As participants in the House of World Cultures (HKW-Berlin) program “All Life. An Archive Project”, in which topics such as collective memory and accessibility of knowledge were discussed, the Shadow Museum proposed an intervention that addressed the memory of the institution itself. The Youth Committee used science fiction as a framework in which new institutional questions could be discussed, with the intention of making HKW the focus. The members of the Shadow Museum regarded the HKW as a spaceship and reinvented themselves as aliens on planet Earth. In the position of the ultimate stranger, they examined life on Earth, for example on issues such as decolonization, equality and diversity, offering a critical perspective on the institution’s approach to these issues.
This interactive performance was performed five times at the House of World Cultures (HKW-Berlin), taking the film “Caelius Juvenilis – An Extraterrestrial Encounter” as its point of origin.
The pharmacy is a place of medicine and knowledge. The city bears disease, wounds, scars and ailments. What defines a city pharmacy?
In this intergenerational artistic research project, students from the Nürtingen primary school together with their teacher, sideviews artists, the Schattenmuseum youth committee and two retired pharmacists investigate plants and other remedies in the urban space. In an exploration of the city’s pressure points, the city pharmacy collects, archives and publishes knowledge. In addition to this custodianship of interest in (medicinal) plants and habitats, it preserves old knowledge both for future generations to activate self-healing powers and also to ensure that healing is not left exclusively in the hands of other. Plant ambassadors exhibit the resulting plant archives in a variety of ways: a combination of experimental, choral, choreographic and research tools creates a walk-in interactive space – a living archive. The presentation is supported by a guest appearance by the one-off play garments from Berlin Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
The city pharmacy was presented as an interactive exhibition and performance as part of the Schools of Tomorrow festival on November 18-19, 2021 in the House of World Cultures in Berlin.
Alaa Asmin Ava Bedirhan Béla Cem Eddie Elijah Elisa Elona Emir Han Ena Hiranur Inés Jacek Josef Karla Lino Mariama Mohammed Saleh Niya Oghuzan Pauline Puma Raziye Robert Romy Selma Suvi Tuana Tunç Vito Zamiel Zahraa Abdul-Hamid Silke Ballath Hannelore Eckert Dr. Wilma Florath Wiebke Janzen Monika Kegel Seraphina Lenz Dr. Hans-Heino Luxa Tomma Luxa Kirsten Müller Bodo Orejuela Anja Paetsch Carla Petermann Ilka Saegebarth Anja Scheffer Moritz Scheffer
Which plants live in the urban space of Berlin and how do you detect them? Are they poisonous? Or edible? Can they even heal? How do we use them? Where do they live and how do they survive there? The city pharmacy goes in search of old, almost lost knowledge. The urban space becomes an object of research and a laboratory. What can a plant say about itself and its environment? About the city and its wounds? What does the term migrant plant or pioneer plant mean? Which artistic translations are suitable? How can a living archive be created?
For more than a year, the Stadtapotheke has been conducting intergenerational research: with the Nürtingen elementary school in Berlin-Kreuzberg, the artists Anja Scheffer and Seraphina Lenz, the retired pharmacists Tomma and Heino Luxa and a 456 grade class and their teacher Wiebke Janzen, accompanied by Silke Ballath. The project deals with the research and dissemination of knowledge and seeks to develop new forms of transmission, with research methods alternating between scientific and creative-performative approaches. All of the materials produced is archived and presented in the House of World Cultures as part of “Schools of Tomorrow”.
Arising from its year-long research process, the Stadtapotheke has also forged contacts with various partners in the context of Global Roots, an Erasmus+ project. Its approaches, strategies and procedures reflect and develop ideas and suggestions and the experiences are shared with other participants. In addition, the Global Roots project participants are jointly developing a tool for the drawing together and reflection on the respective experiences. Similarities and differences of the respective processes are made visible and negotiable. Proposals for project ideas, collaboration between artists and elementary schools, as well as diverse areas of interest between art and science are published. The collaboration of the participating teams from the different countries informs the way in which the Global Roots project is documented.
The aim of the Global Roots project is to highlight how arts and culture can encourage teachers in primary education to create a sustainable learning environment in which children can reflect and develop their relationship to today’s world. Partnerships between people from art / culture and primary school education challenge the mind-set and working processes of both professional groups and develop new approaches to convey to children notions of active global citizenship and sustainable development.