump has existing misto create a e new reality.�



4. Media “The immense majority of present day photographic, cinematic, and television images are thought to bear witness to the world...we have spontaneous confidence in their realism. We are wrong.” 13

“The immense majority of present day photographic, cinematic, and television images are thought to bear witness to the world...We have spontaneous confidence in their realism. We are wrong.”


Looking at Trump’s battle with the media, it is important to question how the media and especially, the newsmakers are influencing opinion making. The media and especially the news frame our perceptions on multiple intrinsic levels, may it be happenings outside our cultural circle, or happenings that are directly intertwined with our personal life. But what if it does not matter if we live in a democracy, or in a dictatorship? No matter where the news is perceived, it is interpreted as objective, and therefore true. However, what if the news is actually not always true? What if the truth was dependant on the opinion covered by each specific channel, or social media abonnement that provide only a filtered and targeted information feed? One could go as far as to ask: Does the news influence our opinions and accordingly our behaviours and actions? “The media has a huge impact on society in shaping the public opinion of the masses. They can form or modify the public opinion in different ways depending of what is the objective.” 14 13 Baudrillard, The Evil Demon of Images, 14. quoted in Coulter, Jean Baudrillard and Cinema: The Problems of Technology, Realism and History, 11. 14  Mughal, “Mass


Media and Its Influence On


News media is being bought, advertised and marketed in order to sustain itself and this is happening more and more through the overconsumption of new social media. There are many news channels as well as any kind of journalistic media working as tools for conspiracy, that lead to a certain public oversaturation. “Too many interests are colliding with the core essence of truthful and reliable media, whose task it is to report credible and real facts. We do live in a world where several truths can exist next to each other. The society is oriented around neo liberalism and profit while we live in the age of commercialisation of truth and the age of digital reproduction.”15 One could say that we might simply be too paralysed by the daily input we receive and that as a result our empathy of affect has become numb. In his film, “Oh Dearism”, documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis sums up the phenomenon of the oversaturated world of constant news input, through the temperate response of “Oh dear!”- a response of the privileged world that expresses an affect, that is to a certain extent involving serious concern, but can be ignored at the same time. 16

Coming back to Massumi, Steyerl and Foucault -News is knowledge and knowledge is always serving an agency holding the power. So, apart from the public oversaturation of violent imagery and the “Oh dear!” mentality, chosen news footage helps to rule the people by distributing fear. “Fear as entertainment informs the production of popular culture and news, generates profits, and enables political decision makers to control audiences through propaganda. This process is referred to as the politics of fear” by the author David L. Altheide. 18 So, it certainly does not come as a surprise when the new scapegoats of the anti 9/11 era are refugees from mostly countries with a Muslim majority. Looking at recent political evolution, this principle of fear entertainment of the masses seems to be working perfectly. 18 Altheide, Terrorism

and the Politics of Fear, 3.

“It sums up the strange mood of our time where nothing makes any coherent sense. We live with contradictory stories that make it impossible for any real position to emerge, because they can’t counter them with a coherent narrative of their own. We live in a state of confusion and uncertainty to which the response is -Oh dear [...] It is an odd, non linear world, that plays into the hands of those in power. In Syria we are told that president Assad is the evil enemy. But then his enemies turn out to be even more evil than him. But by bombing his enemies we’re keeping him in power.” 17 15 Steyerl, Die

Farbe der Wahrheit -Dokumentarismen im Kunstfeld, 13. 16 

Oh Dearism. Adam Curtis.

17 Ibid.



4.1. The Value of Reality in Film Jean Baudrillard argues that we are trapped in an illusionistic perception of the world due to technology and “hyperrealism”19. The imagery in cinemas, especially in Hollywood’s blockbusters almost resembles the nature of video games, where special effects become so real that they seem exaggerated and through this real- ness just distance the viewer from reality again. 20 Taking one of the first films ever made by the Lumière Brothers as an example“L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat”21 in 1896 as an example for innocent cinema. The audience of the Parisian cinema where it was first shown tried to escape the approaching train in panic and rage due to the impact of the visuals.22 Today, the approaching train could be seen as some sort of a special effect from the early days of cinema which still had an impact on the audience. Michael Haneke is examining how to redistribute reality in his films and through that, establish a deeper impact of his films and the audience: “Every contemporary art form does not only reflect the circumstances of distribution methods in the economic area, but also those of human dialog [...] The viewer is degraded to a consumer of aboulic exchangeable empty contexts [...] How do I return the value of reality to the image?” 23 19  Coulter, Jean

Baudrillard and Cinema: The Problems of Technology, Realism and History, 8-9. 20 

Ibid., 8-9.

