Objekttausch – Object Swap

Objekttausch (Object Swap)

The Second Interaction

The process of how we structure the delivery evolves continually. From September – December a core team of three artists delivered the once weekly sessions: An Boekman, myself and Sophie Brunner in an assistant role.  An worked with a group of young children (age 4 – 10) in a small room while Sophie and I took the slightly older boys who needed a challenge and more space to work. We danced in the hallway, which had the advantage of bringing the workshop out into the centre and creating informal mini-performanceswhen parents or other residents stopped to watch us work. As the project progressed, we invited younger artists to teach, artists whose life history has some similarities to those of the children in the group and who act as role-models for them: Fidan Sirin and Ben Hasan Al-Rim (both of whom work with Hip-Hop). HZT student assistant Sophie Brunner has a key role in holding the group: she is very close to the needs of the children and has a good relationship with them. This allows the lead artist to change so we can bring in artist who work with different approaches and different dance forms as the format evolves. At the end of each dance session the children have time to draw. The sessions are supported by social worker Vida Nikkhah.

Our theme for this phase of the project was Objekttausch (Object Swap). Each artist who came to teach had to bring one or more objects with them which are symbolic of their own life – something with a story. It is clear that when we come into the home we are gaining an insight into the lives of the children and families with whom we work and it is our intention that we meet this by revealing something of ourselves and our own lives. 

Project journal entry

October 8th 2014

I have the feeling that I am often inappropriately in the private sphere of these families – I see so many of their private interactions: when I knock on the door to collect their children and I cannot avoid seeing directly into their living spaces, when I sometimes overhear raised voices as I walk along the corridor, when I meet someone on the way to shower or to do their washing. I keep thinking WE must tell our stories – we must communicate about who we are and where they have arrived. We must seek out our similarities and not accentuate our differences. We need to exchange, to swop, to interact rather than to present. 

(Fotos: Markus Rock)