Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond
Vienna, Austria


Art Works! European Culture of Resistance and Liberation

              On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II the interdisciplinary project Art Works! European Culture of Resistance and Liberation connects the fields of arts-based research, political and cultural youth education, and remembrance cultures. Co-developed by Roman Fröhlich, Foundation wannseeForum Berlin, and the HASENHERZ association (Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond) this project includes an international youth encounter with renowned European artists engaging young people in artistic research on the theme of resistance and liberation from fascism. Starting points for this project are songs, poems, graffiti or other artistic creations dedicated to the subject of resistance and liberation from the period between 1938 and 1945. In a process of research, critique, and reflection the young participants examine historical artworks and, supported by professional artists, move on to co-create their own artworks that connect the historical findings to the values needed in the here and now. Reflecting on these historical-cultural roots is key to understanding and appreciating today's Europe.

              On the intersection of youth work, current artistic practice, and political and cultural education, the project has set itself the goal of investigating cultural assets as a tried and tested means of resistance and liberation on the basis of concrete, local examples, and of reviewing historical works and their modes of action with regard to the present, based on the thesis that learning from history for the present is only possible through critical analysis and creative application. The power of the imagination inherent in such artworks makes it possible to meet the future with an inquiring and imaginative mind. In this process of research, critique and reflection, the participants examine the historical works and, supported by professional artists, move on to co-create artworks that connect historical developments to the here and now. By encouraging the participants not only to reflect the artworks from this period but to become artists themselves in the further course of the project, the project aims to open up a new perspective on the connection of culture and politics and shed light on what might be a European culture of resistance.