Autobiographical Remarks

Skip Norman

On December 22, 1933, I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., as a first son. I spent my childhood in Washington, D.C. My education went on in the usual way: Elementary school, middle school and high school, which I completed with an examination corresponding to the German Abitur.

In 1961 I was granted a scholarship to the University of Göttingen. In the fall of the same year I enrolled at the Faculty of Philosophy and studied German language and literature. In addition to German language and literature studies, an interest in theater developed. My membership in the dramaturgy department of the Department of German Philology extended beyond 6 semesters, where I was allowed to work as a performer, director, assistant director, set designer, sound engineer and stage manager. These amateur acting activities opened the door to the great theater for me. In the period between Nov. 64 – Feb. 65 I played simultaneously on all public stages in Göttingen: the dramaturgical department of the University of Göttingen, Deutsches Theater Göttingen and Junges Theater Göttingen.

In autumn 1964 I changed my field of study. I began to study medicine. One year later I gave up studying completely. I went to Denmark in the winter of 1965 to earn my trip to the States financially. I worked in Denmark in a small metalworking factory. During this time my interest in film grew. I applied to the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin and was accepted in spring 1966 after the entrance examination.

 

Skip Norman wrote these remarks in German. The document is part of his personal file at Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB); Source: Deutsche Kinemathek. dffb-Archiv. File: N12697_dffb NORMAN, Skip. Image: Deutsche Kinemathek. dffb-Archiv.

[Suggested citation: Skip Norman, “Autobiographical Remarks,” Rosa Mercedes 03/A (January 2021), www.harun-farocki-institut.org/en/2021/01/28/autobiographical-remarks/]

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January 28th, 2021 — Rosa Mercedes / 03 / A
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Tatsiana Shchurko on the War in Ukraine, Entangled Imperialisms, and Transnational Feminist Solidarity, via LeftEast (May 2, 2022): “[An] uneven knowledge production and the many implications of the war against Ukraine reveal the dire need to develop a feminist anti-capitalist critique of multiple imperialisms. This language should grow from within the occupied and suppressed communities of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. An anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist feminist positionality grasps that the local is part of a global in an effort to build transnational connections of mutual aid and support against state and corporate violence. For example, statements of solidarity with Ukraine expressed by the International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia and Native American communities along with the anti-war feminist march in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) on March 8, 2022, pointing out that the war in Ukraine should be of concern for a broad transnational community, may serve as instrumental examples of alternative anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist solidarities that stretch beyond state regulations and macro-politics and foreground decolonial perspectives, necessary in addressing entanglements of multiple imperialisms. Such solidarities also bring to light hidden interconnections of the past that allowed for distant communities to survive and support each other against the violence of imperialist intervention and its attendant capitalist exploitation. Thus, the march in Bishkek reminds of the socialist roots of the International Women’s Day to call for internationalist, intersectional, class solidarity against imperialism and militarism.”

Vasyl Cherepanyn on that “It’ll take more than tanks to ease Germany’s guilt” (via Politico): “Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, Germany has been imposing neocolonial optics on its Eastern European ‘peripheries,’ and on the post-Soviet space in particular, where Ukraine was long considered a gray buffer zone about which the EU was ‘deeply concerned.’ Germany didn’t bother itself much with differentiating between former Soviet countries’ pasts. Even until recently, any Ukrainian agenda in Germany was often ‘balanced’ with a Russian perspective, so as to not exclude the latter by any means.”

An unnamed anarchist and art scholar, who joined the Territorial Defense Forces, quoted by Olexii Kuchanskyi in an essay on “Digital Leviathan and His Nuclear Tail” (via Your Art and e-flux notes): “At dawn, Dima and I talked about cinema. Dima believes that cinema is inferior to literature as a means of expression because you spend much more time with a book than a film. It’s a really interesting point, something to dig into. I studied at the department of art theory & history and I never thought of it. Dima served in the military after school and worked at the factory all his life. He listens to rap, smokes pot, and tries to have fun. He is thirty-eight, his child was born last year. He likes Wong Kar-wai and is a fan of Asian cinema in general. Dima communicates by quoting Omar Khayyam, Confucius, and other awesome guys.”

April 20th, 2022

Vasyl Cherepanyn (Visual Culture Research Centre, Kyiv) on Putin’s “World War Z” and the West’s deadly “foot-dragging”, via Project Syndicate: “The main feature of this Western condition is constant belatedness. The West has always been too late, incapable of acting ahead and instead just reacting to what has already happened. As a Ukrainian joke went at the time, ‘While the European Union was taking a decision, Russia took Crimea.’ Then as now, Ukrainians wondered, ‘What is the West’s red line? What will compel the West to act instead of waiting and discussing when to intervene?’”

Barbara Wurm on Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravičius, killed in Mariupol, via Die Welt: “Kvedaravičius unfolded a whole spectrum of visual anthropology over a decade with only three films [Barzakh, Mariupolis, Parthenon]. It now awaits evaluation and exploration. The time will come. The films themselves make possible an infinite immersion in the matter of the world, between dream and reality, horror and everyday life, facts and phenomenal imagology.”

April 5th, 2022

Statement by #AfricansFromUA on Equal Treatment via e-flux notes: “Non-Ukrainian nationals from the war in Ukraine arriving in Germany have been facing very different terms of treatment—both in different federal states and cities but also within the very same city throughout time and different facilities. While some received so called ‘Fictitious Certificates’ for one year without further procedures others were pressured to submit an asylum application with their finger prints registered and passports seized. Again others were given a so called “Duldung” including the threat of deportation.”

April 5th, 2022
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