21  L’Arrivée

d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat. Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière. 22 

L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat. Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière quoted in Assheurer, Nahaufnahme Michael Haneke -Gespräche mit Thomas Assheuer,160. 23 Assheurer, Nahaufnahme

Michael Haneke -Gespräche mit Thomas Assheuer,162.


Today’s generations are already accustomed to being surprised and even tricked by the visuals they see of a “hyper reality” 24 and instinctively give them less credibility. So, over history, humanity has become more and more used to manipulation of reality. Could it be that humanity simply became numb to this oversaturation? It takes directors like Michael Haneke to redistribute the value of reality again to the medium of film and through that offer a discourse based not on truth, but towards sanity, a discourse away from empty contexts and towards reflection and rationality. 24 Coulter, Jean

Baudrillard and Cinema: The Problems of Technology, Realism and History, 8-9.

“How value the im


do I return the e of reality to mage?” 17


5. Documentary Film as a Medium for Objectivity

Documentary filmmaking is an artistic medium to suggest reality through objectivity as it is meant to show matters as they are. The definition of objectivity by the Oxford dictionary is as the following: “The quality of being objective.”25 It almost seems to be an effort to keep distant from personal judgment. This stylistic method finds itself in a conflict of interest, as there is clearly no objectivity possible. Already the action of involving a camera into an event at a specific time on a specific place is already by itself a subjective action. Moreover, a topic has been chosen by the director out of a motivation, may it be because of necessity, or personal interest. Documentary film can only be an attempt to suggest a truth, but it can never show real objectivity. This means that compromises have to be made, for example by the selection of specific technical equipment, the positioning of the camera and by post production. Susan Sontag in her book on Photography, called “Regarding the Pain of Others” says that “Those who stress the evidentiary punch of image-making by cameras have to finesse the question of the subjectivity of the imagemaker.” 26 Hence, when looking at imagery, it is always important to remember the motivation of the author. In the very beginning of the medium of moving image, there were two contradicting parties: The filmmakers Auguste and Louis Lumière and the illusionist and filmmaker Georges Méliès. While the aim of the Lumière Brothers was to show objectivity of early everyday life through film, which now functions as a witness of time, Méliès 25 

Oxford Dictionaries, “Definition of Objectivity in English”. 26 Sontag, Regarding

the Pain of Others, 26.

instead stood for subjectivity by composing his own phantasy worlds through film. The Lumière Brothers put up their camera and recorded a continuous shot of a train arriving at a platform, “L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat” 27, or workers leaving a factory, “La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière à Lyon” 28. Under certain circumstances, this footage could be considered as objective because the only manipulation that happened during the recordings was the position of the camera and the resulting viewpoint. During the process of post production, however, no cuts have been made. Contrasting the Lumière Brothers, the filmmaker Méliès worked with the illusion of the fantastic. In his film,“ Le Voyage dans la Lune”29- A Trip to the Moon, he had absolute power, as he wrote, directed and produced his own spectacular world accessible for the viewers in cinemas. This duality of objectivity and subjectivity is agelessly still relevant and present in cinemas today. The issue regarding objectivity and truthfulness is already well present in one of the first documentary films ever made, called “Nanook of the North” 30, directed by Robert J. Flaherty. “Nanook of the North is an appropriate starting point for such reflections, because nearly all documentary filmmakers claim its inheritance, and because it marks a moment before the distinction between documentary and fiction was set.“31 The film shows the rough life of an Inuit called Nanook and his tribe in 1922. The film is situated ambivalently at the threshold of fiction and documentary, as Flaherty’s aim was to portray a truthful image of Nanook’s life. However Flaherty still staged most of the scenes according to his own understanding and interest. He did so with the essential, but alleged family of Nanook, which was assembled from scratch by Flaherty himself, for example. 27 

L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat. Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière. 28 

L’Usine Lumière à Lyon. Louis Lumière.

29  Le Voyage 30  Nanook 31 

dans la Lune. Georges Méliès.

of the North. Robert J. Flaherty.

Grant & Sloniowski, Documenting the Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video, 24.



Michael Haneke has a very interesting and sceptical statement regarding the same issue, when he says that “Reality is too complex to capture. (Film) is a reduced model of reality, that’s the only way to make fiction. Documentaries are even worse, because one pretends to show reality. A film tries to resemble reality, whereas documentary tries to convey reality. This tiny piece is representing reality all of a sudden. If you make the viewer aware of this manipulation then that’s much more honest.”32 In a documentary about himself, he even says that “Film is 24 lies per second at the service of truth, or at the attempt to find the truth. I don’t know what reality is either.”33 Haneke uses the medium of fictional film to construct and suggest reality. According to Haneke, fictional filmmaking is a fairer artistic expression and less of a manipulation as documentary filmmaking. 32  Flynn, “Michael


Haneke on Documentary and

33  24

Realities Per Second. Nina Kusturica, Eva Testor.

