Katharina Balmer

Container TV

Born 1953 in Grindelwald, Canton of Bern. Lives and works in Bern. Co-founder of Container TV and an active member in the early years. Today she works as a coach and therapist in Bern.

00:00 Start. 00:19: Growing up in the mountains. 03:02: The values of my mother. 04:38: The scene of Bern / I study psychology. 06:38: Overcoming academic frustration / Getting involved in video. 08:58: We wanted to document the women’s movement and make our own television. 11:09: ‘Women, it’s enough!’ questions the image of women. 12:13: Networking. 13:45: The women quit. 16:28: Film careers for women. 17:18: Credits.

Froue – jetz längt’s

The Videohexen and Container TV

1979, 34 mins, ½ inch, black-and-white, 16 mins (excerpts), original online: video collection Stadt in Bewegung (Swiss Social Archive and Memoriav)

Documentary about the women’s movement in Switzerland in the 1970s. Street theater by feminists, portraits of feminist organizations and institutions in the form of interviews: editorial team of the magazine Emanzipation, the café Frauenzimmer in Basel, the Women’s Liberation Movement (FBB), the InFra (Information Center for Women), and the organization for the women’s cause (OFRA). Accompanied by feminist music.

A spokesperson of the InFra Bern
The InFra is an information point for women and was founded six years ago. Our first premises were on Poststrasse, and now we have a room in the Women’s Center. Around eight to ten women are participating. It’s an unpaid, non-profit counseling for pregnancy terminations, advice on gynecologists, divorce, legal advice, psychiatrists, psychologists, child-rearing, and so on. The reason most people come to us are abortions, followed by divorce, and then gynecologists, contraception, parenting advice. When they call us, we won’t offer advice over the phone. If, for example, they only want to know where to get an abortion and how much it costs, we refer them to “Help.” Because we want to talk to the people and find out if there are any other potential problems, instead of only providing information and sending them on their way.

Chorus from Nina Hagen’s song “Unbeschreiblich weiblich” (Indescribably feminine)
Why should I fulfill my women’s duty? For whom? For them? For you? For me? I don’t feel like fulfilling my duty. Not for you. Not for me. I don’t have a duty.