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The international artist collective "Personal Cinema" and Berlin filmmaker Wilhelm Hein are the award winners of the 18th European Media Art Festivals (EMAF) which ended Sunday evening in Osnabrück. "Personal Cinema" won € 2.500 EMAF Award for a pioneering work in media art with ist project "Balkan Wars – The Game".

The three headed jury with Joke Ballentijn (Netherlands Media Art Institute/Montevideo, Amsterdam) Conny E. Voester (freie Kuratorin und Produzentin, Basel/Berlin)und Peter Zorn (Medienkünstler und Produzent, Werkleitz-Gesellschaft, Halle) was impressed by the diversity and quality of artistic positions and strategies that characterise the project Balkan Wars - The Game. With ist work the group Personal Cinema calls attention to burning political, social and cultural issues in a unique way. Analysing cultural stereotypes which form the basis for destructive aggressiveness between people and nations they contribute to it's comprehension through direct experience. The work comprises poetry, information, humour and respect for cultural identities.

With simple means and limited resources (based on Java and Lingo programming languages) Personal Cinema has managed to create a multi-user 3D game, that contains videos, sounds, images and texts on the Balkans, with contributions by more than 50 European artists, critics ad curators. The project centers around a computer game, which is a popular medium, and that is accessible to a wide audience and at the same time it is a platform for transnational exchange between different cultural groups and artistic disciplines. The rules of the game are simple: with the reception of 35 videos contained in the game and the interaction of the user's avatars the players learn to keep the balance between balkanisation and de-balkanisation.

Balkan Wars explores new ways of presentation and cooperation, while questioning media simplification of complex cultural and political phenomena. Balkan wars: the game is an ongoing project, and will be accessible on line in the near future. The jury hopes that the EMAF Award will help to further develop this pioneering work.

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Page last modified on May 01, 2006, at 09:10 PM