Four filmic portraits

The four video portraits are starting point and incitation in order to debate about the radical. The protagonists do not call themselves radical but they want to fundamentally change the society.

Tolis Papageorgio, environmental activist in Greece

At the age of 40, Tolis Papageorgio left behind his former life as a successful engineer to fight against the construction of a gold mine in his home village. Meanwhile, more than 20 years have passed since he turned his home village into a protest camp. The police responded with tear gas and house searches. 400 villagers stand accused, and Papageorgio has himself been charged with establishing a criminal organization. He has lost his belief in democracy.

Jérémie Maradas-Nado, former gang leader and former Islamist from Paris

Jérémie Maradas-Nado grew up on the rough streets of the Parisian Banlieue. Early on, he worked his way up the ladder in the street gang hierarchy, becoming the leader of the notorious “Black Dragons”. In jail, he encountered radical Islamists and joined their cause. During this period, he got to know the terrorists who committed the Parisian attacks from 2015. He might well have gone to extremes had his sister not urgently pled with him to leave the group. Today, works together with adolescents from disadvantaged neighborhoods and tries to keep them away from the sway of Islamist groups.

Anonymus, former PKK fighter from Berlin

Anonymus (not his real name) is a Kurd. As a child, he fled from Turkey to Berlin with his parents. At age 18, he decided to return to his native country and to fight for the Kurdish people’s rights. He joined the PKK and lived in the mountains of Kurdish dominated Northern Iraq for 10 years. One day he made the decision to leave the group because it no longer represented his goals. However, it is impossible to simply leave the PKK. Today he is again living in Berlin and is forced to hide both from the German authorities as well as from the active supporters of the PKK.

Melanie Dittmer, chairwoman of the Right Identitarian Action (Rechte Identitäre Aktion)

Already as a teenager, Melanie Dittmer belonged to the youth organization of the radical German rightwing party NPD. Nowadays, she organizes nationalist demonstrations and feeds Youtube and Instagram channels with nationalist slogans. She was recently convicted on charges of inciting racial hatred in Germany.