deutsche wohnen – was singen die diven? (deutsche wohnen – what do the divas sing?) is a film opera about the displacement of people between modernism and investment, Stalinallee and Hansaviertel, homelessness and the question of how we want to live. Filmed and performed with groups and individuals from the Hansaviertel and Karl-Marx-Allee. The aim is to extract a song from the residents of these architectural divas, to make the voices of individuals heard, and let them become the voices of the buildings in a polyphony of participation. The opera as film will be produced between January and September. The premiere will be held some time between September and October outside on the Hansaplatz.
The ideas underpinning the construction of both the Hansaviertel and Stalinallee, which were built at the same time, stem from the experience of the destruction during WWII and the hope of a fresh start for society. Spatial and architectural decisions were based on visions for society. Which visions were realized and which were not?
The project springs from one basic question: What would we hear if we gave musical expression to constructed, inhabited, dreamed and remembered spaces? How do the two districts compare in terms of implementing the production and use of space, and is it possible to capture such a thing musically and performatively on camera with the residents of the buildings? How do the divas, the houses in the Hansaviertel and on Karl-Marx-Allee, sing? How much solidarity do the spaces in Hansaviertel have? What is the sound of the immigration perspective, or the conflicts related to it? Interviews with residents and locals will provide material for texts, which will then become libretti and given melodies to become arias. An opera that attempts to hear who and what lives and lived here and who would like to live here.
Music is potentially a form of contemporary software today that can be installed into the hardware of yesterday’s old city. It could give a voice to things that have been repressed, blotted out, or which lie in ruins, rotting. The film opera will be an ode, a memorial to the residents who identify with their district, but also a memory of all those who are excluded from this vision. The plan is to send out an open call to anyone interested in taking part in the film opera. The hope is to contact a wide variety of groups and individuals. All of them, of course, will be invited to the screening.