ART WORKS! —
On this blog you will find photos, outlines, notes and thoughts that document the progress of the project. This action-research project would like to research, analyze and understand resistance from a historical and contemporary view. This aim requires from all participants to endure vulnerability, our own, and those of others. As we realize that we are all vulnerable in this process, we also realize the community we form.
It may seem a ridiculous idea, but the only way to fight the plague is with decency.
Working Group St. Pölten, Feb 26
Working Group St. Pölten, March 12
March 20 2020
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are moving the artistic working process with all youth groups, artists and partner institutions into the digital realm. Deviating from the planned course, we aim to create an international online celebration of the end of World War II, using the social media and online presence of all institutions and communities involved.
Fascism, racism, sexism, and oppression in general are the product of universal stupidity. You’re not going to beat them at the level of opinion. Ideology perpetuates itself on the plateau of opinion because all thought is barred there since it demands disrupting doxa.
March 11 2020
Demokratie ist kein Kopfbahnhof
[Democracy is not a dead-end station]
MO Journal For Human Rights N°58 p.27
In der „Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte“ vom 10. Dezember 1948 erklären die Mitgliedsstaaten der UN die angeborene Würde aller Menschen zu respektieren, allen Menschen die gleichen Rechte zu zugestehen und sie vor willkürlicher Gewalt zu schützen. Und es ist kein Zufall, dass diese Erklärung so kurz nach Ende des 2. Weltkrieges verkündet wurde. Gerade das Nazi-Regime hatte aufgezeigt, welch verheerende Folgen eine Missachtung der Menschenrechte hat. Vor diesem historischen Hintergrund übernehmen wir als österreichische Bürger*innen besondere Verantwortung. Immer wieder fragen wir uns auch als Künstler*innen, was unsere gesellschaftspolitische Verantwortung ist, und welche Ausdrucksformen diese Verantwortung annehmen kann. Heuer starteten wir daher das interdisziplinäre Kunstprojekt “Art Works! European Culture of Resistance und Liberation”, in dem sich junge Menschen mit Widerstand gegen Faschismus in Europa und der Befreiung davon aus künstlerischer und historisch-politischer Perspektive auseinandersetzen. Ist Kunst ein probates Mittel gesellschaftspolitischen Widerstand zu leisten und für Menschenrechte einzutreten? […] Statement by Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond, editor Magdalena Stern. German only.
March 9 2020
The Council of Europe celebrates the 70th anniversary of European Convention on Human Rights
The European Convention on Human Rights came into being against the dreadful background of the devastation of the Second World War, reflecting a determination on the part of European leaders to learn from the mistakes of the past and to help protect individuals from State abuse. Peace and stability could only be achieved by the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law. Inspired by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Convention is a unique, legally-binding treaty, overseen by an independent international court, which safeguards people’s basic rights and fundamental freedoms. Initially signed by 12 countries on 4 November 1950, the Convention now protects over 830 million people in 47 European States. [Read more]
March 6 2020
Prisoners songs of resistance from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp
More than 200,000 people were interned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp between 1936 and 1945. They included political opponents of the Nazi regime, members of groups declared by the Nazis to be racially or biologically inferior, such as Jews, Sinti and Roma, and people persecuted as homosexuals, as well as so-called “career criminals” and “antisocials”. Initially, the internees were predominantly German citizens, but after the outbreak of the Second World War, tens of thousands of people were deported from the occupied territories to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, including political opponents of National Socialism or of the collaborating governments, foreign forced labourers and Allied prisoners of war. In 1944, around 90 % of the internees were foreigners, with citizens of the Soviet Union and Poland forming the largest groups. There were also around 20,000 women among the internees in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. (https://www.sachsenhausen-sbg.de/en/history/1936-1945-sachsenhausen-concentration-camp/)
The songs they sung gave them power to resist and to survive. The book was made in the camp organiced by the illegal prisoner resistance organisation. (Sachsenhausen- Liederbuch: Originalwiedergabe eines illegalen Häftlingsliederbuches aus dem Konzentrationslager Sachsenhausen / Günter Morsch (Hrsg.), Berlin 1995)
March 5 2020
The eyewitness Poul Nielson talks about his time in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The interview with him was conducted by Christel Trouvé and Roman Fröhllich in 2010.