“Those who stress the evidentiary punch of image- making by cameras have to finesse the question of the subjectivity of the image- maker.”

In his film “Code Inconnu”34 he claims that each event and happening is based on stories that he was told while researching for the film. The film shows intertwined lives around the sujet of migration and different cultures interacting around one assembling happening. Each scene is always filmed in one continuous shot, while only cuts mark the break in-between each scene, like the films of the Lumière brothers. The change from scene to scene becomes very obvious for the viewer because it is being cut into black for one second and then cuts to the following scene. Although this is a fictional film and not a documentary, the peculiar style it has been filmed in suggests more objectivity. As Haneke said, we know it is fiction, so we are aware of the fact that this cannot be the reality, but it comes utterly close to reality because of the chosen artistic method. Even though the film is fictional, Haneke walks along the threshold of actual fiction and the suggestion for truth: Continuous shots themselves are already less manipulated, as they show the entire scene, not just newly and decontextualized fragments of the stories, also his cuts become very obvious to the viewer and his narrative is evolved out of real stories. 34  Code

Inconnu. Michael Haneke.



A director who works with both, fiction and documentary, is Ulrich Seidl. He is an Austrian director, who tends to portray society in an extreme and provocative manner. Apart from mostly fictional and therefore, staged scenes, he tends to work at times with scenes where his actors are improvising. One can clearly see the intention of making his fictional work of a societal portrayal more credible and realistic, and it is stunning to see how far he is pushing boundaries with it. Seidl presents scenes shot in extreme environments, such as brothels or retirement homes, that convince the viewer that the happenings taking place there are real but also makes the viewer question if what they are watching is in fact real or simply staged perfection.

“His films are a third authority -a reality in itself and it makes people wonder which events are fictional and which are reality.”


“It is more about the question, if a scene or a situation is credible and if it connects with the viewer in an appalling, emotionally challenging or sympathetic way. His films are a third authority -a reality in itself and it makes people wonder which events are fictional and which are reality.”35 Moreover, he shows his protagonists as how they are, by studying and collaborating with the actors a long time before the actual shoot. He never writes scripts that have to be repeated by the actors word by word, he gives them the context and lets them phrase the content in their own words. Again, wandering amongst a threshold between the staged and the authentic. 35  Lust, “Echte

Menschen vs. falsche Autoritäten— Ein Interview mit Ulrich Seidl”.

A completely different approach comes from the American director, Michael Moore. As Michael Moore says: “I think it’s the humor that gets people there. Satire used to be a great way to make a political statement, but a while back the Left lost its sense of humor, and then you weren’t supposed to be funny anymore. [...] I also don’t understand why so many documentary filmmakers think that the politics or the message of their films is the top priority, rather than the art of cinema, and making a good crackerjack of a movie.”36 His dogma seems to be making provocative Blockbuster documentary films, with a certain commercial aspect to them in order to attract public attention. Moore is certainly not trying to provoke objective views based on the content of his documentaries, what he does is to provoke the audience. This satiric provocation certainly serves as an eye opener for the people. When being confronted with such extreme and harsh statements, such as dividing his audience in his film “Michael Moore in Trumpland” into ethnic groups, the viewer has to devalue the content automatically and revalue it again by analysing the content and the the artistic method. 36  Moore, “Michael

Moore’s 13 Rules for Making Documentary Films”.


Satire in general presents an interesting device for truth, since it gives a very ridiculous and exaggerated interpretation of reality and especially politics. Through exaggeration and de-evaluation the viewer has a chance for broader criticality than towards watching the local news channel, for instance. Through satiric stimulation of critical thinking, the viewer actually has a chance to look behind the curtain and to perhaps encounter some kind of truth on the other side. Adam Curtis is working with found footage, which he overlays with his own narration and accompanying music. Using found footage makes him a documentary film director, who does neither reenact nor stage scenes to create truth, he only arranges numerous elements in post production that have been filmed by various agencies, such as a diverse range of film directors, or news agencies. He might be on a closer approach towards truth by simply rearranging something that has already been constructed for all kinds of various reasons. The only problem is that post production can be equally as manipulating as the actual production of footage, as there still remains the artistic freedom of creation itself.

