Lives in Transition


Video portraits that celebrate the other | Mandate Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development SDC | Concept Patrick Etienne, dubbed perceptions | Story consultant Antoine Jaccoud | Executive producer dubbed perceptions | Producer Latvia Video Agentura (today Kultfilma) | Producer Switzerland Geneva University of Art and Design HEAD | 2014-2015

Filmmakers Aivars Augustans, Alain Guillebeau, Anne Costa, Bruno Ascuks, Didzis Eglitis, Evita Karklioa, Fernando Tiberini, Fisnik Maxhuni, Frederic Hausammann, Inga Pranevska, Jonas Scheu, Juris Poskus, Lasma Abele, Lila Ribi, Marcis Slavinskis, Mikus Meirans, Quentin Cornet, Rene Worni, Ruta Celma-Kello

How do you communicate about the activity of a development organization? You make a documentary about its development projects. But this time SDC tried something different. Instead of its activity, the organization put the people at the center of its documentary. Thus started the production of 19 video portraits from Latvia and Switzerland. Yes, from Switzerland too. For why turn the camera only at the other? Why not let the other know something about us?

In order to celebrate the diversity dubbed perceptions asked filmmakers working in the two countries. The result is a panoply of portraits and story forms. The title Lives in Transition refers not only to people living in Latvia, a country in a social, political and economic transition. It refers also to the people in Switzerland. For there is no static life. Every life is on a path of transition - apparent or inner.

Personal story first

Once the video portraits have bee produced -and this alone was quite an achievement. We had to find the right balance between telling the filmmakers what the story needs to be about, and giving them the freedom to create something fresh- SDC had difficulties to find the right use for these unconventional films. How do you use a video that doesn't address your development program results in the first place? 

You need to be clear about the role of these films in your communication strategy. These films are about people and their fate. We watch a portrait about a person that lives on the other side of Europe. One one hand life seems to be similar to ours, but then again it's not. These films create curiosity about and an attachment with the other. You are inclined to know more. - You have created the perfect ground for further information about the country and your activity.