Etwas wagen en

Etwas wagen (Herz, Hand, Verstand)
(To Dare Something (Heart, Hand, Mind))

Artistic Reading Format
(in German, English and French)

Photo: Cornelia Herfurtner / Floating University / 2022

In the artistic reading format Etwas wagen (Herz, Hand, Verstand) Ulrike Bernard introduces ecofeminists, environmental activists and biologists. On the basis of various text excerpts, the activistic practices and ecological attitudes of Robin Wall Kimmerer, Vandana Shiva, Starhawk, Wangari Maathai, Maria Mies und Rachel Carson are highlighted. The selected texts all point at a fundamental question: What can we learn from previous activist movements? The thinking of these authors is holistic, reminding us that everything is interrelated. “Protect, preserve, renew“, is both recognised and put into practise, as knowledge that is vital to our survival.

During the events, Ulrike Bernard opens a space for connection: to the activists themselves, their words, and their powerful actions. For each reading, she develops a site-specific setting for the outdoor space, consisting of textile bearers and objects. A globe, a fossil from the Dolomites, a shell from the Mediterranean, a drawing, a fig leaf, an aubergine, and a printed textile. This mix of objects links the activist narratives with each other and at the same time creates an arc to the visitors. Selected objects are passed from hand to hand, and a space is created to pass on one’s own experiences. In small groups, existing knowledge is shared and multiplied through the heart, hand and mind.

Photos: Patrycja Toczek / Seeding Freedom Festival / 2022
Cornelia Herfurtner / Floating University / 2022
Gilad Baram / Biotop Ev.Grundschule Lichtenberg / 2022

The 1st edition of the reading series took place in the summer of 2021 at the Gartenarbeitsschule (an educational garden) in Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin and in South Tyrol (IT) at Basis Vinschgau, at the Ost West Club, Meran and the Kulturverein (cultural association) Kubatur in the Schlern region. A reading took place under the ginkgo tree of the Haus des Wandels (House of Change), Steinhöfel.

In 2022 artistic readings took place at Floating University Berlin (with activations by Berit Fischer – Radical Empathy Lab) and during the Seeding Freedom Festival (with participation of Lise Chevalier and Emelie Langlade). The artistic reading format expanded in 2022 as an offshoot (planting action of a fig tree and reading) – in cooperation with the Wangari Maathai International Primary School and the Ev. Schule Lichtenberg Berlin. Both events were dedicated to the late environmental activist Wangari Maathai.

2023 Etwas wagen (Herz, Hand, Verstand) travelled to France and was shown under the arms of the pine tree at the A.T.E.N.A garden Sète as part of the supporting program of the Lisières exhibition at La Chappel du Quartier Haut.

Photos: Karin Schmuck / Kubatur Verein, Schulmuseum Tagusens / 2021
Cornelia Herfurtner / Gartenarbeitsschule Tempelhof-Schöneberg Berlin / 2021

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