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Our Staging for Bunker Valentin was a particularly challenging task. Starting point of the whole project was the Team of Denkort Bunker Valentin approaching us with a tricky situation they were facing.

Denkort Bunker Valentin is a former submarine bunker, constructed by the German Navy in mid 1943. Up to 10,000 forced laborers were working under extreme pressure day and night on the enormous construction site. Approximately 1,600 forced laborers died as a result of the physically strenuous work, inadequate care and inhumane living conditions in the camps.

When we first visited Denkort Bunker Valentin, it seemed like it consisted of two parts: The ruin part, showing historically untouched reminisces of the bombing of the bunker at the end of the second world war. And the large part of the Bunker that the German Navy once used as a material depot. Although this part is also open to the public, it had lost some of its authenticity due to the remodelling – it was more reminiscent of a trivial warehouse. As a result, this part of the bunker was hardly perceived as a place of remembrance and generally got little attention from visitors.

It was our special task to deconstruct this huge, deserted space and to make the fates that it bundles tangible.

Thus, we created an immersive spatial staging with projections and audio that makes it possible to present the part of the Valentin Bunker that was shaped by the Bundeswehr in a different and new way without any architectural alterations. In contrast to text-heavy and less digital offers, this enables a multi-perspective, low-threshold communication of the history of the Valentin Bunker memorial site. In our production, we combined the haunting photos taken at the construction site by the perpetrators with a sound collage of original audio snippets from interviews with contemporary witnesses, quotes from their writings and original documents from the construction period.

We want to give the warmest thanks to the team at Bunker Valentin, especially Marcus Meyer, Christel Trouvé and Ksenja Holzmann, for their invaluable input and trust in us.

Commissioned by: Denkort Bunker Valentin
Premiere: 24th of October, 2023

Credits
Direction: Lydia Liedtke
Creative Direction: Till Botterweck
Media Design: Lennart Liedtke
Sound Design: Thomas Werner
Production Management: Majo Ussat

The photos and video recordings of the construction site come from the archive of the Denkort Bunker Valentin, the sound recordings of the contemporary witness interviews were conducted by the Denkort Bunker Valentin team.

Narration: Daniel Fries, Guido Gallmann, Lydia Liedtke

Doku:
Camera: Lennart Liedtke, Till Botterweck
Editing: Lennart Liedtke, Lydia Liedtke