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.
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.
Based on the Torah mappah, a Jewish ritual object, sideviews collaborated with schoolchildren to develop a performative exhibition in the Jewish Museum Berlin on the themes of identity, community, love, gender and migration. Prompted by the questions “Who am I?” and “What aspirations do my parents have for me and how do I want to live?” the children sought their own formats for a narrative in the museum.
The result is an interactive game of life accompanying a jointly devised pop-up exhibition. Visitors were invited to grapple with changes in perspective and anomalous biographies.
In November 2018, the game was integrated into the program accompanying the exhibition “A as in Jewish” in the Jewish Museum Berlin and also invited to the Children’s Biennale in Dresden in February 2019.
In the Jewish Museum Berlin, the debate about the crisis of the museum as an institution has been going on for some time. sideviews was invited to take this debate as a starting point for a performative project with prospective young visitors. After researching the museum architecture with VOIDS, VOIDS.MuseumVerLernen takes a step further: the museum as a whole is analyzed creatively (from curatorship to communication structures, from security to production) in order to understand which type of relationship the institution offers both to its community and to its visitors.
Based on the statements that 8th grade pupils of the Refik Veseli School collected in audio interviews with employees, visitors and passers-by, the findings of this study was staged as a performance and symposium. 45 employees of the museum, including the director, came together for a discussion with thepupils about the opportunities and scope for involving young people in the development of a “museum for everyone”.