Interview to Isabelle Gattiker, a member of the Global Campus Visual Contest 2017
Interview to Isabelle Gattiker, General and Programme Director of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva. She is a member of the Jury of the GC Visual Contest 2017.
These last 15 years deeply changed and reshaped the international scenario, increasing disorder and spreading fear. How this global instability has been reflected in the work of the artists that took part in the last edition of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights?
The International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva, an independant event taking place in the heart of Geneva during the Human Rights Council’s main session, presents outsanding works by international filmmakers : many of them attended the Festival, such as Rithy Panh, Angelina Jolie, Raoul Peck, Brillante Mendoza, Bertrand Bonello, Juliette Binoche and Gael Garcia Bernal, among many others. We also show photography exhibitions: Leila Alaoui was our artist in honor before she was tragically killed in Ouagadougou in January 2016, and we also exhibited the very talented Debi Cornwall and Augustin Le Gall, as well as powerful art pieces by Mounir Fatmi and Ai Weiwei. It’s fascinating to observe the resonances between different art forms, and their evolution. The more the world seems to tumble, the more we feel the urgency artists have to create, to reflect. They want not only to be witnesses but also actors of their time.
This year edition of the Global Campus Visual Contest is open also to video makers. What advice would you give to participants willing to document on human rights and offer horizons for debate and action?
The work of video makers is more important than ever and often complements the works of photographers. We need sharp, and committed filmmakers, and we are eagerly looking for complex, intimate and powerful stories. But they should never forget to take the time to understand the situations they are working on, and the tragedies and struggles people are dealing with. We need moving stories, but told concientously, with a full respect to the subjects.
Nowadays media are saturated by stories of violations of human rights and people often tend to ignore reality. How important is to support young talented filmmakers and human rights activists in order to break this indifference?
We are saturated by images and short-term information, lacking context, lacking distance, made too fast. What we need is to see powerful stories, complex situations, and it is more and more important to support the courageous filmmakers and human rights activists who chose to dedicate their work to the victims and to those who do not have a voice. They need funding, they need coaching, they need visibility, they need networks and partners. Thank you so much to the EICU Global Campus for it’s commitment and for making this possible!