Building Infrastructure for Peace

Our assignment in this project: To convey important elements of the updated BMZ strategy for Transitional Development Assistance (TDA) by example of projects in Ninewa, North central Iraq. But how to make a video when travel is prohibited either due to Iranian missiles hitting targets in North Iraq, or travel restrictions due to the Covid 19-pandemic?

An important element of this new strategy is to combine elements of physical infrastructure building with peacebuilding- and conflict prevention elements. The task was to explain this approach by the example of a range of projects in Ninewa.

casestudy ninewa themenburo mosul

Destroyed old town of Mosul, the capital of Ninewa. Photo: Fabian Brandt, 2018

“Remote” and “Hunter-gatherer” Storytelling

The central problem of the assignment was that production on site was impossible during the time due to security regulations (military tensions with Iran, later the pandemic). As a consequence, we improvised by “hunting and gathering” all suitable material available such as

  • utilizing pre-existing archive material from different sources (Fabian Brandt, BMZ)
  • film material by freelancer Kevin McElvaney who had produced drone images a few months earlier

and briefing Iraqi Camera man Raghed Nenwaya on filming precisely the needed recordings.

The images were complemented by an interview with BMZ state secretary Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, the only images originally produced by us for this film.

casestudy bmz ninewa flachsbarth

case study ninewa themenburo screenshot

While the remote and hunter-gatherer method may be everything but ideal for the production of high-quality mini documentaries, the result was rather convincing – strongly supported by the professionally narrated VoiceOver.