Berlinale: Programme

Berlinale Shorts

Avant l'envol

Before the Flight

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In 1960, the so-called Year of Africa, many African countries liberate themselves from European colonial powers and become independent, including the Ivory Coast. Independence leads to a real boom in architecture. In Abidjan, the then-capital, buildings must be constructed for the parliament, university, banks and conference centres. The extravagant, heroic, modern buildings are designed to reflect the spirit of the young nation and epitomise that which was achieved: Hope, curiosity, ambition and new self-confidence. Laurence Bonvin visits these buildings in the present day and is particularly interested in the work of the French architect Henri Chomette, who immigrated to Ethiopia in 1949. A distinct focus is thereby placed on those who visit and use his buildings. How does this architecture function today? Their view to opulent futurism allows space for gestures and an informal approach beyond the great historical narrative.

Laurence Bonvin

Switzerland 2016

Without dialogue

Documentary form
20 min · Colour


Laurence Bonvin
Laurence Bonvin, Cheikh Ndiaye
Director of Photography
Laurence Bonvin


Laurence Bonvin

Born in Sierre in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, she studied photography at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie (ENSP) in Arles, France. Her documentary practice in photography and video has recently focused on urban transformation processes, segregation, human displacement and the architecture of power. She has exhibited her work extensively worldwide and has published four monographs. Since 2001 she has taught photography at the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL). She lives in Berlin and Lausanne.

Filmography (short films)

2013 After Vegas; co-director: Stéphane Degoutin 2014 Sounds of Blikkiesdorp 2016 Avant l'envol (Before the Flight)

Produced by

Laurence Bonvin
Crans-Montana, Switzerland
+49 171 7041047