Sreya Chatterjee, from India, is enrolled on a Master’s programme in conservation and restoration and is also one of the DAAD’s 2021 award winners. Alongside her studies, Sreya is involved in a host of social projects. Her dedicated efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic should be highlighted here, when she helped to set up an infrastructure database for oxygen cylinders and other equipment for Indian cities. In the winter semester 2021/22, she will act as an HTW buddy and help the new students with their photochemistry lab work.
Where at HTW Berlin do you feel most at home?
At the Wilhelminenhof Campus! Located on the banks of the Spree, this campus is a part of Berlin’s industrial heritage, rich in history and change. Apart from our faculty’s well-equipped laboratories, where I spend most of my time studying, the cafeteria grounds right next to the river are the perfect place to relax and find inspiration.
You are committed to anti-discriminatory, anti-racist and non-violent communication. Do you have personal experience of this?
These issues are very close to my heart, both theoretically and also because they are sadly part of my everyday life. With each such experience, I try to understand my own behaviour and that of society. The original meaning of the term discrimination signified the ability to distinguish. In the course of our collective history, it then acquired negative connotations. I try to observe my own words and actions and those of the people around me, and never hesitate to act in solidarity.
What are your plans for the future?
The conservation and restoration of audiovisual and photographic material is a relatively new field of research that is very complex in terms of materiality as well as the possibilities for long-term preservation. Many countries, including my home country of India, are rich in audiovisual heritage but face climatic, financial and logistical challenges. I am committed to developing affordable strategies, applicable methods and didactic training programmes in this field for future generations.
Who would you like to coffee with
A coffee with the versatile filmmaker Werner Herzog would be great. Herzog is a humanist through and through, an observer of the times and a creative traveller. His documentaries, feature films and writings are not only a refuge in times of struggle and disappointment, but also an inspiration to embrace life and its challenges with an open heart and without inhibitions, again and again. Life is an elusive truth, and as Herzog says, “truth itself wanders through the forests.”
The questions were asked by Hannah Weißbrodt (Communications).
Pictures: Alexander Rentsch
01. Oktober 2021