Katja is originally from Germany she came to Cardiff to improve her English that was 17 years ago. Since then she has made Wales her home. Katja has been working for Valley and Vale for the past 10 years. She studied Film and Television at Newport University. After a short stint in the industry she went to India and produced two documentaries one about a slum school in Bhopal and one about the lives of the Dalits. After this experience she wanted to learn how to use film as a tool for development and completed an MA course in Southampton part of the course was a two months stay in a refugee camp in Ghana where they used film as a tool for conflict resolution.
Katja recognises the power of the medium and doesn’t want to make films about people but with them. She believes given the chance to represent themselves people start to reflect on their lives this gives them an opportunity to make conscious decisions affecting their lives.
Katja mainly works with people who are socially excluded. Many of them have experienced trauma in their lives. It is very important for her to offer individuals a safe environment where they can explore their lives. She is currently working towards a counselling diploma, which gives her space for reflection and the support she needs in order to go there with others.
Over the past two years Rhys Hughes, Nick Clements and Katja have been developing Person Centred Creativity, which combines interpersonal skills with Community Arts (read more about it under PCC). They are hoping to offer courses in the future.
Katja believes that being able to creatively express yourself is very important for people’s mental and physical health and that the opportunity to creatively express feelings and emotions can improve and change people’s lives.