The Song of the Shirt

The work departs from Ernst Toller’s play “Die Maschinenstürmer” (1922), but relocates its themes along the remnants and ruins of the cotton industry, in post-2011 Egypt and post-industrial Poland. Actualizing a criticism of technology, the film re-reads the Luddites movement for a contemporary body of the worker that is always already informed by the histories of technological progress. Filmed in one continuous shot, the movements of a seamstress, a projectionist, the screen maker, and the film crew as the choir seek to find ways to intervene in the cyclic structure, possible disruptions torn between the historical continuity and an urge to deviate the progressive form. Slow down, stop, don’t proceed.
Projections on off-white cotton screens document production methods in the fields of cotton agriculture, weaving, processing, sewing, and storytelling—all narrative structures that can tell us about complex social changes in everyday life experiences. In a counter-narrative, two voices seek out subverted forms of sabotage, practices of weaving the stories and telling the textiles that may be (to quote Haraway) “making practices, pedagogical practices, and cosmological performances.” (Kerstin Schroedinger)
by Kerstin Schroedinger
with Maha Maamoun, Omnia Sabry, Natalia Rolón, Kerstin Schroedinger
Germany 2016 English 46’ Colour


  • Maha Maamoun (Voice)
  • Omnia Sabry (Projectionist)
  • Natalia Rolón (Seamstress)
  • Kerstin Schroedinger (Screenmaker)


Director Kerstin Schroedinger
Screenplay Nawara Belal, Kerstin Schroedinger
Cinematography Bernadette Paassen
Editing Kerstin Schroedinger
Music Wibke Tiarks, Kerstin Schroedinger
Sound Design Gilles Aubry
Sound Manuela Schininà
Production Design Sophia Sylvester Röpcke
Costumes Sophia Sylvester Röpcke
Assistant Director Wibke Tiarks
Producer Kerstin Schroedinger

Produced by

Kerstin Schroedinger

Kerstin Schroedinger

Kerstin Schroedinger is an artist working in performance-based moving image and sound performance. Her historiographic practice questions the means of image production, historical linearities, and ideological certainties of representation. She researches the coinciding histories of industrialization and film. Her works and curatorial practice are often collaborative. Since 2017 she is a member of LaborBerlin, an artist-run analog film lab in Berlin.


2004 Das Monument 2007 anstatt dass 2009 as found; with Mareike Bernien, 15 min. 2010 Rigid things can always be moved about · Translating the other; with Mareike Bernien, 7 min. 2011 Red, she said; with Mareike Bernien, 13 min. 2014 Rainbow's Gravity; with Mareike Bernien, Forum Expanded 2014, 33 min. 2015 Fugue 2017 Bläue 2020 Songs of the Shirt; Forum Expanded 2021 · The Song of the Shirt

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022