Monday, January 24, 2011

Quartier für Vielflieger - Nests for the Frequent Flyers

by Secil Yaylali and Anne Deschka, from May to October 2010, in Berlin/Kreuzberg*

Quartier für Vielflieger/Nests for frequent Flyers was a participatory public art project realized in 2010 the neighborhood Kreuzberg in Berlin.We invited inhabitants of the area to show their hospitality to migratory birds by building individual bird houses.

In Turkey and its neighboring countries, bird houses enjoy a century-long tradition. These tiny but highly decorated houses were constructed on the facades of public buildings as one of the typical architectural features. Within the striving urban life they should protect birds from adverse weather conditions and hungry cats. Inhabitants of those shelters often are migratory birds, which spent each winter in warmer regions. As temporary guests people welcomed them in a friendly way - a carrying human gesture towards the free migrants of the sky.

Also around the Kreuzberg- Kottbusser Tor, people - like migratory birds - are sharing the experience of departing and arriving, and the experience of being dependent on sharing the hospitality of other human beings.

According to old tradition from Turkey, we wanted to show the hospitality to the frequent visitors of the area. We also wanted to build a link between people and some associations in the area. We structured the project in 3 phases;

1) We made -one day events- by 5 local associations to inform more participants about the 2nd phase. We had an origami, water marbling, participatory drawing workshop and a lecture about the Turkish birdhouses and an excursion in Kreuzberg to be able to see which immigrant birds live in the area. This process also created a link among local associations in the area.

2) The second phase was the core of the project. It integrated 2 different workshops. One was a birdhouse-building workshop and the other one was a sound-editing workshop. The birdhouse-building workshop was a week long workshop and we organized 3 different groups of participant where participants could build their own birdhouses according to their own designs. The sound-editing workshop was a 1 week workshop that participants learnt about sound experienced with it.

3) In the end, a symposium, a film screening and an exhibition took place. The exhibition showed the products (the birdhouses-sound pieces) and the documentation of the project. In the symposium there was a screening of documentary movies about home land and a discussion about migration and hospitality. We also presented our publication in the end of the events.

The birdhouses were placed around Kottbuser Tor, Kreuzberg.

Events: Origami & Marbling (Ebru), participatory painting Workshops, Excursion, Lecture about traditional birdhouses, Birdhouse-building Workshops, Sound-editing Workshop, Symposium & Exhibition in Kreuzberg Museum

* in collaboration with 13 artists, 2 NABU Volunteers, a social worker, an architect, a social anthropologist and around 150 active participants in Berlin Kreuzberg

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