Werner Herzog’s motivation for his film productions is his own fascination. In his documentaries he emphasizes his discoveries, his hopes but also his failures through his presence as a narrating voiceover, but also by being one of the protagonists in his documentary films himself. He is actively present within the shots and through sharing his experiences as a narrator. Could it be, however, that through this obvious subjectivity of the director, a more general and objective interpretation of what is seen, is actually possible? “Do you worry that by filming, you change what you’re trying to document? Of course. It’s the nature of filmmaking. If you’re not aware of that, and if you are not prepared to do your job, you shouldn’t make films. Some people postulate we should be like a fly on the wall. That means we should be like one of these surveillance cameras in the bank, and you will wait for 15 years until the bank robber still hasn’t arrived. We are filmmakers. What I do is I direct, I stage, I articulate. I mold, I generate. That’s what filmmaking is all about. And everybody in front of my camera knows that, and if they don’t know, I will tell them.”37

Werner Herzog adapts to the role as a mediator between production and protagonist in his documentary film “Grizzly Man”38. In this film, he is working with found footage of Timothy Treadwell, a man that has made it the purpose of his life to live amongst grizzly bears and protect them. Treadwell filmed more than 100 hours of footage that shows him narrating the scenery. Because this footage was directed by the protagonist himself, watching it becomes very intimate, almost embarrassing because the footage shows private moments of the protagonist in nature. Apart from found footage, Herzog himself visited close friends of Treadwell and worked this footage into the documentary. Herzog still is very present in all of the footage that he directed himself, as his voice is leading the conversations and again, shows very private and intimate scenes of sentimental conversations. Apart from including the footage of the visits, Herzog is intervening with the film during post production. He reduced the 100h+ footage to a documentary film that barely runs for 2 hours. 38  Grizzly

Man. Werner Herzog.

37  Luscombe, “Werner

Herzog on Why You’ll Never Find Him on Facebook or Twitter”.

“Some people postulate we should be like a fly on the wall.“



5.1. The More Abstract, the Realer?

In her essay, “Documentary Uncertainty”, Hito Steyerl talks about a CNN journalist, who filmed on one of the first days of the U.S. invasion in Iraq by holding a direct broadcast cell phone out of the window of an armoured car. The footage being influenced by adventurous circumstances and low resolution is noisy and mostly abstract, but truly representing the circumstances as they were. She concludes by saying that “It points at a deeper characteristic of many contemporary documentary pictures: the more immediate they become, the less there is to see. The closer to reality we get, the less intelligible it becomes. Let us call this the uncertainty principle of modern documentarism.”39 “The Day Nobody Died” is an artwork by the artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin that illustrates Hito Steyerl’s argument. It shows an abstract composition of light exposed on a large roll of photo paper of six metres. This photo paper was exposed in a war zone in Afghanistan on June 2008 on a day where nobody died. It becomes a quiet witness that represents almost poetically the present circumstances.40 39 

Steyerl, “Documentary Uncertainty”.

40  Broomberg, Chanarin, “The

Day Nobody Died”.

But also surveillance and CCTV can offer help for identifying the truth, as they are installed to capture information 24/7 of an area. The footage becomes crucial on what it shows, but not necessarily on the actual quality of the image. The resolution of the footage only serves recognition purposes, not artistic quality. If there is no such tool as CCTV available, the department of Forensic Architecture of London’s Goldsmiths University is working with satellite footage, but also footage from the helmets of policemen or soldiers. Through this puzzle of area capturing footage, a truth about a surrounding can literally be constructed and montaged. But it is not only satellite, or police footage that is collected, also footage that has been uploaded online on social media using smartphones by people that were present. 41 Coming back to the migration crisis that is seemingly shaking up the whole planet. I think it is important to give the people that are marginalised and who seem to be represented by media coverage, or politics, a chance to actively be part of what is documented and reported about them. Documentary filmmaking could be a way to overcome a boundary that separates refugees from non refugees by showing the public who they really are. “And, perhaps most importantly - at what point are journalists obligated to repudiate notions of objectivity for the sake of humanity and morality? In an age where more marginalized groups are fighting for their rights - and in an election year featuring one of history’s most openly hateful presidential candidates - there’s never been a better time to explore these questions.”42 41  Häntzschel, “Wir

sind Kämpfer für die Wahrheit! Interview mit Eyal Weizmann”. 42  Kappel, “The



Dangerous Myth Of Media


“And, perhaps most importantly - at what point are journalists obligated to repudiate notions of objectivity for the sake of humanity and morality?” There are documentaries that look at the issue of the introduction and confrontation of the new and unfamiliar to the public. Now it has become a necessity to investigate on this confrontation in order to increase the tolerance in - between cultures, as we will need to move closer together in the future. Morgan Knibbe’s documentary “Those Who Feel the Fire Burning”43 is already trying to suggest perspective through the eyes of a refugee. Nevertheless, the refugee is purely fictional, as it is told through the ghost of a man who drowned in the mediterranean sea whilst embarking on its dangerous crossing. The ghost of that man is the narrator of the film, flying across cities, but also being amongst people, narrating in Arab of what he sees and feels. On one hand, I find this documentary interesting because it is trying to give perspective through the eyes of someone that has actually undergone this traumatic experience. On the other hand, I find it disturbing, since this is an attempt of a Western, white man empathising almost romantically with refugees that he simply cannot empathize with, such as everybody else, not having undergone the same experiences. Because of that, Knibbe surely cannot fictionally recreate what individuals have been going through. 43  Those Who

