How can a student transform

Students transform the classroom into a living room

Moabit. Three artists from Moabit carried out a one-year art project "About Hempels Sofa" with children from the Kurt Tucholsky Elementary School. 40 students from two fourth grades took part.

Under difficult conditions, as deputy headmaster Gerd Combecher reports. Due to fire protection deficiencies, most of the 540 students had to be housed in an empty school on Pankstrasse. Only the fourth grades stayed at Rathenower Straße 18 and met the three women of the artist group "Dailybread Berlin" once a week for two hours for a year.

Hanneke van der Hoeven, Christiane Keppler and Bärbel Rothhaar live and work in Moabit. "Each of us makes our own art. Together we implement projects for public spaces as well as school projects," explains Bärbel Rothhaar. Much of it in Moabit. In 2013, for example, the artists carried out the "Life Lines" project with older people at the Center for Art and Urbanism. Van der Hoeven, Keppler and Rothhaar work with texts, images, installations and projections. For the project funded by the Berlin project fund "Cultural Education", they and the children thought about what one could do to feel at home in school and have fun learning.

The children told stories and drew and painted sofas in their own apartment, the classroom from the inside, the school from the outside. With furniture store catalogs, collages of desired classrooms were made and even built as three-dimensional models. Excursions were also on the program. For example, "Dailybread" visited the Mitte Museum with the fourth graders to find out about life 100 years ago. Or they met the "waste architect" Jan Körbes at the Center for Art and Urbanism in Moabit's Siemensstrasse, who built a mobile home in a white plastic feed silo.

"The children's ideas led to the concept of a reward corner in the classroom," says Christiane Keppler. As was to be tried out at the presentation of the exhibition on May 7th, animal pillows and beanbags decorated with letters invite you to cuddle. The children sewed everything themselves. Also the fabric canopy hanging over it, which was printed with its own motifs using screen printing technology. The students' sofa pictures can be found enlarged on a multi-part mural. The opposite corridor wall is decorated with a larger "word work". It emerged from working with lyric texts. A "treasure chest of words" and finally a wall text about friendship were developed.

Information about the project is available at http://hempels-sofa.blogspot.de.

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