Shaping Patterns is a transnational project that addresses the added value of art in education for sustainable development.
On the one hand, the cooperation between the fields of primary education and art is to be professionally accompanied, promoted and qualified in order to develop new approaches and key competencies in education for sustainable development – for human, social, economic and ecological sustainability. On the other hand, children will be supported to question the world of tomorrow through their own artistic and experimental approaches and to relate them to their findings.
Shaping Patterns aims to develop collective artistic interventions that engage a public audience while focusing on the theme of sustainable development.
The project partners come from Denmark, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands and are all rooted in the arts. They place particular emphasis on involving and engaging children, families, kindergartens and schools, and have extensive experience working with the education sector, including early childhood and primary education.
From the perspective of sustainable development education, the Shaping Patterns project aims to develop concrete methods and tools that can support elementary school teachers* and arts institutions in developing learning environments for questioning, imagining and creating new ideas for tomorrow’s world. The general premise, then, is that arts and culture can play a central role in the development of new patterns, ways of thinking and attitudes.
Within the framework of the EU funding ERASMUS+, Shaping Patterns will be implemented from October 2022 to October 2024 with six partners from Viborg, Aalborg, Athens, Ostrava, Rotterdam and Berlin.
SIRBOX Mini is the digital derivative of SIRIBOX*.
Users can interact through play with concealed aspects and content in works of art, exhibitions, urban spaces and other settings.
SIRIBOX Mini was developed as part of Open Secret** by the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee in an examination of the programme and history of the KW gallery in Berlin and produced as an app. Users can add their own experiments to the app and store them in situ.
*The SIRIBOX was a 2019 collaborative creation between the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee and 456 class pupils of the Nürtingen elementary school and their teacher Wiebke Janzen in cooperation with sideviews e. V. and the Berlinische Galerie.
Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg 36 – for some a district to give a wide berth but, for many others, a place of acceptance where culture, religion and individuality converge. The exhibition “K36 – Kotti at a second glance” shows the urban space from the perspective of young people and presents various approaches to vanquishing prejudices and getting to know ‘Kotti’. Last year, the Shadow Museum Youth Committee conducted urban research around Kotti, putting it under real scrutiny; the exhibition is like a second, closer look.
The project developed for the Berlinische Galerie was another part of the Shadow Museum ‘s programme. Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg, a challenging and stigmatised urban space, became a focus for the Shadow Museum Youth Panel which, through its on-site research, proposed an anthropological change of perspective. In the public eye, Kottbusser Tor is associated with images and discourses of social disorder. However, most residents and passers-by experience this urban space as one of permanent negotiation toward a mutual respect – a hidden social reality made apparent by the intensive dialogue between the Shadow Museum and the residents.
The result was 7 collectively developed videos, hundreds of photos that were processed into a 5x5m wall collage and a memory wall by means of which visitors could approach Kotti in an interactive way.
As part of the exhibition “Gezeichte Stadt”, the Berlinische Galerie invited the Shadow Museum Youth Committee and sideviews to submit a contribution to the Sketch-In Festival.
On October 3rd, passers-by were invited to sketch together with the youth committee at Kottbusser Tor / Zentrum Kreuzberg. The youth committee was interested in what is important to the people of Kotti. The process was filmed and broadcast live at the festival in the Berlinische Galerie.
There were also various collaborative drawing activities in the museum, on the forecourt and in the neighbourhood, always pursuing the questions: What can drawing be? What role does it play in urban space?
The concept for the festival was developed by Constanze Eckert in cooperation with the art mediators of the Berlinische Galerie.
Museum AND school? The Laboratory for intermediate spaces is an artistic experimental arrangement between the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Refik Veseli School in Berlin-Kreuzberg, designed and implemented by sideviews:
In five productions, the pupils examined the interface between them and the museum as a field of work and a storage location for memory and identity. The young people devised theatrically interactive tours and their own theatrical forms on themes such as flight and exile. For example, the stage became a large table at which people with different political positions could sit, and ideas and practical experience of a conflict based on the Middle East conflict were negotiated. The five productions were made apparent in different forms of presentation, e.g. an exhibition, a performative-choral tour, a walk-through theatre space, a museum in the school, etc. The Schattenmuseum came into being as a consequence of this research.
A guest’s view by Antonia Weisz, town clerk for Junipark:
Form and Style
On this early evening in JUNIPARK it’s all about living utopias beyond the realms of fear. Children dream. “WELTweit…Unterwegs” (worldwide on the move) is the name of a musical installation performance with pupils in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades of Nürtingen elementary school, Kreuzberg, Berlin under the direction of Anja Scheffer, Dascha Kornysheva and DJ B.Side. Parents, teachers, neighbours and schoolmates have come to the performance – the grandstand is full. Dressed to the nines, the girls in elegant gowns, the boys in suits and ties they delineate utopian residential installations, undeterred by the fact that Berlin is a city of disappearing niches. Why not conquer the sky and build an air dome that doesn’t demand recourse to a land registry office? They even have an answer to the quote “Berlin is a metropolis in transition”. They invented a house that can walk – from one place to another, to where it’s safe, dry and sunny. And don’t complain that living space has become scarce and too expensive. They’d rather sing to us how to deal with it:
“You don’t need a high school diploma or a good figure, just tarps, nails and a piece of string. The cord is stretched, the tarpaulin’s up. The tent is ready, it’s no trick. Now it’s ready, your mobile tent, now you can live where you like.”