The documentary “Stranger in Paradise”44 is taking a different approach, by seeking conversation with refugees through different attempts. The director, Guido Hendrikx places an actor in the role of a social worker in a classroom with newly arrived refugees. The film is divided into 3 acts, each of them showing introductions to Europe through different attitudes. In the first act, the actor is representing Europe’s right wing sentiment, blaming the refugees for not fighting for their countries, while in the second act, he is representing Europe’s left mindset, telling everyone they are welcome and an utopian urge to get rid of all borders. In the third act, “Where he shows them how it really is”, the viewers and the refugees learn how hard asylum procedures actually are, as only a small part of the people in the last classroom are actually granted asylum. Throughout the entire discourse, the protagonist is looking for the dialog with the refugees, by directly asking questions, or through provocation. Like this, individuals actually speak up and the viewer gets to know a different image of who the people in this room are, than that generalised image on refugees, created by the news making agency. It seems like the viewer is part of the crowd in the classrooms. This is not only because of the camera set up amongst the people in the room, but also because the viewers are actually educated on who is amongst the refugees, but also how the actual asylum procedure looks like. 44  Stranger

in Paradise. Guido Hendrikx.

Feel the Fire Burning. Morgan Knibbe.



5.2. Mobile Journalism Going even further into the direct discourse, the documentary “Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time”45 is a documentary filmed entirely on a smartphone on the refugee detention center on Manus Island by the imprisoned writer and journalist, Behrouz Boochani. This footage was sent from the detention center to the filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani via Whatsapp for post production. There is no director holding the camera on Boochani, it is Boochani himself, directing the footage that shares his circumstances with the world using the distributional means of social media. Through direct reportage, the footage is very subjective and through this subjectivity the viewer can actually take away a more objective image of what is really happening and to what is happening to Behrouz Boochani. 45  Chauka, Please Tell

Us the Time. Behrouz Boochani, Arash Kamali Sarvestani.

Another relevant documentary published by The Guardian is called “Rania’s Odyssey”47 -filmed by 20 year old Rania Mustafa Ali. The documentary was produced by the Norwegian filmmaker Anders Hammer and was shot entirely on a smartphone. The footage shows Rania and her friend walking through the ruins of Kobane where they see graffiti by ISIS and are commenting on them: “Is this what they think Islam is? Bombing and killing people?”48 The footage contains scenes of Rania being cheated by smugglers as well as when she is about to drown in the Mediterranean Sea when a ship luckily saves her and her friend. The viewers see Rania filming herself saying that she is terrified about the crossing. It is incredibly hard to digest, as this is pure reality for so many people right now. Also, this is the only way to report about refugees, as this journey from the eyes of two people is representing the journey of so many others. The content has been edited in post production by Anders Hammer. This second party post production risks to devalue Rania’s footage, as again, a person from the Western world is interfering with pure footage. But still, this footage shows the impressions of a girl that has gone through a journey that most people simply cannot imagine going through. 47  Heywood, Tait, “Escape

Odyssey – Video”. 48  Escape

from Syria: Rania’s

From Syria: Rania’s Odyssey, Anders Hammer, Rania Mustafa Alis



There we have it, the most immediate tool for documentation many people today possess, is the camera of a smartphone. This is a very powerful tool to capture the truth because it can give very intimate insights into people’s lives, may it be abstract or shot in 4k. The journalist and founder of “Hashtag our Stories”, Yusuf Omar actively is emphasizing the power the people have through “Mojo” (Mobile Journalism) at his talk at IDFA, 2017: “In this age where we have so much voice on social media, we actually crave quality. Which is why Netflix subscriptions, New York Times are going up. Directors and storytellers are fundamentally more important now than ever before. The way we gather stories has to change: Before it has been 5 guys on a table, coming up with a story pitch. We now have to allocate one hundred, or thousands of people to do that. When we start to do that we’ll have a better idea of Brexit before it happens, we’ll have a better idea of Trump before he emerges, because we’ll start to see people again [...] Empower marginalised people!”49 The movement of mobile journalism clearly brings up the question of the actual craft and art of filmmaking by a director becoming obsolete when the intention for imagery is to be 49  Omar, “This

Film Festival Event Is 80% White”.

truthful and objective. Like laying on a scale, the more truthful the content of a documentary should be, the less aesthetic and cleanly crafted like an artwork it might become. Mobile journalism functions as a tool for crowd intelligence, while actual filmmaking is processed by a director and will therefore always stay subjective. The crucial parameter for filmmaking, may it be documentary of fiction, will always be some sort of fascination or passionate obsession for a matter, which is conveyed by its author through different artistic methods. However, when it comes to opinion making on people, crowd intelligence is the only way to show and introduce people as they really are because everyone is in charge of what is being reported about themselves.

