Radioortung - 10 kilometres of files Dresden

- A Stasi audio walk

By Haug / Wetzel / Brünger

By some estimates over 10km of files were kept in the Stasi archive in the former Bezirkshauptstadt, Dresden. Rimini Protokoll makes these files accessible: narrating them from the perspective of those affected, at the places the files were created. 50 people in Dresden were asked about their experience of being under surveillance by the state security services. They reconstruct the situations and present their history as a contrast to the Stasi files. How does it sound today, when these so-called 'state and class enemies' explain what the state accused them of? Did those under observation know when and where they were being watched? When do the accounts written in the files diverge from what actually happened?

The listener walks through central Dresden with a map and a GPS mobile phone. The mobile phone knows where the listener is and automatically narrates the scene. Walking through the baroque city centre the listener hears observation reports, personality profiles, operative’s plans, verbatim records and original recordings from the archives. Looking at the familiar city and its everyday life and listening to original sound recordings, the walker encounters a strange and complex world: How easy is it for something to become official and unquestionable once it's written down? How quickly does a written report become an official and unquestionable document?

The city is a museum of invisible objects, an audible, highly subjective archive that encourages each visitor to navigate their way through the stories and to position themselves in relation to them. Thanks to the GPS mobile phone the walkers are always locatable as they travel through the city – triggering audio documentation that is audible not only to the walker but also to the people who are following their journey online. Thanks to the online acoustic observation map visitors can move around the city virtually. Alone or in groups, the flaneur and their online visitors enter the role of the secret police – searching for audio footprints in and around the city.


A project by Helgard Haug, Daniel Wetzel, Sebastian Brünger

Concept: Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi, Daniel Wetzel 

Additional research and editing: Michael Hoh
Production Director, Dresden and additional research: Ute Meckbach
Project Manager: Heidrun Schlegel

Voice: Sonja Beißwenger

Development of app and interactive map: Udo Noll (Radio Aporee)

Radioortung is a Deutschlandradio Kultur series.
A co-production between Rimini Apparat, the Staatsschauspiel Dresden and the Sächsischen Landesbeauftragten für Stasi-Unterlagen.
Supported by the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur.

With advisory support from the BStU, Berlin and Dresden branch and the Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft e.V. 
Supported by Sony Mobile.