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Accompanying Video/Film Installation
by Stefanie Sycholt

Sponsors needed for this project!


I am South African and I am a German and I am a filmmaker. I have roots in both countries and see my life as a kind of cultural exchange between these two worlds. This is my motivation for getting involved in the project.

Broken Telephone – Healing Telephone:

A plea for inter-cultural, inter-active, inter-personal communication.

Broken Telephone. Perhaps we all remember this game from childhood birthday parties or bored Sunday afternoons: One person whispers a message into the ear of the next, who passes it on and so on and so on, until finally it arrives back at the source and it is never the same message, never ever, no matter how hard all try. Child's play, but it says a lot about communication and misunderstanding.

Healing Telephone. The imbenge-dreamhouse Video Installation takes the children's game and subverts it. It shows that even distortions and misunderstandings can have a positive outcome.

How can we imagine this? We start with a message of futility and hopelessness about our world today ... a person picks up a telephone, passes this message on and so it continues, from person to person over the telephone, until it comes out at the end as a positive message.

broken telephone

An example:

There is not enough space for all in the world.
There is naughty space for all in the world.
The space is naughty for all in the world.
Space enough for all in the world.
Enough to space for all the world.
Enough to share for all the world.
There is enough to share for all the world
There is enough for all to share the world.

The Broken Telephone/Healing Telephone texts will be conceptualised after consultation with the artists and sponsors involved in the project.

These Broken Telephone/Healing Telephone sessions will be interspersed by more documentary-style statements – short and brief. Each person making a statement will always have a telephone receiver pressed to his/her ear. People will talk, in English (German and the other South African official languages will be considered, at least for a section of the installation). Possible subjects: the importance of the telephone in people's lives; the dreams people have for the future of the world; how they see each other culturally.

The Broken Telephone/Healing Telephone games will always lead on to a new documentary-style topic. This also opens up the possibility for new and varied topics to be run at different venues and the possibility of dedicating certain exhibitions of the imbenge-dreamhouse to a particular topic, for example: the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Broken Telephone/Healing Telephone Installation runs continuously, so it doesn't matter at which point the viewer enters the imbenge-dreamhouse.

The sounds of ringing telephones and the voices of the Broken Telephone/Healing Telephone video installation are heard all the time while viewing the imbenge-dreamhouse, letting none forget that this is a house of communication.


A documentary film is planned on the conception and building of the imbenge-dreamhouse, which is such a superb opportunity for concrete, creative and innovative cultural exchange between Germany and South Africa … This documentary can be used as an informative accompaniment to the installation, as well as an independent cultural product for public broadcasting, teaching and information purposes.

Screenwriter & Director
Frundsbergstr. 12 / 80634 München, Germany
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