“Is this what they think Islam is? Bombing and killing people?”



5.3. Interview with Arash Kamali Sarvestani What lead you to make the movie “Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time”? Sarvestani: I am Iranian, and in Iran there was some news about the refugee detention centres, Nauru and Manus Island, (Governed by the Australian government) but I felt that insufficient information was disclosed, which prompted me to investigate. Due to my investigations, I came to realise that the information I had learned through the news agencies was nothing compared to what really happens there. Through my research I found articles from the journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is a refugee kept at Manus detention centre, and who had been reporting for The Guardian. We slowly started to get to know each other and it turned out that we had the same idea, we wanted to make something about the life of the people on Manus. We were fueled by the idea of the Australian government closing the camp and for it to be etched in history that they did nothing wrong or cause any damage or harm to the people detained there. So, we decided to make a piece of art, but even more than that, a historical document, to prevent them from claiming that there was nothing there. During our conversations, I saw that Boochani was very brave, and also that because he was a writer he was able to give a good perspective of the conditions and atmosphere around him. He didn’t know anything about filmmaking, so in the beginning he asked me what his role in the production would be. He asked “Am I your assistant or am I your cameraman?” I wanted to share our perspectives, as well as the success, so why shouldn’t he function equally as a filmmaker? If he was involved in the project as a filmmaker as well, he would feel


equally responsible and share all the energy and passion I held for the film. After we decided this, Behrouz was really happy. We only communicated through WhatsApp and in a period of six months we recorded more than 10.000 minutes of voice messages. How did the collaboration between you and Behrouz Boochani look like and how did you assemble the footage you received by him over WhatsApp in the post production process? Sarvestani: It wasn’t just a matter of him sending and me editing, the process was much deeper than that. This was due to the personal connection we had developed through our discussions via Whatsapp. After getting to know each other, he would send me some footage and then I would begin to edit two to three minutes at a time. I then sent the edit back to him -this part of the process was really important because then Boochani could be involved in the editing process. Together we would look at the shots one by one and then talk about the narrative resulting from them, so the whole development of the storyline happened together. Just like the title -at some point he mentioned the “Chauka”, a species of birds on Manus Island, but also at the same time the name of the detention camp. I said “Let’s do something with this!” As a result we constructed the narrative around the title “Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time”. And after settling the collaboration and the means for communication, what stylistic focus did you lay on the narrative? Sarvestani: We didn’t want to show visible violence, instead we wanted to show the invisible violence and what everyday life on Manus island is like. Together we decided that this film should not be a normal journalistic movie. Journalists, along with many other documentary filmmakers want to focus on blood and shootings, because of that the camera is constantly moving, looking for sensations. We wanted to capture the invisible blood. Collectively we felt that if this movie was to be successful, it would give the audience a better chance to think more about the


message we were trying convey. When you show an audience lots of blood and violence, after the movie people go outside living their everyday lives and then not think about it anymore. But if you show them a film in a more poetic and artistic way, the audience will really start to reflect on it. Abbas Kiarostami used to say “A good movie is a movie that, when it’s finished, it starts for the audience.” A good movie is not a good movie when you’re finished with it as well. Since your film is a merge of journalism and filmmaking -what genre would you label the film as? Would you say it is a documentary film or perhaps a new medium since it is shot on a smartphone by the protagonist himself ? Sarvestani: I can’t even call it documentary. It is really of documentary style because it shows the circumstances as they are, but I can’t really call it documentary, I would call it a movie. Because you mentioned poor news coverage regarding the issues on Manus and Nauru Island, why do you think there wasn’t enough reportage? Sarvestani: It’s impossible to understand why news agencies cover some issues and why they don’t cover others, I don’t understand the real reasoning behind it. Concerning Manus and Nauru there was not much media coverage, especially in Europe. My personal experience in the Netherlands is even that after making this movie they don’t want to talk about a Western country being a perpetrator of something so unjust. It seems they would rather show problems from the middle east. So, when it is about Australia, a Western nation, people don’t want to believe that these things could and are happening

there. After the screening of the film in Sydney, Vanessa Redgrave stood up from the crowd and shouted: “This is not a detention centre, this is a concentration camp!” I wonder how many people are like her? If there were journalists in the camp with cameras, I think they would have come up with different results. Journalists look to produce something else. They think about today, they want to make something about today, not for history or for tomorrow. I feel that these people are just looking at everybody like news.46 46  Arash

Kamali Sarvestani, interview with author, January 4, 2018

“Am I your assistant or am I your cameraman?”



