Society and Politics
How do you encourage people to participate in social and political processes?
Only through collective actions do societies change into communities. This not only leads to a positive attitude toward life, but also ensures that each person can develop further as an individual. Ultimately, this is the basis for any healthy democracy. However, since the demand for participation and involvement is constantly changing and being re-evaluated, there is a need for communication spaces that are open on all sides and agile participation formats that pick up all people in their reality.
In recent years I have had the opportunity to work on projects and formats that deal with relevant social and political issues. Some of these projects originate from initiatives I founded, such as Farbwerte (Color Values). An initiative that has dealt with the black-red-gold flag and other national symbols in terms of content and design for over 10 years and has been able to realize over 20 exhibitions and workshops worldwide.
The following list gives an overview of the projects I have been commissioned to develop, as well as the initiatives I have been able to realize in recent years with the support of various cooperation partners.
GIF ME YOUR BEST, since 2019
The initiative GIF ME YOUR BEST, which I founded, calls on creatives to submit GIFs on various topics in international competitions. The first competition #EUROPEANELECTIONS took place on the occasion of the 2019 European elections and was supported by the European Union. A jury consisting of 26 designers* from all over Europe awarded three GIFs from the approximately 150 submissions. The winners were then invited to the first session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Since then, the #ZEROWALLS and #FIGHTTHEVIRUS contests have also been successfully held. All submitted GIFs can be seen on Instagram: GIF ME YOUR BEST
Farbwerte, 2009 - 2019
In 2009, I founded Farbwerte (Color Values), the project office for black-red-golden affairs. An initiative that deals with Germany and the German flag in terms of content and creativity. The different projects and their results gave a stage to the diversity of viewpoints and opinions and always create a public space for reflection and discourse. Until 2019, I was able to realize over 25 exhibitions and workshops with Farbwerte and in collaboration with German missions abroad and cultural institutions worldwide. All info about the projects can be found here: Farbwerte (German)
Open Society Initiative, Berlin, 2018
The empty “Citizens’ Forum Square” in Berlin’s government district is to be brought to life as a lively place for social dialogue. For this reason, experts from architecture, civil society initiatives, the foundation world, and politics met in 2018 to discuss fundamental questions about democracy and citizenship as well as concrete details of use and planning. As a member of the expert group, I moderated the first co-creation workshop. The initiator is the “Offene Gesellschaft” (Open Society), a platform that brings together people who constructively oppose the political lack of ideas and courage. Die offene Gesellschaft (German)
100 Letters to Germany, 2015
The book “100 Letters to Germany” is a collection of 100 very personal letters and was published on October 3, 2015, on the occasion of the anniversary “25 Years of German Unity”. It is an extraordinary contemporary document, written by personalities and committed citizens from the most diverse areas of society. The book was created within the initiative Farbwerte and was curated and edited by the publisher Andreas von Stedman and me.
At the Heart of My Country, Saxony, Germany, 2012 - 2014
From 2012 to 2014, project days at various schools in Saxony stimulated a participatory process that enabled young people to actively and creatively engage with their own personalities. In 10 project days, 200 life stories could thus be developed, which made personal dreams, wishes and fears visible. Farbwerte, an initiative founded by me, which has been dealing with the black-red-gold flag in terms of content and design since 2009, developed the concept for the project days together with Reno Roessel from Steinhaus Bautzen. The project was realized in cooperation with BStU Leipzig and Dresden. The project was funded by the Saxon State Ministry of the Interior within the state program Weltoffenes Sachsen für Demokratie und Toleranz (Saxony Open to the World for Democracy and Tolerance).
WIR SIND DAS VOLK, Berlin, 2012
On November 9, 2012, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I created an action in public space with Farbwerte and Sonice Development and printed the words WIR SIND DAS VOLK (WE ARE THE PEOPLE) on a wall in Berlin. The 6000 color balls needed for the intervention were sold online in advance for €1 each. The action was a tribute to the peaceful demonstrators of 1989 and an appeal for freedom. The project was supported by FluxFM, CREATE BERLIN and the DDR Museum. WIR SIND DAS VOLK
Amnesty International, Berlin, 2011
On the occasion of Amnesty International’s 50th birthday, an exhibition was opened at the House of World Cultures in Berlin on the occasion of the presentation of the 6th Human Rights Award. The contemporary and resource-saving exhibition made of cardboard boxes was produced several times and in different sizes and could thus be set up and dismantled independently by different local Amnesty groups. On behalf of Amnesty International I developed the exhibition concept as well as the later festival at the Brandenburg Gate. I was supported in the design and implementation by the agency 10hoch16.
Democracy Day, Bonn, Germany, 2011
On the initiative of the German President, 400 participants were to meet simultaneously in citizens’ forums in 25 German cities and districts on a Democracy Day in 2011. The objective: to show ways of actively involving citizens in political decision-making. At the end, all participants were to be invited to a Day of Democracy. In a concept commissioned by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and together with Triad Berlin, I developed different scenarios and formats for the event in the plenary hall of the German Bundestag in Bonn and the following citizens’ festival.
60 Seconds Germany, 2010
In 2010, as the initiator of Farbwerte (Color Values), I joined forces with the organizers of the international Internet Film Fest Webcuts to call for a competition. We were looking for videos and films that dealt with the view of Germany. Anyone could participate and there were only two rules: 1. the film had to be exactly 60 seconds long. 2. the German flag had to play a central role. The jury consisted of Prof. Hans-Joachim Berndt, Antje Scholz, Jo Groebel, Lutz Engelke, Prof. Eku Wand, Raban Ruddigkeit and Sven Assmann, among others.
German Pavilion, EXPO, Shanghai, China, 2010
With “balancity”, the German Pavilion, Germany presented itself at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai as an innovative, future-oriented country that at the same time attaches great importance to maintaining roots and preserving traditions. My initiative Farbwerte was selected as a project partner and curated an exhibition from the Farbwerte portraits by Frank Rösner. In addition, we developed a format that gave visitors on the first two opening days the opportunity to have their picture taken with the German black-red-golden flag and then send the portrait as a digital postcard.
Thinking of Germany, Berlin, 2010
“Denk ich an Deutschland” (Thinking of Germany) is a conference in which the Alfred Herrhausen Society and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung discuss the most urgent issues of our time with representatives of various sectors. The Farbwerte initiative, which I founded, was a partner in the first conference in 2010.