As the interview is not public, please send a message to this address ︎ and we will provide the password. Click here for the video: ︎ The video is available only in German.
March 4 2020
Uyghurs For Sale
In May we will visit the former concentration camp Melk Memorial, one of the biggest satellite camps of Mauthausen concentration camp, where prisoners were forced to work for Steyr-Daimler-Puch producing war material (mainly ball bearings). Unfortunately, forced labour is not an issue of the past but still very present, even in products we may buy or use on a daily basis.
The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen. (Australian Strategic Policy Institute) [Read more]
February 25 and March 3 2020
Brainstorming with MSU Youth Club and OKO.
January 18 2020
Red Light – Yugoslav Partisan Potography and Social Movement 1941–1945
A lecture by Davor Konjikušić for the Youth Club of MSU, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb.
Davor Konjikušić is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Zagreb, Croatia, working for a range of media in Croatia and Serbia. Born in Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 1979, he studied political sciences but holds also degrees in cinematography and photography. His work uses photography as a primary medium in articulating his artistic concept, in which he explores the relationships between public and private, intimate and socio-political.
January 23 2020
Widerstand in künstlerischer Art, Bezirksblatt Melk
This article published in the regional newspaper describes the first preparatory meeting of all partners and artists in Melk.
January 21 2020
New Book: The Art of Protest: A Visual History of Dissent and Resistance
Jo Rippon’s The Art of Protest is published by Palazzo in partnership with Amnesty International. (palazzoeditions.com)
A timely new publication explores the last century of activist imagery, exploring the role artists and designers have played in protest movements of all kinds.
January 17 2020
Second day of our Multipliers Meeting in Melk: With the train we travelled to the peace community Erlauf. When the unconditional surrender was signed in Berlin on May 8 1945, on the same day a handshake between the two generals Dimitri Drichkin (Soviet Army) and Stanley Reinhart (U.S. Army) took place in Erlauf. In the late afternoon we visited the Melk Memorial.
The aim of co-creation is to create shared value. […] It’s not about finding the right idea, it’s about finding a multitude of ideas.
RICHES – Renewal, Innovation and Change: Heritage and European Society
January 16 2020
Here are some photos of our arrival day of the Multipliers Meeting in Melk at the Center for Contemporary History. The very first time we all came together to jointly develop our project further. Many thanks to Christian Rabl for the warm welcome and the photos!
January 13 2020
Human Rights Education as an educational framework of our project
Empowerment through human rights education is about more than just content; it can only be achieved if the education process also includes participatory learning methods and is relevant to the daily lives and lived experiences of learners.
This lived knowledge and awareness of human rights principles builds a “culture of human rights” — that is, a society in which each of us is encouraged and empowered to take the initiative to respect, protect and promote the full spectrum of human rights for all. [Read more]
December 13 to 15 2019
Finally, we got together in Berlin to start with the workshops. The artist Katja Pratschke and Roman Fröhlich guided the Berlin youth group through the former concentration camp Sachsenhausen Memorial in order to search for traces of resistance. In the meeting rooms of the memorial we collected first ideas about the terms resistance and liberation. Leonhard Grond discussed the responsibility of the artist and architect in this context.
Already in one month, we will all meet in Melk to plan the workshops and youth exchange in May in more detail.
Peace is a certain resistance to the terrible satisfactions of war. It’s a commitment to living with a certain kind of vulnerability to others and susceptibility to being wounded that actually gives our individual lives meaning.
October 22 + 23 2019
After the workshop with the youths in Bolzano, Ruth Anderwald and Leonhard Grond travelled to the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau. In Block 27 they discovered documentation of the magazine Vedem, a resistence magazine dedicated to culture, arts and news, that existed from 1942 to 1944 in the Terezín Concentration camp. Vedem was hand-produced by a group of boys, among them editor-in-chief Petr Ginz and Hanuš Hachenburg. Altogether, some 800 pages of Vedem survived World War II. In 2003 Petr Ginz's drawing of planet Earth from the perspective of the Moon was taken to the Space Shuttle Columbia by Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, but the space shuttle was destroyed when it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere.
October 19 + 20 2019
This weekend the workshops in Bolzano started. After a guided tour through the documentation exhibition in the monument of the victory in Bozen/Bolzano, London-based artist Alessandra Ferrini worked with the group of young people at Museion.