8–15 September 2012, Koszalin & Borne Sulinowo (Poland)
This educational remembrance project for young people was held in the former military area of Borne Sulinowo (former Groß Born) and in the neighbouring former camp for Soviet prisoners. During several days of vocal, instrumental, theatre, dance and film workshops, students from middle schools in Hamburg and Koszalin sought answers to the question: What does the past have in common with the present and with my own history? After the encounter in 2011 when the participants met at the memorial Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany the next step of the project was planned at a location in Poland.
The meeting was held in Poland, at Groß Born, a former German military training ground which, during World War II, served as a prisoner-of-war camp where the Nazis murdered approximately 11.000 Soviet prisoners. After the liberation by the Soviets the ground was later used by the Soviet Army as a garrison base until 1992. The expulsions and subsequent resettlements of the exiled play a significant role and reflect the impact of boundary changes in this region.
A shared insight into history in such a special place should help young Poles and Germans break well-established taboos that persist until the present day. The participants – both students and artists - arrived without a specific scenario of the final presentation. The students attempted to confront different historical narratives using contemporary forms of art and performance.
Over five days of instrumental, vocal, theatre, dance and film workshops the students searched for a way to present their regional history. The teenagers were instructed by artists from Hamburg, Koszalin and Wrocław.
The students presented the final performance in Borne Sulinowo and in Koszalin. Since September 2012 the initiators of Sound in the Silence and ENRS became partners with the goal to develop the project with European partners.
On 19-26 September 2011 the first phase of “Sound in the Silence” took place in the concentration camp memorial Neuengamme, Hamburgu. Initiated by the artist and filmmaker Jens Huckeriede †, the artist Dan Wolf and MOTTE Community&Cultural Center. In cooperation with Gymnasium Altona, Hamburg, and Gymnasium Zespól Szkó, Koszalin artists from Hamburg, San Francisco and New York worked together with the artistic director Jens Huckeriede †. For one week the 14-17 year old students compiled a performance composed of theater, dance and musical elements in the brick factory of the concentration camp memorial Neuengamme. The artistic instruments were utilized to find ways to process the mutual past and to enter into an intercultural dialogue. The purpose of the workshop was to work through German and Polish history and the countries’ mutual past, so that the past will not be forgotten – but remains alive. The results of the workshops were presented during the closing events at the FABRIK on 24 September and the concentration camp memorial Neuengamme on 26 September.
The project is documented in 2011 by the film “sound in the silence”, 63 min, thede production and 2012 on video, 30 min “video-diary Borne Sulinowo”. In 2013 the project was presented in San Francisco and Chicago with two students of each group.
In 2014 the project was presented during the altonale Festival –screening the films and photo exhibition and during the ENRS symposium “Turning Points in 20th century European Histrory” in Prague.
ORGANISERS: European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, MOTTE e.v.
Participants 2011-2013: Gymnasium Altona (Hamburg), Gymnasium Zespól Szkól no. 11 in Koszalin