New Patrons

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The New Patrons
of Steinhöfel

Old photography from Steinhöfel

Good ways of growing older together

Patrons*innen: Inhabitants of Steinhöfel: Steffen Adam, Regina Funke, Jane Gersdorf, Annegret Huth, Mela Meierhans, Kerstin Neitsch, Beatrix Oppermann, Hannegret Richter,

Mediators*in: Lena Ziese,

Artists*innen: Rimini Protokoll, ConstructLab,

Cooperation Partners and Sponsors: Federal Cultural Foundation,

Duration: 2019 –

Everyone gets older. But that's nothing people like to talk about. The New Patrons of Steinhöfel are certain: the challenges that ageing in the countryside brings with it are existential and affect everyone.

They want to connect the people from the Steinhöfel community's twelve villages closer with an artistic project about getting older together. In collaboration with the authors' collective Rimini Protokoll and the design and architecture network ConstructLab, they want to strengthen the possibilities for action and the sense of community for a self-determined ageing in the countryside.

From a workshop on creating the commission

The art project is to span between the villages of Steinhöfel. Within the framework of the project, the villages of the community will therefore become narrators for each other. By exchanging stories, grown connections become visible again, which have been forgotten due to restructuring, or new bonds are formed where there have never been any before.

The rediscovery and invention of commonalities and the resulting artistic impulses on site should provide the framework for sustainable activities of their own in the long term, in which the people of the community support each other as they grow older.

An old black and white photograph from Steinhöfel shows three old people sitting on a bench in the village. They are in the centre, visible, approachable. The past scene is also the image of a possible future. Shared histories of the community become the basis for a common future.

In a dialogue between the twelve villages of the Steinhöfel community, we want to find new ways to support each other in getting older.

For the research phase of the project, Rimini Protokoll and ConstructLab have started to visit the villages of Steinhöfel. They asked about the simplest stories that people from different generations pass on to each other - and about the recipes with which they master their lives every day. Because every generation has its recipes: For the best cake, for a happy marriage or for how best to repair a fence. They are not only classic recipes, but also recipes for life or building instructions.

These Dorfrezepte ("village recipes") are the tricks of everyday life in the villages – everyday life in which also ageing takes place. They reveal a lot about the villages. Through them the people from Steinhöfel get to know each other better and can show the artist collectives the local, even private treasures of knowledge that exist everywhere.

Growing old together means sharing everyday life: The Dorfrezepte become public and in the further course of the project they provide the material basis for various discussions about aging in community. When it comes to re-describing places in a narrative way and to create something lasting, the artists will start where the recipes end.

Postcard design for collecting "Dorfrezepte" (village recipes)

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