zusammen.HALT – Workshops with pupils from Dresden and Pirna

The first workshops took place in April and May 2022: Pupils from the FAS Dresden and the Schiller-Gymnasium Pirna dealt with social cohesion in the GDR, went on excursions to historical places and met contemporary witnesses.

In April and May 2022, we conducted our first workshops in the zusammen.HALT project using the methods of citizen journalism and role play. Together with students from the Freie Alternativschule Dresden and the Friedrich-Schiller-Gymnasium Pirna, we visited the historical sites Gedenkstätte Bautzner Straße (former Stasi prison) and Festung Königstein (former Jugendwerkhof). Likewise, we looked for historical places on the school grounds themselves or in the surrounding area. We met contemporary witnesses or people who were in intensive exchange with former contemporary witnesses. Stories from the families of the pupils themselves were also included:

26.04.-29.04. & 11.-13.05.2022
Workshop with pupils of a 9th grade class from the Freie Alternativschule Dresden with excursions to the Bautzner Straße memorial in Dresden and to Königstein Fortress, citizen journalism and role play

Workshop with pupils from the Friedrich-Schiller-Gymnasium Pirna with excursion to the Königstein Fortress, citizen journalism and role play

In the workshops, the young people were able to deal creatively and playfully with questions about social cohesion in the GDR. How were young people in particular sworn in to the socialist image of man? Where were the limits of tolerance towards deviant behaviour and how was it punished? But where were there also niches and spaces of freedom? The participants themselves set their own accents, for example by suggesting contemporary witnesses with migration experience and with a queer perspective, whereupon our project team invited corresponding protagonists to contemporary witness talks and to exchange with the interested young people.

The participatory workshops used the methods of citizen journalism and role play. In citizen journalism, the participants researched stories from everyday life in the GDR under the guidance of Matthias Schumann and prepared them for the media. We will gladly use the stories and drawings in our work. In the role play, the participants developed role characters and concrete scenarios under the guidance of Sebastian Gonano and acted them out together at the end of the workshops. The potential for a role play of their own is emerging, but still needs to be developed further. The workshops were developed in advance together with the schools and the educators, and the students were introduced to the topic partly in preparation.

Interest awoken?

The zusammen.HALT project is open for further cooperation with schools and other educational partners. We would be happy to work with you to develop free historical education workshops on the history of the GDR that are tailored to the needs of your children and young people in the period from autumn 2022 to summer 2023!

Contact: Marcus Oertel – marcus.oertel@kulturaktiv.org

Das Projekt zusammen.HALT in Trägerschaft der Gedenkstätte Bautzner Straße und in Kooperation mit Kultur Aktiv wird gefördert durch das Bundesprogramm „Jugend erinnert“ zur Aufarbeitung des DDR-Unrechts und hat eine Laufzeit bis Ende 2023.