founded in 1979 mainly by students of the university of fine arts of hamburg hfbk-hamburg, bildwechsel is amongst other things one of hamburg's longest-running women's projects. when it was first launched, its main aim was to strengthen the presence of women in the audiovisual media arts.
the original concept
the concept that the founding members had was around the idea of artistic or political “groupings”. the project did not provide for proper jobs or paid work. everything was paid for by the project itself and we provided the equipment and materials ourselves – with the help and support of others. this type of project work had the advantage of offering its members shared work spaces and production equipment. another equally important objective was acting as a women's center and a public space where the artistic work of other women could be shown.
the concept of today
bildwechsel is now an umbrella organisation for women media culture and the arts. we have our main base in hamburg and bases in different cities, agents and friends making connections and collecting work.
to do our work we try to combine different funding possibilities: from the kulturbehörde hamburg we get funding for special projects or programmes; we try to cover our running costs through the kind donations of people setting up monthly payments to us, our own fundraising benefits and efforts, and by charging for some services.
we really would like to ask everyone to:
- apply for money for projects together with bildwechsel,
- support us by setting up a monthly (even small) payment to us,
- to fundraise for us.
we are interested to look at alternative ways to fund our work e.g. perhaps to work with other women artists projects on developing a european network in order to access other funds that can make our own work, and that of the other organisations, more secure a way of working together but remaining autonomous, supporting each other to develop (and to survive) but keeping our own identities, aims, ways of working.
the idea of bildwechsel as an umbrella organisation comprises different sections / projects that are organised in various ways, as well as short and longer-term activities and projects, all of whom coexist within a shared space and a shared infrastructure.
the aim they all have in common remains the same: to promote women's art and culture in the audiovisual media and fine arts. however the ways that we achieve this involves imagination and a willingness to adapt. the sections, activities and associated initiatives that are part of the bildwechsel umbrella organization are presented in brief here.
bildwechsel is also based on the concept of exchange: between the existing people and bases and agents involved, and also to make new connections to share and exchange work, knowledge, ideas, alternatives. through exchange we build up the archive collections, and through the connections we make we build up networks that support each other, develop new ideas, show work, discuss ideas.