6. Conclusion Looking at politics, the media and its distribution of the news, or regarding the artistic medium for objectivity and the genre of documentary film itself, objective coverage frankly is not possible due to the ever common procedure of a subjectification during creational processes. According to Foucault, truth is knowledge and therefore power. It depends on the individual’s environment and the surrounding political conditions to receive a certain truth. Massumi analyses the phenomenon of power constructed through exploiting fear, cultivated from terrorism since 9/11 and which has lead to and continues with the creation of scapegoats. Right wing parties are becoming popular by constructing these scapegoats from people fleeing war torn, majorly Muslim countries, seeking shelter in the Western world. Approaching this issue through the documentary filmmakers Ulli Gladik, who is engaging with personal opinions regarding the recent migration crisis through portraying right wing voters from a sympathetic and humane perspective. Or Contrastingly, Arash Kamali Sarvestani and Behrouz Boochani, who are portraying the lives of refugees detained on Manus Island by making the viewer aware of their circumstances through means of a non violent film shown directly through the eyes of first hand experience, in the end it does not depend so much on the art of filmmaking or the aesthetical craftsmanship, it depends on the content.


This is especially relevant to the medium of mobile journalism, a merge of documentary and journalism itself. It could be the appropriate documentary strategy regarding the recent migration crisis as the viewers get to know the protagonists, in front of and behind the cameras and hence, can create an opinion on behalf of what is shown. Also, the protagonists themselves are in charge of what is being distributed about them. The quality of the image decreases through the camera of a smartphone, yet it shows a pure and subjective image of the protagonists themselves. In order to arrive at a truth, the absolute film director must vanish and function more as a mediator in- between the protagonists and the audience. Moreover, by taking out the violence and redistributing a sense for reality, as well as employing specifically non violent imagery, the audience can engage more thoughtfully with the very personal and subjective narrative of the protagonists. Overall, it may be said that the more subjective and transparent the narrative is constructed, a better approach to objectivity is being made. By involving the people that have had to flee their homes directly in the opinion making process about them, the ongoing prejudices in modern day politics can be debilitated. I want to engage with this research by investigating on the premise that there are always multiple opinions to a story mediated through the news makers, as well as the politicians and suggest an objective approach through devaluation and valuation of the content.




7. Bibliography LITERATURE Altheide, David L. Terrorism and the Politics of Fear. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.

Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time. Directed by Behrouz Boochani, Arash Kamali Sarvestani. Sydney: 2017.

Assheurer, Thomas. Nahaufnahme Michael Haneke -Gespräche mit Thomas Assheuer. Berlin: Alexander Verlag Berlin, 2008.

Code Inconnu. Directed by Michael Haneke. Cannes: Arte France Cinéma, Bavaria Film, Canal+, Filmex, France 2 Cinéma, Les Films Alain Sarde, MK2 Productions, Romanian Culture Ministry, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), 2000.

Baudrillard, Jean. The Evil Demon of Images, trans. Paul Patton and Paul Foss. Sydney: Power Institute of Fine Arts, 1987.

Escape From Syria: Rania’s Odyssey. Directed by Anders Hammer, Rania Mustafa Alis. Norway: 2017.

Coulter, Gerry. Jean Baudrillard and Cinema: The Problems of Technology, Realism and History. Sherbrooke: Canada Bishop’s University, 2010.

Grizzly Man. Directed by Werner Herzog. Park City: Real Big Production, 2005.

Eribon, Didier. Returning to Reims. Los Angeles: Semiotexte, 2013. Foucault, Michel. Power/Knowledge -Selected Interviews and other Writings 1972-1977, ed. Colin Gordon. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980. Grant, Barry Keith & Sloniowski, Jeanette. Documenting the Documentary Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998. Nichols, Bill. Representing Reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991. Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013. Steyerl, Hito. Die Farbe der Wahrheit -Dokumentarismen im Kunstfeld. Wien: Verlag Turia + Kant, 2013.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES Häntzschel, Jörg. “Wir sind Kämpfer für die Wahrheit! Interview mit Eyal Weizmann”, Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 24, 2015.

THESES | ESSAYS | DISSERTATIONS Massumi, Brian. Fear -The Spectrum Said. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005. Sterre Schmitz, Julia. Try Truth. The Hague: KABK, 2017.



