Students from three continents film the world

Flensburg, 04/12/2023: It was the highlight of the Autumn School at the university: films by students from Mexico, South Africa and Germany were screened at the short film festival – showing different perspectives on the world.

Students and lecturers from the Universidad Politécnica de Santa Rosa in Mexico, the Durban University of Technology in South Africa and Flensburg University of Applied Sciences will spend two weeks learning and teaching about film together. “In addition to intercultural exchange, the aim is also to think outside the box,” says Janntje Böhlke-Itzen. The Head of the International Learning and Language Centre at the university played a key role in organising the Autumn School. She also sees it as a contribution to the concept of “Internationalization at home”. Not all students at a university can and must go abroad, says Böhlke-Itzen. The aim is therefore to bring students and lecturers from all over the world to their own campus in order to enable local students to engage with foreign or unfamiliar perspectives.

Ten students and two lecturers from South Africa, five students and one lecturer from Mexico, together with four lecturers from Flensburg, offered a total of six modules, from which the participants took two courses each. There was also a workshop on intercultural dialogue, which provided many surprising moments and insights.

Films by young filmmakers from South Africa, Mexico and Flensburg were then shown at the Flensburg Short Film Festival. Under the motto “You see that too, don’t you?”, it became clear how differently young people from the three continents look at the various issues that concern them.

Owethu (21), Durban University of Technology: I took part in the Autumn School to learn new skills. I did the 3D animation module. It was the first time I worked with the technology. It was really exciting and I can’t wait to go home and use what I’ve learnt. And it was really nice to experience a new country and its way of working.

Job (20), Universitat Politecnica de Santa Rosa Jauregui: I took part in the Autumn School because it is a really great opportunity to learn and exchange experiences with other cultures and people from different countries. It’s also great to get to know the film community here in Flensburg. It was very interesting to exchange ideas with the film amateurs here.

Berit (21), Flensburg University of Applied Sciences: I took part in the Autumn School because I really enjoyed the modules. My highlight so far was that I was able to spend so much more time with my friends.

Siphumelele Zond (49), Durban University of Technology: I taught documentary film in Flensburg during the Autumn School. One of the highlights was the interaction with students from three different continents: Europe, Africa and Latin America. It was really great to hear their insights, the projects they are working on and how they look at the world from their different perspectives when shooting their documentary films.

Xiemena (20), Universitat Politecnica de Santa Rosa Jauregui: Taking part in the Autumn School helped us to broaden our horizons, learn more about different cultures and share our own culture – and I think that’s the most important thing. I wanted to share more about Mexico, more about what we have already achieved in our country. You can communicate with many creative people. I find that very impressive.

Thalente (22), Durban University of Technology: It was a great experience. I’m studying journalism in Durban. Here I have been learning about 3D modelling, something I haven’t done before. And in those two weeks at Autum School, I was taught by great lecturers from Germany, Mexico and South Africa. So yes, the experience was really great.

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