Interim project Sisilia, Oana, Julia – A suitcase full of memories // A suitcase full of dreams

The workshop „ A suitcase full of memories// a suitcase full of dreams“ was an intensive five day video art workshop taken place in Berlin from the 5th to the 9th of september 2017 with an additional two days final exhibition/ film screening on the 10th and 11th of October during the Berlin cultural festival „ 2 Days Wedding“.

With the help of two artists, youngsters of the Wedding neighborhood produced two short movies where they they themselves created the scripts chose the outfits,did the film shootings and acted in it.

All activities took place in the space of the Berlin house project Prinzenallee 58 (PA 58) in Wedding.

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Goal : Social inclusion through art

The main goal of the project was linked to the theme of “ Migration and Inclusion- Chances and challenges”.

We believe that in order to make social inclusion possible, newcomers and local people (especially children and youngsters) need to get together. Art can play an important role as it is free from language and cultural understanding.

Therefore the goal of the project was to give an open and save space for about eight youngsters of the Soldinger Kiez (neighborhood in Berlin- Wedding) for getting to know each other, for self expression, and to give them chances to experiment with different forms of art. All that regardless their cultural background, their origin or german language skills. Another goal was to give youngsters the opportunity to have a space to reflect on their very own histories, dreams and to express them artistically through the making of a movie.

Methods:

Methods we used during the workshop consisted of :

Playful group activities ( games- feedback rounds etc.) at the beginning of each day

Artistic mind mapping in order to create impulses and ideas for the movies.

Introduction to filming

Screening of film examples to show in which way the movies could get produced.

Free space to create their very own time to realize the film scripts.

Music for the ambiance

Possibility of dinning together at the end of the workshop

Cooperations:

Berliner Tafel: Food donations

Aktionsfund Soldiner Kiez: Money for project

PA 58( House project): Workshop space

Theaterfabrik Berlin : Technician and technical support

Cristina: video artist

Tatjana : stage designer

Outcome:

The workshop was a success.

In the end up to ten youngsters participated greatly during the week and produced two short silent movies of max 2 min. -“ I love you” and “the crying horse”.

We had a two days open exhibition with the constant screening of the movies and with artifacts produced during the workshop.The youngsters were happy with the movies and proudly presented them to their families and friends…

Visitors appreciated the work… & we were exhausted but happy ?

Here some points we would like to discuss

“Target group”:

How to reach the “target group”? And in case the “target group” is heterogenous- how to make them more interested in meeting the “other”?

We tried to reach these youngsters by inviting them via their youth house, living projects and refugee camps ( always in contact with a responsible).But regardless our engagement we were not able to mix youngster from the the different organizations. Although all together ten youngsters participated, they all came from the same camp and already knew each other (which wasn’t bad at all…but nothing intended)

How to label youngsters in a correct and respectful way?

We labeled the youngsters as “ youngsters with and without refugee background”. After a while, it didn’t sound right to us anymore. Is it necessary to label youngsters as youngsters with refugee background and by doing so create an opposition

Proposal interim project Sisilia, Oana, Julia – A suitcase full of memories // A suitcase full of dreams

Team: Oana, Sisilia, Julia

Place: Berlin

Period: 05. – 10. September

Timeframe: during school semester, afternoon: 14:00 – 18:00/19:00 o’clock

Duration: 6 days

Profile of participants/ 8-10 youngsters between 13-15 years

Target group with and without a refugee background ( ??)

Visitors of the exhibition

local partners: initiative Wedding.hilft; neighborhood center PA58; refugee accommodation in Wedding/ Berlin

Funding: Quartiersmanagement Soldiner Straße (neighborhood management), Jugend-Jury (youth jury)

Description of the project

A suitcase of memories-a suitcase of dreams is an art workshop followed by an work in progress exhibition taking place in Berlin in early september 2016.

Together with eight to ten youngsters of culturally diverse backgrounds, we artistically express and exchange our inner dreams and passions. As a method of doing so, we distribute suitcases to every participant at the beginning of the week and ask them to fill them up with objects representing their hopes, their passion or even objects representing important things from their past.

During the course of five days we use these objects as motors to built an art exhibition open for everybody intrested in getting to know the youngsters and the stories behind objects which now become art pieces.

Background:

The project group consist of youngsters with and without refugee background. They go through a shared and mutual search for similarities in their actual situation, their “here and now” and experiences as young people. Through telling and exchange object-stories they draw near each other and develop a group identity beyond categorizations like origin, language and legal status but rather their identities as youngsters in Berlin looking for future visions. During the workshop, they have the space to exchange their everyday life experiences, wishes for their future and passions as well as for creating a new image of themselves beyond stereotypes.

This group relation is the initial point for their creative work in little groups. There they work with the objects which they decide to introduce and develop a media staging (video, audiotape, photos). Thus they document their relational and working process. In the combination of all result they create something unexpected and forward-looking. In their exhibition they find this visions as connection between their individualities and commonalities.

In the workshop week the youngsters get the chance of learning about the others personal stories, life stories passions and dream. Eventually they are able to connect between each other, see similarities and get the chance to connect between each other.

Pedagogical aproach & methods

The project will make use of the non formal learning approach.

Therefore the learning concept involves peer-to-peer- learning, exchange & interaction between the youngsters in order to get to know each other and in order to create a respectful safe space for every single participant. We will also use an inclusive empowerment approach/ anti bias approach and integrate them during the whole week. Regarding the methods, they will comprise group building methods (especially on the first days), brainstorming on the objects and story telling about them.

For the documentation of the whole process, the youngsters will use media work such as video, photography, audio record & social media work.

Pedagogic goals:

Our goal is to give youngsters the space to express themselves, develop their self-expression as they want, implement their ideas, deal with their personal story. To give them the opportunity and the space to focus and deal with their personal dreams and passions during one week.

It is important that the youngsters learn to work creativly in an heterogeneous group and share their stories and believes in a save space where they feel comfortable and acepted.

In detail our goals are as followed:

  • To use art as a tool for self expression
  • To motivate the youngsters to exchange stories between each other and share commonalities
  • To learn and work creativly in heterogeneous groups
  • To empower the youngsters and strengthen their own skills through the realization of their very own art exhibition where we only use as facilitators but not as leaders

Timetable & milestones

The whole process of the workshop is orientated on relationships and the working process, not on the results. That being said, we aren’t looking for the creation of as much as possible of exhibits, but rather for the group building and developing process of the youngsters.

This process includes different phases in the order indicated :

Day one:getting to know each other through games and open exchange- presentation of the project- lunch -hand out of suitcases-

Day two: group building tactivities- presentation of the objects-exchage of object stories and brainstorming Day three : work on objects in groups- documentation workshops ( filming/audio/ foto) in small groups

Day four: coming all together for the installation and work on the creation of the exhibition+ Documentaion workshop

Day five: same as day for – exploring of the neighbourhood

Day six: Final adjustments- exhibition – final feedback

Feedback and evaluation:

At the end of every workshop-day we ask for a short feedback with diverse methods. Through this we can adapt our working methods to the needs of the youngsters and concentrate on their focus. It is important to react on the group atmosphere and the feelings of the youngsters.

After the exhibition we ask for a final and more detailed feedback and also give our feedback as a present for the youngsters.