GET TO KNOW OUR STUDENTS: CARMAN
Continuing on with our Students of Transmitter series, we asked Carman, who is currently in Vu's B1.1 course, a few questions to get to know her better. A longtime resident of Berlin, she has a very interesting perspective and experiences as an 'expat'. Read on below!
(You can also click through to the German version to read the German original!)
Transmitter: Carman, thanks for doing this interview with us. Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Carman: Hi! I'm Carman from Canada, I have been living in Berlin for more than 6 years. I originally came here for film school and after it ended, I worked on various projects. I also started getting more serious with my interest in contemporary dance and got to perform a few times with my dance class.
T: How long have you been at Transmitter and which courses have you attended?
C: I have been studying at Transmitter since November 2019 and have taken the A2.2, B1.1 and A2 Grammar courses.
T: What do you like about Transmitter? And what do you like about the German language?
C: I like Transmitter for several reasons:
1) Transmitter is very diverse and inclusive, which is important for me because I have no more tolerance or energy for ignorance.
2) The teachers are kind and care a lot about the students (I have had a lot of bad experiences in the past with learning German).
3) The atmosphere is very relaxed.
4) There are many art-related activities.
The German language is extremely hard because of the grammar, but what I like about the language is that it's so precise. There are so many words that just don't exist in the English language and I hope to reach the fluency to be able to use those words.
T: How do you feel as a Canadian/Expat in Berlin?
C: My experience as a Canadian expat is an interesting one (I also have complicated feelings towards the word 'expat'). What is interesting about it is that I never fully confronted my identity as a BIPOC until I moved to Germany as the dreaded question, "Where are you from?" is usually the first thing someone asks you. When I say I'm from Canada, I always get a confused look and then the follow up question,"But where are you really from?" or "But what are you?" I learned some new words, such as microaggression. It was a very lonely learning curve and recently I started attending BIPOC workshops and meetings through Facebook. I think it's important for everyone to have access to safe spaces and to have contact with people who has dealt with the same things as you.
T:Can you tell us something/more about your work as a filmmaker in Berlin?
C. What attracted me as a filmmaker to Berlin is that it is - in a way - much easier to make a film here with no budget. However, it is also the hard part about working in film in Berlin - not being able to earn a living from your work.
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I think it's important as a filmmaker to include your world into your stories. It's also fascinating to see filmmakers making films about the same themes but having completely different results, because it's so personal. I try to find small moments to focus on in my own films, but the themes tend to deal with disconnection (between people, between a person and themself, between a person and the world... there's just so many ways of disconnection), mental health, and women who deal with issues that are not talked about much in society (or are considered controversial). Of course, I'm also trying to reconcile my identity as a BIPOC person, what that entails and how that informs my work.