The events in Gorbitz took place in cooperation with Quartiersmanagement Gorbitz, Nachbarschaftshilfeverein e.V., MEDEA International and Omse e.V..

The Treffpunkt ostZONE events in Gorbitz took place in cooperation with Quartiersmanagement Gorbitz, Nachbarschaftshilfeverein e.V., MEDEA International and Omse e.V..

18.06.2021 – Market café

“Living in Gorbitz” with the artist Anja Maria Eisen

The coffee smells, the cake is provided. Many memories of life in Gorbitz during the GDR era. Alt-Gorbitz. Construction of the Plattenbauten. Sought-after neighborhood. Good traffic connections. Noisy and difficult neighborhood. Control. Cohesion. On the subject of “Was there contact with the contract workers?” different memories come to mind. Any contact was strictly forbidden. Secret visits to the Vietnamese apartment block with the rope ladder. “No, of course we could meet and talk to each other, and not only that, but the Vietnamese were not allowed,” others say. Memories bubble up, everyone is glad to finally be able to talk about it. “When will we meet next time? I’ll bring photos.” The artist Anja Maria Eisen visualizes the stories directly during the market café. Her small collages clarify the reports, whether about the housing situation in Gorbitz, the “strangers” or the neighborhood “info service” when there was something special to buy, for example ketchup.

18.06.2021 – District walk

“Immigration in Gorbitz GDR – today” with Jürgen Czytrich and the artist Anja Maria Eisen

Jürgen Czytrich, Gorbitz veteran, has prepared well as always. Our tour starts at the Gorbitz depot. The future-oriented and sustainable planning of the public transport system in the 1980s is impressive. He vividly explains the architectural design of the district. How were the Plattenbauten planned, laid out? What social ideas are reflected in the many courtyards, playgrounds, green spaces? What do the long gutters everywhere mean? Changes since the reunification on site: Tour of the Laborschule, the free school of Omse e.V. With mosaics by Elena Pagel in the garden. And even more green spaces. Reconstruction of the apartments, more square meters. Where did the immigrants live – then? And today?

Artist Anja Maria Eisen accompanies the tour and sets guests the task of recording the visible patterns along the way. To hatch on paper. Pattern richness. The diversity of Gorbitz becomes visible. We are eyed curiously: What are they doing there?

19. & 26.06.2021 – Biography Art Workshop

Two workshop days with the artists Anja Maria Eisen and Nadine Wölk

Day 1 It’s hot. The beautiful, bright room is darkened. The artists push the tables together to form a long work surface. Working together and side by side. Round of introductions with coffee. Participants with different mother tongues. Second round. Anja Maria Eisen encourages those present. “Tell us what it was like when you were at school, when you were young in the GDR?” She distributes canvases. Pens, scraps of fabric, scraps of paper, wire, everything is ready. The first sentences are written. “Schlüsselkind.” Not all of those present know what that means. Explanations. There were also in the West. How did the inhabitants of the FRG, Soviet Union, Iran see the GDR? Experiences and associations fill the canvases. Then the request to pass one’s own canvas to the neighbor. Murmurs. Laughter. Sharing memories, enriching and changing history.

Anja Maria Eisen: Collages on canvas
“Life is a collage of an abundance of impressions, experiences, happenings in the now, which we may make with ourselves and all encounters on this earth. If we look back, we can recognize the influences of the social time in which we have lived. Now here it is especially about the experiences in the “East”.
An artistic technique that always inspires me and that seems particularly appropriate for stories from life is the collage. Individual “snippets” can be connected with each other and create a coherent whole. This seems to me to be an appropriate form of expression for the theme “Biografieworkshop Ostzone”. I have provided the participants with a rich collection of material from my studio as well as canvases.
Since life always means togetherness, exchange, connection and disconnection, I asked the participants to all work together on the canvases, allowing themselves to be courageously guided by their own lives, the material and the impulses of the others. Everyone participated in all the canvases, partly in the exchange before and partly in the direct creation. Pulling these resulting fragments together into a whole, a large surface of association emerges, offering viewers the opportunity to discover themselves in this cosmos.” (Anja Maria Eisen)

Nadine Wölk created individual memory books for the biography art workshops. Project books. Each booklet is unique. In size and paper. Black and white. Recycled paper, different thickness. Partially patterned. Provided with a loop and the inscription: ErinnerungsCOLLAGEN / project book. Instructions can be found in the middle. A personal memory book about one’s life. Some photos brought along are pasted in. First pages labeled. Tracing.

Nadine Wölk: ErinnerungsCOLLAGEN | Project book
“The structure of the project book is intended to be reminiscent of a sketchbook, diary, or photo album, and is primarily intended for reflection and the collection of ideas. That’s why I found the idea and equally the aesthetics of upcycling (e.g. of old and partly already used paper) exciting and logical. In addition, snippets of memories or sequences, recipes, quotes, concepts, mnemonics, insights, jokes and philosophical approaches have space.
The participants’ own reflection enables them to come to terms with THEN and TODAY. Through joint conversations and discussions during the workshop, the workshop participants can approach the THEN in a targeted manner, go in search of traces, and possibly also draw an individual conclusion with a little distance. It is first and foremost about life stories, own biographies, shaped by the circumstances and constraints of their time.
The participants can, if they wish, bring out old photos, Polaroids, especially since it is part of the concept that they can take the memory books home, to their private environment, away from any publicity. They are free to make printouts or black-and-white copies of old documents, certificates or photos and to edit them (e.g. black out certain parts, contents or choose the right context), and finally to paste them into the book. In this way, an authentic examination of the social structures of the time (own vita, choice of profession or career, turning points) takes place. Findings + conclusion = own IDENTITY.
Instructions for the project book or memory book / memory booklet:
Analysis: Where are there parallels? How was I integrated? Which opportunities did I have or which were denied to me? Why was my life like this and not different or what would I do differently today? (Family + friends + partnership | goals e.g. my own attitude towards the world)?
Implementation as a collage with prefabricated parts: e.g. photocopies of old documents, school, doctor, official stamps, fragments of certificates or documents // details // songs // texts // recipes // poems // biographies // quotes // traditions // old customs // CULTURAL IDENTITY = REMEMBERING QUESTIONS: disassemble into individual elements and reassemble…and thus create new content or core statements.

Analysis of the concept of home or new home, roots or uprooted, etc. Playfully and exploratively approach one’s own value system.
Reflect: What counts for me in life? What is good and what should change? Where would I like to be in 10 or more years?” (Nadine Wölk)

Day 2 New participants join. New canvases, new memory books. More languages. And lots of coffee. Terms fall. NVA. Youth initiation. FDJ. Blue shirt. The athletes. Akam is fascinated by “voluntary duty”. The screens go around the table. Lively exchange about life in the GDR or in GDR times. Childhood in Kazakhstan. In the Ukraine. The younger ones can’t imagine the border through Germany.

The memory books are filling up. Experiences, written down by hand. Report cards, sports badges, commendations, reprimands. Official stamps. The issuing authorities no longer exist. What is identity? The notebooks are taken home. Continue to write.

The project Treffpunkt ostZONE. remember and shape is supported by the House of Resources Dresden +. This measure is co-financed with tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon state parliament within the framework of the state program Integrative Measures.