MONUMENT VALLEY holds artistic, historically-themed workshops that experiment with forms of reflection and build bridges to social responsibility, solidarity and empathy.
People from all over the world come together in Berlin, living in a sea of housing structures that spread out across a wafer-thin membrane over the stories of war, colonialism, migration flows and revolutions. Our city is a huge belly full of material testimonies and stories that need to be recovered and reflected in their signification.
The ‘S27 – Art and Education’ implements, together with the Stadtmuseum (‚City Museum‘) and the StreetUniverCity, archaeological and artistic expeditions with young people. The rubble and traces of the past can become keys that allow young people from different scenes and communities -via haptic experiments and aesthetic processes- to reflect on past events and to give a concrete form to the culture of remembrance. Young people experience their own activation and discovering as a relevant social contribution, which leads to deepened understanding and engagement. And regardless of the span of their own life experiences, society urgently needs their perspectives to combine historical reflection with action for the future.
Two MONUMENTS are planned to be created for the first year of the project.
Our current campaign PUSHBACK PRODUCTIONS aims to thematize Germany’s postcolonial present and today’s neo-colonial practices. The example of the textile trade shows that goods move more freely than people: textiles are sent around between various countries during the production process before they finally reach the European market and end up in our wardrobes. Large parts of the clothes that we get rid off in old-clothes containers for supposed charitable purposes are shipped to various African countries, which significantly damages the local production there. Europe sends huge quantities of old clothes (trash) to Africa while at the same time pushbacks of refugee boats are organized on the Mediterranean Sea.
We want to draw attention to the social and political dimension of production and consumption and look more closely at its parallel with the immigration issue. With partners in Benin, Cameroon and Kenya we are experimentally reversing the roles and organizing pushbacks of European waste back to Europe. As a campaign work, we reimport over 300 kg of old clothes that were previously shipped from Europe to Africa. The aim is to depict the absurdity of our system by pushing it one step further. A special “pop-up store” is planned, which will stage the re-import and make the path of textiles visible.
Out of salvaged rubble material from Teufelsberg, discoveries from a large excavation site at the Molkenmarkt, loans from the Stadtmuseum (city museum) and today’s mining waste and recycling material, ‘ZACK | der UMBAUMARKT’ is growing in the Haus der Statistik (House of Statistics).
On November 14th 2019 we celebrated the opening of ‘ZACK | der UMBAUMARKT’. During the installation, up-cycling and a culture of remembrance merged into an interactive renovation market. A large number of engaged visitors were busy with digging, arranging objects and bringing their own city perspectives, associations and meanings into the exhibition. From the basis of a juxtaposition of rubble, recycling materials and underpinning exhibits from the city museum – which impressively demonstrate the reutilisation of war equipment into everyday objects in the 1950s – the exhibition’s two week duration, along with an extensive supporting program, brought continuities and breaks in the city’s history of the material into view, where perceptions from visitors could also be reflected upon.
‘ZACK | der Umbaumarkt’ also brought a successful start for the ‘Haus der Materialisierung‚ (‚House of Materialisation’) that is emerging in the ‚Haus der Statistik‚ (‚House of Statistics‘). Actors scattered across the city will collectively develop specific solutions for the recycling of material that can still be used.