L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat. Directed by Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière. France: Lumière,1896. Le Voyage dans la Lune. Directed by Georges Méliès. France: Star-Film, 1902. L’Usine Lumière à Lyon. Directed by Louis Lumière. France: Lumière, 1897. Michael Moore in Trumpland. Directed by Michael Moore. New York: Dog Eat Dog Films, IMG Films, 2016. Nanook of the North. Directed by Robert J. Flaherty. USA: Les Frères Revillon, Pathé Exchange, 1922. Oh Dearism. Directed by Adam Curtis. London: 2009. Stranger in Paradise. Directed by Guido Hendrikx. Amsterdam: Zeppers Film & TV, 2016. The Propaganda Game. Directed by Álvaro Longoria. Donostia- San Sebastián: Mare Nostrum Productions, 2015. Those Who Feel the Fire Burning. Directed by Morgan Knibbe. Amsterdam: BALDR Film, 2014. 24 Realities Per Second: Documentary on Michael Haneke. Directed by Nina Kusturica, Eva Testor. Graz: NK Projects, 2005.

LECTURES BAK, Basis Voor Actuele Kunst. “On Documenting Truth and Politics, Lecture by Hito Steyerl -12/11/2005”, Vimeo Video, 43:17. Posted [April 2013]. https://vimeo.com/63638712.


WEB Broomberg, Adam & Chanarin, Oliver. “The Day Nobody Died”, accessed January 7, 2018, http:// www.broombergchanarin.com/the-day-nobodydied-1-1/. Connolly, Kate. “After the US, Far Right Says 2017 Will Be the Year Europe Wakes Up”, accessed October 27, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/ world/2017/jan/21/koblenz-far-right-european-political-leaders-meeting-brexit-donald-trump. “Definition of Objectivity in English”, accessed January 7, 2018, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/ definition/objectivity. Flaherty, Robert J. ”How I Filmed Nanook of the North”, accessed December 27, 2017, https://www.documentary.org/feature/how-ifilmed-nanook-north. Flynn, Sheridan. “Michael Haneke on Documentary and Reality”, YouTube Video, 1:26. Posted [April 2011].https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=722nUy7vWVY. Gambino, Lauren. Laughland, Oliver. Siddiqui, Sabrina. “Trump Travel Ban, New Order Targeting Six Muslim-Majority Countries Signed”, accessed October 4, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/ us-news/2017/mar/06/new-trump-travel-ban-muslim-majority-countries-refugees. Kappel, Aaron. “The Dangerous Myth Of Media Objectivity”, accessed November 13, 2017, https:// www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-dangerous-myth-of-media-objectivity_us_57edabcde4b07f20daa10620.

Steyerl, Hito. “Documentary Uncertainty”, accessed January 7, 2018, http://www.re-visiones.net/spip. php%3Farticle37.html. Tait, Michael & Heywood, Mat. “Escape from Syria: Rania’s Odyssey – Video”, accessed January 7, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/ video/2017/aug/02/escape-from-syria-ranias-odyssey-video. Wagener, Volker. “Populism: Analyzing a Phenomenon”, accessed October 27, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/populism-analyzing-a-phenomenon/a-37658323. Wijnberg, Rob. “This Is How We Can Fight Donald Trump’s Attack On Democracy”, accessed October 11, 2017, https://thecorrespondent. com/6150/this-is-how-we-can-fight-donaldtrumps-attack-on-democracy/157624500afd6a4d7. “Word of the Year”, accessed October 11, 2017, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/word-of-theyear/word-of-the-year-2016.

STATISTICS Fig.1. “Terrorism Deaths in Western Europe”, accessed November 09.2017, https://www.start. umd.edu/gtd. Fig.2. “U.S. Refugee Admissions and Refugee Resettlement”, accessed November 09.2017, https://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/ data-hub/international-migration-statistics.

Luscombe, Belinda. “Werner Herzog on Why You’ll Never Find Him on Facebook or Twitter”, accessed January 7, 2018, http://time.com/4476537/ werner-herzog-documentary-internet/. Lust, Markus. “Echte Menschen vs. falsche Autoritäten—Ein Interview mit Ulrich Seidl”, accessed January 7, 2018, https://www.vice.com/ de_at/article/xdkyp3/ulrich-seidl-interview-146. Moore, Michael. “Michael Moore’s 13 Rules for Making Documentary Films”, accessed January 7, 2018, http://www.indiewire.com/2014/09/ michael-moores-13-rules-for-making-documentary-films-22384/. Mughal, M. A. “Mass Media and Its Influence On Society”, accessed November 6, 2017, http:// thedailyjournalist.com/pen-and-pad/mass-mediaand-its-influence-on-society/. Omar, Yusuf ’s Facebook page, video “This Film Festival Event Is 80% White”. accessed January 7, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/journalisminaction/videos/1563110047082610/




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24 Opinions Per Second  

BA Thesis | Royal Academy of Art, The Hague

24 Opinions Per Second  

BA Thesis | Royal Academy of Art, The Hague