Margrit Bürer

Video mitenand and Jungi mached TV

Born 1955 in Emmenbrücke and raised in Biel, she now lives in Zurich. She worked as a promoter and organizer of sociocultural video and community video for many years. Now she is the cultural commissioner for the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden.

00:00 Start. Background. 02:29: Business Management School / Me and my moped / Fascination for film at the University of Fribourg. 04:52: Moving to Zurich / I become a social educator and commit myself to an open TV channel in Wil, St.Gallen. 06:43: TV work with a psychiatric clinic. 08:20: Reasons for high audience share. 09:31: Inspired by Community Video / Encounter with Heinz Nigg / 12 years of joint project work / «Kinder machen TV» («Children make TV») / «Video mitenand» («Video together»). 10:38: Learning from children / Analysing TV culture. 11:17: Video walks / Children discover their neighbourhood. 11:53: How the life of children in Kreis 5 in Zurich changed. 12:46: Video together / Filming with the elderly / «Die Langen Ferien» («The Long Holidays»). 15:36: Social learning and handling video technology. 16:33: To switch sides / My women’s videos. 18:50: Back in my role as social and video educator / Projects with migrants and other women’s groups / Commissioned video productionsn. 20:45: From independent video making to head of the «Kulturmobil» of the Pro Helvetia foundation. 23:58: Today, I manage the Departement for Culture of the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. 25:54: On the relation between art and culture then and now. 27:26: My wishes for young artists and cultural workers. 28:15: Credits.

Die langen Ferien

Video mitenand

1983, realization: Margrit Bürer and Heinz Nigg, 42 mins, U-matic low band, color, 13 mins (excerpts), original to be ordered through

A bus driver, a roof tiler and stove setter, a municipal administration employee, a PTT clerk, and a train engine driver are about to be retired soon. They talk about their ideas for the future, their hopes. How life as a pensioner could actually look like is shown in four film scenes: Longing for work life, looking for a fulfilling pastime, changes in the dynamics of married life.

Film scene between wife (W) and husband (H)
W   What are you doing there with two colanders?
H    As you can see: I’m cutting up apples. To make applesauce
W   So many dishes for a little bit of applesauce?
H    Don’t let that be your concern, just let me do this. I have a system: Peeling the apples, putting them in this bowl, cutting them up and putting them in that one. You’ll see. And I’ll clean the colanders myself.
W   That’s fine then.
H    Don’t worry.
W   Can I start cooking anyway?
H    Yes, of course, if you have enough space.
W   Yes, that’s fine.
H    I could also sit on the other side of the table. What are you making?
W   Oat patties.
H    That’s nice. We haven’t had those in a long while. They’re tasty, healthy, and even inexpensive. Can you reach the cupboard behind me?
W   Well, where could the Aromat (powdered seasoning) be?
H    How am I supposed to know, I’m not the chef of this kitchen! You should know where the stuff is.
W   But you made the salad dressing yesterday.
H    Me?
W   Yes, you.
H    That’s true. Where did I put it again? Have a look in there (W has a look in the kitchen cupboard). Ah, you see!
W   The Aromat has always been up there. That’s what I’m used to!
H    Now, no need to throw a fit about that. You found the Aromat, haven’t you.

The married couple at dinner
W    You know what? I’ll take up carpet weaving again now that I have less work in the kitchen.
H    That’s fine by me, go ahead. I’ll be going out then: Playing cards or some other hokum.
W   No, I mean if you were helping with the cooking.
H    Ah, I see. Well, I’m already in the kitchen.
W   I see.
H    But you’ll need to stay outside then!
W   I’m sure whatever you cook will be edible (both laugh).
H    I would hope so. Just don’t be too picky.
W   No sugar in the salad, please!
H    I won’t put sugar into the salad bowl, just on my own plate.
W   We’ll be able to agree then. Would you like some more salad?
H    Yes, please.

The Mission

Jungi mached TV

1987, realization: Margrit Bürer and Heinz Nigg, 14 mins, Video-8 camcorder, 6 mins (excerpts), original available through

An island tribe worships their goddess “Super-Voice.” Then aliens come in to land. The short film was produced at a summer camp for children and teens.