Neighbourhood to go with colour galore

On 05 September, the Dresdner Nachbarschaften were at the "Dresden is(s)t bunt" guest meal.

text: Falk Goernert · photos: Yvonn Spauschus

And at some point the word neighbourhood came up in English class. And at some point, many people – age-related and milieu-related – spoke of the hood as the street (and the adjoining paths) on which they live, the neighbourhood in which they are on the move every day, in which their own privacy unfolds and is lived. A miniature of the big picture with people thrown together next door, where contact and (in)connectedness are the order of the day.

A babble of voices and a variety of languages, eye contact and sitting together on a bench, a gallery of colourfully printed cloth bags hung on dark metal rods above a table … Our stand transforms like a living organism over the course of several hours. Arriving as a mobile screen-printing squad, people are invited by us to exchange their neighbourhood experiences, longings and plans. Felt-tip pens wander over the unprinted beer mat boards on display and draw houses, among other things, past which a piece of cake or a cup of coffee flies by remarkably often. Some choose rather the expression of words and leave behind a chain of associations, (childhood) memories or wishes. Sometimes this recording takes only 1-2 minutes, sometimes longer; accompanied by conversations and finding out and sharing together. As a visible sign, we then make coloured cloth bags with neighbourhood motifs, which everyone can take with them through their lives. If you run out of energy, you can try the self-made “energy balls” from the crew of the Schauspielhaus at the neighbouring table: living neighbourhood just do it!

More than 4000 words exchanged, more than 2500 eye contacts, more than 200 minutes of conversations, more than 120 beer mat stories, more than 100 printed cloth bags … This afternoon on the Schlossplatz was a hood! And right on time the banda plays to the end. And I think of my childhood and the idea of going around our houses with our own gang. We just rang each other’s bells and off we went.

There is something happend in Dresden and it’s still going on. Open your eyes: The neighbourhood bags are loose.

Dresdner Nachbarschaften
Damals, Heute, Morgen / Zuhören, Erinnern und Gestalten

In our storytelling cafés and discussion groups, district tours and workshops, we want to encourage you to tell stories and develop visions.


Project coordination
Yvonn Spauschus (project management)
Anne Ibelings · Moussa Mbarek · Nadine Wölk (workshop leader)
Uta Rolland · Rosa Brockelt · Rosa Hauch · Falk Goernert (moderation and documentation)

Cooperation partners
JugendKunstschule Dresden · Omse e.V. · Löbtop e.V. · Quartiersmanagement Prohlis, Johannstadt and Gorbitz · Sigus e.V. · In Gruna leben e.V. · UFER-Projekte Dresden e.V.

Supported by

The project is funded by the House of Resources Dresden+