Auf der Mauer auf der Lauer – History and Art by Children for Children was a long-term project on the subject of a divided city at the Nürtingen elementary school in Kreuzberg, Berlin. It was split into three project phases between November 2009 and July 2010 with 100 children from grades 1-6.
In the first few months, the children went through an interview workshop and visited the Berlin Wall Memorial along the East Side Gallery. In addition, video interviews were conducted with contemporary witnesses from West and East who lived near the Wall, each with different experiences. The second phase consisted of a 3-week play workshop in the school, in which the knowledge acquired from the interview workshop about life in East and West could was internalized through play in a creative setting. The starting point was a wall made of 150 packing cases dividing the school auditorium into two distinct zones: “Blauland” and “Orangania” on one side or the other of which the children reacted to rules similar to those in East and West Berlin. They missed their best friends, wrote letters to each other, built musical instruments to communicate with one another, graffitied the “wall” in Orangania, invented smuggling and secret agent games as well as spoken chants and song texts, thereby chronologically and artistically delineating the history of division and unification. To conclude, the wall was collectively torn down in a slow-motion choreography.
The third phase took place in the pavilion of the Wall Memorial at Bernauer Street: the presentation of the wall project. The packing case wall,”Orangania” and “Blauland” were recreated in the space where, accompanied by the artists, the pupils developed, curated and implemented the concept for the exhibition and developed the catalogue. In between interviewing the visitors they wrote, read, painted, scanned, laid out and built. For a week, from morning to evening, the primary school students enthusiastically exhibited their work to the tourists of the world, the press and school classes from other school, presenting the project in German, English, Turkish, Spanish, Danish and Swedish. All visitors were invited to play.
Radio report by Frauke Thiele: Auf der Mauer. A feature by rbb Kulturradio.