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Ferry Tale

Topic: Travels
  • 1975
  • Siska
Video made by the artist Siska as part of the Art in Networks fellowship programme.
Ferry Tale is about ship traffic between the GDR and Lebanon at a time when both Berlin and Beirut were divided cities.
Ferry Tale. Video by Siska, 2022.

Providing an insight into the micro-economies that borders have for long generated, Ferry Tale is part of the research-based project Latent Border(s) that examines historical overlaps between Berlin and Beirut, two cities that share common divisions of East and West.

Between 1972 and 1986, Clemens Külberg traveled to Lebanon while working for DSR Deutsche Seereederei Rostock DSR, the former East German state shipping company. He took photographs during his cargo ship voyages and describes what these ships brought to Beirut during the Lebanese civil war. At the same time, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) sold short-term visas and airline tickets to East Berlin to political refugees and migrants from Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s. After landing at Schönefeld Airport aboard Interflug, the former GDR state airline, most of the migrants took the subway/S-Bahn to West Berlin, where they sought asylum.

Clemens Külberg (born 1950) was born in West Berlin and spent his childhood there with (still) open borders until 1961. He spent his youth in the port city of Rostock in the former GDR. Here he received a maritime education, which enabled him to pursue his dream job as a seaman with the German Shipping Company. On different ships he frequented the port of Beirut regularly during the Levant voyage. From 1980 his residence was in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg. From here he worked on merchant ships of the Federal Republic of Germany worldwide. The port of Beirut was also called at. After finishing his maritime career, which took him to 136 countries, he was a tourist in Lebanon.....

FERRY TALE 12min - Beirut, Berlin & Hamburg 2022


Photo Archive - Clemens Kühlberg

Film Archive Latent Border(s) - Siska

Voice - Clemens Kühlberg, Moritz Frischkorn and Siska

Background sound Latent Border(s) - Felix Claßen

Text - Siska

Text and video were last edited on May 22, 2023.

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