I Am Because You Were

I Am Because You Were

Short film (2018)

10′ 30”

Premiere: October 19, 2018, designtransfer, Universität der Künste Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Online screening: FILMZ Festival Mainz, November 6-7, 2020

Fashion Design, Direction, Editing: Pierre-Yves Dalka
Dance, Choreography: Duduzile Voigts
Music: Evelyn Saylor
Director of Photography: Stephan Wagner

UdK Design

UdK Schau

Experimental documentary dance film by Pierre-Yves Dalka.

Motho ke motho ka batho.
A human is a human through other humans.

Do we hone our individual identities to those akin to us? Are our lives a mere continuation of the stories of those who preceded us? Are we destined to bear their burdens and atone for their wrongs? Or can we finally overcome a history of hurting and break free from the past without having to discard our ancestors and ancestresses as a whole?

“I am because you were” explores the complex cultural hybridity of human beings by focussing on the case of the German-South African dancer Duduzile Voigts and her family lineage. It is an exemplification of history-making: At times, we were able to source from an abundance of material archives and personal interviews; at others, the historical information on the characters we crafted was extremely scarce. In either case, our image of the past is pieced together through subjective interpretation and speculation. The history we so draw our personal identities from is rather a matter of malleable fiction than that of reliable fact.

The film was installed in the exhibition of the Masters Theses of students in the Universität der Künste Berlin Masters Program in Fashion Design.

From November 6-7, 2020, the film was also screened online (on demand) within a program of short films in the 19th iteration of the FILMZ Festival Mainz – Festival des Deutschen Kinos. Program Booklet

Trailer for “I Am Because You Were”