IFC Projectgroup Presentation-3 (8) @ Ulf Köhler

From now on each week, one the eight new chosen members ofthe EBU Radio Features Project Group will introduce him/herself, so that you all know – more or less – who you are – professionally – dealing with.. Ulf Koehler (Germany) My first car w

From now on each week, one the eight new chosen members ofthe EBU Radio Features Project Group will introduce him/herself,
so that you all know – more or less – who you are – professionally – dealing with..

Ulf Köhler (Germany)

My first car was a Trabant. It was stubborn and slow like a snail. In 1991 I bought the car for 50 DM. This is equivalent to about 25 Euros today. So the hard cardboard got its bread of live from me. Together we drove into freedom and like a fairytale we drove around in a new life. None of us foresaw the quick end.


(Ulf Köhler, Ten years ago // The Photo was made by Mr. Bethsold.)

My radio-career started very early, too early for my liking. It started at that time while sitting every afternoon in an armchair listening to the radio.
There I forgot my name, the time and all, but everything.
At the age of twelve I possessed a world receiver. I wired the aerial around the water pipes in order to improve the reception. Thereby falling asleep still hearing the vibrating sounds of the short waves. So began my first travel to the Orient. Years before the fall of the wall I had already been to Arabia, but in my dreams.

After that I decided to become a professional radio-technician with soldering iron, circuits, transistors, resistors, electrical coils and all that’s connected to this job. This job entailed working in three shifts. During my working time I looked for mistakes and made necessary improvements. (At that times the FM-scale was limited by 102 MHz.) The only reception was the ”düdeldüdeldühhh’ of the ‘Euro-sound’ The radio receivers were calibrated at this frequency to make sure that every station had its place at that particular radio scale. It was strongly forbidden to listen to other radio programmes, only the ‘Euro-sound’ – the Düdeldüdeldühh…
The musical and political care was strictly and solely in the hands of the central operator of the company.


(Leipzig after the reunification /// Photo: Holger Ahrens

After the falling of the Berlin Wall I took photographs and wrote stories. I was nobody and the world didn’t wait.
My first recordings for the radio dealt with social issues concerning the copper mining in the Mansfield Copper belt, for instance.
I was interested in social themes reflecting the daily life of the men on the street, whose voices are still remaining unheard.

In winter 1993 I left Germany and bought a hat made from rabbit furs and decided to start a new life in Russia. That succeeded! At that time, my time in Moscow, I wrote a documentary and called it ‘Let’s drink on Mischa – Russia in March’. In 1995 the documentary was awarded the ‘Kurt-Magnus-Preis’ and was broadcasted on several stations of the ARD.
After working as a freelancer I became a member of the editorial staff of the MDR. Together with my colleagues we developed several series as well as short and long documentaries for the radio. In our editorial-office we established a close partnership to the television department of our company and developed together with our RBB documentary makers the over ten year old national cooperation.

In 1995 we won the Prix Futura and 2003 the ‘Robert-Geissendörfer-Award’.
After a short stop at the University for the coaching of young radio makers in Feature I continued working in the editorial office for documentaries. Since 2001 I’ve been working as head of the editorial office. We are especially interested in doing documentaries, creating national and international co operations as well as telling stories about issues behind the ‘journalistic curtain’.

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