Volunteers from the audience are invited to demonstrate that many people can fit in their dancing tent. With irony, chutzpah and the courage to question themselves and everything else, they are completely serious about it. Right in there. They showcase their construction manual as a top speed monologue. They make reference to materials that determine not only the form but also the spirit of their work: They revitalize objects, reinvigorate fabrics that already had a past life, advocate the use of curtains for their constructions, as then everyone can come in – rather than doors that can always lock someone in or out. Extremely enthusiastic about design, to which they propose the taking of initiative in their own right in a critical examination of their financial options. They all work under the motto: Speedy construction in pocket money format.
As they say in their song:
Come and be creative with us, for the world is not only negative, we search like detectives for a space, and build houses for almost nothing, pockets stuffed with rip-ties, and an eye on the design. Like the phoenix from the ashes emerges a house for happiness.
In any event, one thing is clear: personal commitment cannot be bought. A playground and a dream of life. And they really get down to business at the ensuing congress, entitled: Detect vacant lots and use them professionally. The meeting is made up of high-ranking specialists: a cleaning specialist who likes to tidy up, an expert for people with a fear of heights, an improvisation expert in polystyrene construction, a professor specializing in building in balloons and Zeppelins because the sky is still free. Even a caretaker who used to be an architect is invited. He chases away moles to create spaces underground. On the side, he now runs a mole spaetzle restaurant in Munich. Urgh, that sounds at once both disgusting and tasty. Anyhow, this evening I encounter sorely needed experts. Not so much because their house building ideas could actually be implemented, but because they make us dream:
Life can be that simple. That does you good. And the choir sings it to us once more:
Children must not disappear, no, we’re settling here,
overcoming all borders, just doing it ourselves.
At the end, the audience is called upon to develop their own visions and not to sort every thought into right or wrong immediately. Ironically, a show house catalogue is provided as a creative aid. In addition, built into the scaffolding, there are two more show houses to view. To give us adults a helping hand. That makes me confident. The young Berliners have fantasies and we, the audience, are thrilled. I see faces filled with hope. And yes, it’s true: the world is not only negative, even in these politically worrying times around the world. Imagination is good for everyone.
Is the world reality or is the world just what we imagine? 60 children from the Nürtingen elementary school in Berlin-Kreuzberg spent more than a year looking for possible answers. In this urban ethnographic experiment, students examined the social diversity in their environment on the basis of video interviews. They were confronted with a wide variety of topics: asylum seekers, politics, drug dealers, immigration and government.
Using dramatic methods and video documentation, the research was made visible and tangible. The information on a wide variety of life plans and identities acquired in the interview workshop was then staged: in a three-week game, acting, directing, storytelling, costume design, visual arts and music were the motor that set a major negotiation process in motion. It turned out that identities and realities can be reconstructed. And that the rituals, self-images and attitudes can be changed, as can the world.
The theatre profile of the Refik-Veseli-School came into being between 2013 and 2019 as part of the cultural agents program for creative schools. Three theatre productions were developed each year over the three year period in cooperation with sideviews: with a 7th grade class over four weeks and with 8th and 9th grade classes over two weeks respectively. The students composed both the content and also their own form of theatre. Profiling started in 2013 with the pilot, “Why is it so hard to talk about love?”. Each topic was formulated in exchange with the teachers and worked out and developed together with the students, e.g. dealing with the name of the school.
The Labor für ZwischenRäume (laboratory for intermediate spaces) was created in 2016: sideviews, the Refik Veseli School theatre profile and the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) investigated the cooperation between school and museum. In different approaches, themes of the JMB, e.g. Golem, The Arrival and the Liebeskind architecture were explored through theatre, performance, choir, and installation and these processes were presented in an exhibition, a performance & choral tour, a walk-through stage space, a museum in the school, etc. A total of 17 productions were created as part of the theatre profile. The process is an example of the opportunity for cultural development within a school environment.
Who obeys totally uncool school rules that nobody understands? 75 students rewrite their school rules to convey the basic rules of living and learning together in a language and aesthetics that the students can understand.
Together with sideviews, students in grades 7-9. developed the film project “RESPECT!”, including the soundtrack. The result was six episodes on the topics of punctuality, conflicts, responsibility, behavior, school climate and discrimination, in the formats of feature films, commercials and reports. These were presented at a premiere in the Eiszeit Cinema in Kreuzberg, Berlin.
The film was the springboard for the theatre profile of the Refik Veseli School, which started in February 2013 with the pilot “Why is it so hard to talk about love?”.
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.