Mozart in Nairobi

A project by Carla Schwering, Veit Vergara and Julian Wipplinger.

Mozart in Nairobi

Sonata in E flat major, KV 282
A project by Carla Schwering, Veit Vergara and Julian Wipplinger.
Musical realisation: Cordelia Höfer-Teutsch (piano)



Production, direction, idea, concept: Carla Schwering
Director of Photography: Julian Wipplinger
Sound design and music: Veit Vergara
Supervisors: Claudia Lehmann, Bernadeta Czapraga and Thomas Ballhausen
In cooperation with the foundation “The Nest” in Nairobi, Kenya (Founder: Irene Baumgartner)



The Mozart in Nairobi project tells the story of imprisoned mothers and their children left behind in Nairobi/Kenya in an essay film. In the process, a dialogue takes place on several levels between different people and cultures within the framework of “The Nest” Foundation, with W. A. Mozart’s Sonata in E-flat Major (KV 282) acting as the fundamental element along which the film is told. Project director Carla Schwering, together with her team colleagues Veit Vergara (sound/music) and Julian Wipplinger (camera), accompanied this dialogue on location, researching and documenting the interaction with Mozart’s music.

The creative structure of the film is based on the opening movement of the Sonata in E-flat major, KV 282, which, with its two different themes, each representing one of the two groups of people – the imprisoned mothers and the children separated from them – builds a bridge in the separation and in the theme of imprisonment.

The music functions as a therapeutic effect, an opening and a brief escape from reality and takes on the role of a non-verbal means of communication throughout the film. It acts as a mouthpiece and help to overcome the language barrier for the people on the ground and for the project team, which is in dialogue with them.

In the form of a jam session, the project team gives people the opportunity to respond to Mozart’s music in the musical language of the region without proselytising with Western music.

The aim was to offer a small distraction from the precarious situation through music, to promote the idea of cultural exchange on a small level and to bring local mothers and children together at least on a conceptual, mental and metaphorical level through the processing of the two sonata themes.