Filmmaking in Exile


Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Institute for Asian and Afrikan Studies, Gender and Media Studies for the South Asian Region (6 ECTS)
Thursdays 14:00 – 16:00 (CEST) / 15:00 - 17:00 (EEST)
14 WEEKS (19 April 2022 - 23 July 2022)


This seminar is an introduction to film theories and film history from the point of view of the relationship between migration and cinema. It will start with a focus on the colonial gaze used to represent other societies in early cinema and how this approach took different shapes in the following decades. It will then explore the effect of technological transformations after 1970s, which has allowed filmmakers in exile to develop different approaches to visual self-representation. As a part of the seminar, each week a film created by a filmmaker in exile in different historical periods will be analyzed. Which common themes and aesthetic choices are used by filmmakers in exile to reflect on their condition? How do they deal with the issue of self- representation in their films and what kind of fault lines they create in today’s perception of migration, when we compare it with the representation regimes of mainstream media? In this course attended by filmmakers living in exile, students, artists, and activists (including members of the migrant community in Lesbos), we will eventually aim to create videos that are the product of co- research working groups.


A full outline of the course syllabus can be found here

Please note that there will be a preparatory meeting that will take place during the usual class hours one week before the class starts. In this meeting, we will introduce you how the platform works and we will offer technical support so that everybody is technically ready for the first session.


Nagehan Uskan lives and works on Lesvos Island where she is a member of different grassroots migrant video collectives. She completed her PhD on the topic of activist documentary cinema in Turkey. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Fribourg/Switzerland conducting a research on migration and its visual representation. She is currently researcher and lecturer at Off-University and organizing seminars hosted by the Department of Gender and Media Studies at IAAW. She also works as film programmer and as independent documentary filmmaker.

This course is funded by "Beyond Social Cohesion: Global Repertoires of Living Together" (RePLITO) in the framework of the Berlin University Alliance and hosted by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, The Institute for Asian and African Studies with the support of Lesvos Solidarity: Mosaik Support Center.