Media and the Ethics in Southeast Europe in Times of Crisis – Approaches from Photography, Media and Film Studies, International Symposium Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 28. October 2015

von pistrick


The recent socio-economic crisis in Greece, as well as the social movements in Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and in the Ukraine have attracted media in an unprecedented way. While many investigative reporters and journalists, as well as film directors of mainstream media have searched for their own profit in covering these movements, others have assumed a much more self-reflective stance, reflecting about the film and the photo camera as opinion-generating weapons. What are the ethical limits of what can be shown on the TV screen? What are the intimacies, emotionalities engaged in times of crisis and how can we respect the human dignity of the actors involved in them? How can media sensibilize the public and the civil society for the human dimension of crisis? How can media take an experimental stance in approaching crisis-scapes and how can this provide new impulses to everyday media coverage and to scientific research on Southeast Europe? Photographers who have stood on the frontline of the conflict in the Eastern Ukraine, a social activist filmmaker from Greece and a Slovenian anthropologist who has both analyzed and lived subversivity in the (Post)communist Yugoslav space, discuss about the possible connecting points of crisis situations from their own professional experiences, providing us – in connection with a screening of their selected works – with an insight of how to medialize adequately situations of rupture and new beginnings.
Die soziale und ökonomische Krise in Griechenland, die zivilgesellschaftlichen Bewegungen in Makedonien, in Serbien, Albanien und der Ukraine und jüngst die Flüchtlingskrise haben ein unvorhersehbares Medienecho ausgelöst. Reporter, Journalisten, Regisseure und Fotografen der Mainstream Medien haben über die Ereignisse berichtet – oft mit voyeuristischen oder profitorientierten Perspektiven. Andere Fotografen und Regisseure hingegen berichteten selbstreflexiv über diese Ereignisse und hinterfragten selbstkritisch Film und Fotografie als meinungsbildende und manipulative Medien. Die Konferenz versucht diese kritischen und reflexiven Stimmen einzufangen und sie in einen Dialog zu bringen. Wo liegen die ethische Grenzen der medialen Berichterstattung? Welche Gefühlswelten und welche Intimsphären werden in Krisenzeiten berührt und wie können wir die menschliche Dignität der Menschen in Krisenzeiten wahren? Inwieweit können Medien die Öffentlichkeit und die Zivilgesellschaft für die menschliche Dimension von Krisensituationen sensibilisieren? Welche experimentellen Zugänge können Medienmacher finden um sich mit Krisen auseinanderzusetzen? Welche neuen Impulse braucht die Berichterstattung über/aus Südosteuropa und inwieweit kann diese in einen Dialog mit der Wissenschaft eintreten? Ein Fotograf, der von der ostukrainischen Front berichtet, ein griechischer Aktivist und Filmemacher und ein slowenischer Anthropologe, der Subversivität im (post)jugoslawischen Raum sowohl durchlebt als auch erforscht hat, treten in einen Dialog ein und erkunden mögliche Verbindungspunkte zwischen Krisensituationen, und individuellen Erfahrungen und ermöglichen uns praktische Einblicke in die Problematik der Medialisierung von Krisensituationen, Brüchen und Neuanfängen (Eckehard Pistrick)
Venue: MMZ (Mitteldeutsches Multimediazentrum), Studio, Mansfelder Str. 56, Halle/Saale

Leitung/Organisation: Prof. Dr. Angela Richter, Dr. Eckehard Pistrick, Tijana Maticevic M.A.

