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New art project in memory of the children from Bullenhuser Damm

The new art project by the Stadtteilschule Kirchwerder

With this project, the students from the Stadtteilschule Kirchwerder aim to commemorate the children of Bullenhuser Damm and keep their memories alive. Through their installation, they also intend to evoke feelings of hope, comfort, and security, inviting visitors to reflect on themselves and their own actions.

Liv Kenter und Max Schmeling from class 11a at Stadtteilschule Kirchwerder describe their installation, which is now on display at the Bullenhuser Damm memorial:

To enter our installation, visitors must pass through a white curtain before they can view the photos of the children floating in the room. At the end of the room, mirrors of various sizes are placed, in which viewers can see themselves alongside the images of the children.

But how can we give someone entering such a space a sense of comfort without making them feel trepidation?

To create the sense of an enclosed space, we chose a translucent, white curtain. This curtain also gives visitors the option to actively decide whether or not to enter this inner space.

How best to keep someone’s memory alive?

We believe that we remember someone when we see them. Since we have many photos of the children, we decided to incorporate them. By having the photos float in the room, despite the space's confinement, we wanted to create a sense of freedom. Because freedom was likely the children's greatest wish.

How can art evoke a feeling of hope?

The most recognisable symbol of hope is probably light. Therefore, we bathed the room in warm light to convey a sense of hope and comfort at the same time.

It's not just the children of Bullenhuser Damm, but also their caretakers, who were victims here. We must not forget them. For the children, they were likely symbols of hope and the belief in something better. To honour them, we chose to show a star in a dark blue colour for each caretaker, as this colour symbolises clarity and prudence.

It is important to us that people confront the truth and question themselves. To question ourselves, we must look into our own eyes, see ourselves, and ask, "What am I actually doing here?" One can look themselves in the eyes using a mirror. In our setup, you can see the children of Bullenhuser Damm reflecting in the background. We want you to engage with the past and present against this backdrop.

Through our installation, we aim to offer you the opportunity to commemorate the children of Bullenhuser Damm and remind you that such events must never be forgotten nor ever happen again.

The group of pupils from Kirchwerder district school with their teacher at the Memorial Bullenhuser Damm