A tomorrow can approach someone very closely and simultaneously bear a far-flung, impalpable utopia. By confronting a possible “tomorrow”, one almost inevitably arrives at the “today” or “the present”. Within the present, residents of the emergency shelter house Berlin Alt-Moabit have been working with protaganists of KW Institute for Contemporary Art for nearly three years, to collaboratively shape the “tomorrow”.
After the first two stages of the project – Blicke/Glances (2014/15) and Stimmen/Voices (2015/16) – displaced children and youths of the shelter Berlin Alt-Moabit continuously meet with artists, dancers, and pedagogues at KW or in their own premises to address questions of time and space. Within the third project stage, which is being realized since the winter of 2016, new constellations and questions are formulated, which shape and transform the artistic work with children and teenagers. How does one experience time in a city that could possibly only temporarily constitute a “home”? When is the beginning of a beginning and the end to an end?
With a procedural approach and changing formats, the flexible size of the groups and the interest of participants are difficult to anticipate, which led to the idea of the team to work rather with alternative settings than one defined artistic discipline within a project. For the past six months, the project title “For Tomorrow” has therefore consisted of artists, dancers, and mediators as well as former residents of different emergency shelters in Berlin, who plan and implement proposals and workshop formats together.
Through regular excursions over the past few years, the connections between the different actors, places and stories intensified continuously. Unfamiliar spaces became intimate places of retreat on one day, and stages for individual artistic confrontation on the next day. During these meetings, conversations, dwell time, dancing or resting are essential to get to know the children and youths – but also oneself, and respond to their needs.
There are neither fixed positions nor certain goals in this amicable process. Each encounter is unique and draws from the lack of predictability, which results in the participants learning from each other, listening, but also misunderstanding each other at times, and – almost incidentally – tackling the issue of a commonly shaped future in an urban context through artistic approaches.
Mona Jas (Lab for Art Education)
Partners and contributors:
Children, youths and young adults from Alt-Moabit (ASB Emergency shelter Alt-Moabit)
Kirstin Frohnapfel (director)
Ariane Bothe, Judith Bögner, Theresa Hechtbauer, Maja Gratzfeld, Sebastian Pöge, Christina Wüstenhagen
Sirak Fissuk, Hozaifa Khalaili
For Tomorrow is part of the network Berlin Mondiale – a project by the Berlin Council for the Arts (Rat für die Künste Berlin) in collaboration with the Cultural Network Neukölln (Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln e. V.) funded by Berlin Senate Administration for Culture and Europe (Senatsverwaltung Kultur und Europa/Kulturprojekte Berlin im Rahmen des Masterplans Integration und Sicherheit).