In an effort to creatively engage with local youth in Berlin, members of the Angles collective planned, organised, and faciliated two arts workshops with teens at the Shalom Rollberg community centre in Neukölln.
Shalom Rollberg is a community project that initiates intercultural encounters in the Rollbergviertel of Berlin-Neukölln, aiming to promote dialogue between predominantly Muslim children, young people and their families with the members of the city’s diverse Jewish community.
The two Angles arts workshops came as part of a larger course teaching English language skills to the centre’s youths—all of whom are girls aged 14–16. The workshops aimed not only to foster English ability and artistic creativity, but also to help the students reimagine their own neighbourhood and the community within it. We too had the privilege of viewing Rollberg Kiez through new eyes!
For the first workshop, Swiss painter Myriam Gross-Mail developed a large-scale map of the Kiez and led the youth through exercises to identify key places, encouraging them to re-envision the space in which they spend their daily lives and view the community in new light.
Using markers, ink, glue and bright post-it notes, the girls mapped out not just physical places like where they live, study, and go shopping, but also places connected to emotions and memory: where they feel safe, where they’ve hurt themselves, and where they’ve laughed…
In the second workshop, Brazilian photographer Chris Okamato expanded on this theme through photography, encouraging the class to re-examine their surroundings through the lens of a camera. Before sending them out on a “photo safari,” Chris gave a short presentation on the basics of photography—composition, colour, style, etc—and then paired them up with an English speaker to explore the kiez and document scenes and spaces with their phone cameras. Check out some of their photos:
Finally, with help from the staff at the Shalom Rollberg centre, the map was fully assembled. The final map, which can now be seen hanging at the community centre, includes the girls’ pictures of their neighbourhood, stickers highlighting where they hang out with friends and family, and other identifying symbols for places they feel scared, where they feel relaxed, and where they have their best memories. Thanks to the Shalom Rollberg centre for an amazing collaboration!