Berlinale
Berlinale for closing the proceedings against Dangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga

Author Tsitsi Dangarembga smiles. Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Archive image

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The festival management of the Berlinale has backed the author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga. The 63-year-old is currently on trial in her home country of Zimbabwe. “As an institution that campaigns worldwide for freedom of expression and freedom of art, we call on the government of Zimbabwe to acquit Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Barnes or to stop the proceedings,” said the management of the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday .

The festival management Berlinale has backed the author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga. The 63-year-old is currently on trial in her home country of Zimbabwe. “As an institution that campaigns worldwide for freedom of expression and freedom of art, we call on the government of Zimbabwe to acquit Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Barnes or to stop the proceedings,” said the management of the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday .

Dangarembga and Barnes have always stood up for freedom in bold and artistically compelling ways. “The right to freedom of expression is enshrined in the country’s constitution – if it were denied to these women, it would be against the constitution,” said Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian in a statement.

Dangarembga was honored with the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in autumn and was a member of the Berlinale jury at the beginning of the year. In Zimbabwe was accused of her public incitement to violence, breach of the peace and bigotry after taking part in anti-government protests in July 2020. Dangarembga has to answer to a court in the capital Harare, which reports directly to President Emmerson Mnangagwa. On Monday (June 27) a judge is to decide whether the proceedings will be discontinued. If not, Dangarembga faces several years in prison.

dpa