9:00-9:30 Eröffnung/Opening

Prof. Dr. Angela Richter,
Head of the Halle branch of the Southeast Europe Association

PD Dr. Susanne Vollberg

current director of the Media and Communications Department, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hirschmann,
Institute for Music, Dept. Musicology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Dr. Eckehard Pistrick,
Institute for Music, Dept. Musicology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Tijana Matijević MA,
Institute for Slavic Studies, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
9:30-10:15 Keynote „Subversiveness of Alternatives and Destructiveness of Power in Yugoslav Socialist and Post-Socialist Space“
Prof. Dr. Rajko Mursić (Universität Ljubljana), Slovenia

10:15-10:30 Discussion

10:30-10:45 Coffee break

10:45-11:15 „Being an embedded War photographer in the Eastern Ukraine – Ethical Limits of a profession“ Florian Bachmeier, photographer, n-Ost Network for Reporting on Eastern Europe, Schliersee

11:15-11:30 Discussion

11:30-12:00 „SPIEGEL-Photographer Knut Mueller: Pictures of War and Crisis in Southeast Europe. Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Romania“
Knut Mueller, photographer, Halle

12:00-12:15 Discussion

12:15-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-14:05 Screening of „Future Suspended“ (2014), Dimitris Dalakoglou 35 min
14:05-14:30 „The Crisis-scapes of Athens-Towards an Engaged Anthropology of the Greek Crisis“ Dr Dimitris Dalakoglou, filmmaker and professor in anthropology, VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands

14:30-15:45 Screening of „Recycling Medea“ (2013) Asteris Kutulas 75 min
15:45-16:15 „Medea and the Crisis – Critical Remarks“ Asteris Kutulas, music producer, filmmaker, journalist, Berlin

16:15-16:30 Discussion

16:30-17:00 Coffee break

17:00-17:30 „Ethical Efficacy and the Cinema Fist: Reflections on the Ethics of Using Visual Media in a Study of Spirit Possession among Muslim Refugees in Denmark“
Ass.Prof. Christian Suhr, filmmaker and anthropologist, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark

17:30-17:45 Discussion

17:45-18:15 round table discussion of all active participants „How to portray crisis in media?“

19:00-21:00 Screening and discussion of „Descending with Angels“ (2013) 75 min. in presence of the director Christian Suhr

21:00 Dinner (individual)
um Voranmeldung wird gebeten:
for registration please contact:

weitere aktualisierte Informationen unter:
updated conference informations available at:

Keynote Abstract

Rajko Muršič
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology

Subversiveness of Alternatives and Destructiveness of Power in Yugoslav Socialist and Post-Socialist Space

Speaking of specificities of Yugoslav Socialism and Post-socialism, there are three kinds of power and alternatives worth examination: power of the state apparatus, power of media, and power of the people, resisting both, before the break of socialism and after. During socialism, and after, then main weapon of the ordinary people was symbolic. Symbolic wars created the platform for the critical examination of the present, with rather utopian perspectives for the future. These wars were later, in 1991, transformed into it absolute negation, real wars, defined, again symbolically, as ethnic wars. After the periods of real wars and conflicts, the new era begun, lead by neoliberal reforms, of covered media wars: privatization of media, its control by existing political powers, and at the same time, the development of new social media brought into the fore the best, and the worst, from initial symbolic wars: we have a situation when the ordinary people entered the public arena, which is now fulfilled with openly fascist, racist and xenophobic reactions, as well as revolutionary and openly antifascist.
The author will present some examples from Slovenian perspective on long-term social transformation of Yugoslavian spaces of resistance: youth clubs and music venues, alternative media, especially radio, examples of symbolic struggles in underground music, and examples of music used in protests.
His main point is that it is impossible to expect progressive attitudes among the ordinary people, the commons, or subaltern masses, as well as that there is no need to see the state power as the only source of oppression. Liberal market may be many times even more oppressive than the state apparatuses. They may sometimes provide the basic ground for normalization of everyday life, which is, paradoxically, the common aspiration of both the suppressed, and their masters.
Resistance to oppression in its manifold forms: state power, conservatism, moral, market forces and capital, is inevitable. The most important are places where people can socialise and creatively express their position. In Slovenia, there is a network of independent music venues and youth centres, which are resisting with very open-minded approach. They were in front line of protests, refugee activism, and in spreading antifascist ideas. The author will present some squats, recently established venues, and decades long struggles of some „liberated territories“ for space, socializing and better world in general.