Needed a minute to sit down and take in everything that happened over my time in Germany. Hell, I needed some time to process the first snippet of 2014. To say that it has been a whirlwind, wouldn’t be so far as an understatement, but definitely momentum to note.
News: Launched YouthfulCities in Canada, presented my work at the Bauhaus University, made strategic alignments for Loft YCSEI with Lebenswelten Catering and am working as part of the curatorial team for the 2014 NXNE Art program.
Having recently gotten back from a 15 day work/pleasure trip to Germany, my mind is brimming with thoughts of strategic projects internationally. Thoughts of tri-city partnership in vocational training, collaborative public art initiatives and much more. My experiences over my stay enabled me to gain a bit more perspective on the working cultures at play in Germany and learn lessons about spatial understanding and the populous.
I started my journey in Weimar. Asked to present as part of the XIV International Model Project Forum, I had the great pleasure of learning about work happening across Europe, China and Saudi Arabia, including the 30 year vision for spatial planning in Amsterdam and the wild abandon of newly built cities in China. Eye opening.
After Weimar, Berlin, where I met the lovely team at Lebenswelten. Tasked with gaining insight into a successful, socially based, catering business model for Loft Kitchen (an initiative of Loft YCSEI), I came away with much much more. First, Germany has a national policy that fosters the development of integration service agencies, that work to train and employ persons with physical and mental disabilities. Lebenswelten e.V., the parent company to Lebenswelten Catering, is actually comprised of 5 of these agencies that cover high tech manufacturing, financial and accounting management, catering & event production, and rehabilitative services. All agencies have 40% or more personnel that have a physical or mental disability and provide support, by means of skills development, and support services.
I had the pleasure of taking a tour of one of their canteens, situated within a former hospital complex and servicing a large refugee population. This is one of six canteens that they run throughout the city. I also had the opportunity to visit the Elkotec production plant, where they manufactures security management systems for global elevator suppliers.
The remainder of my time was spent in awe of the art. At Hamburger Bahnof it was Wall Works that captivated me, along with Susan Philipsz’s “Part File Score”. The former being an ode to the use of public walls as a means of artistic expression since the 1960’s and the later an immersive sound experience juxtaposed against 12 images of Hans Eisler’s compositions super-imposed with pages of his FBI files.
At Berlinische Gallery, it was Dorothy Iannone who stole the show, with her hyper-sexualized paintings and sculpture, expressing her inner monologue “ecstatic love.”
I generally just basked in the amazing atmosphere Berlin provides. It truly is a place for inspiration and creativity. I could see getting lost in the best way there. More on that to come…
See more from Amy, here.