We are interested in the topic of poverty and food in a society of plenty, in stories and backgrounds of child poverty in Düsseldorf, one of the richest cities in Europe. The project gives children a platform to collaborate with artists, to describe their reality(s), to communicate obstacles and solutions and to attract attention. Children are not portrayed as victims, but are taken seriously in their dignity and resilience, their potential and creativity. For this purpose, we meet with experts, children affected by poverty and their families as well as people from youth welfare or poverty researchers such as Prof. Silke Tophoven (University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf) and others.
How children deal with poverty should become visible. How they describe their feelings when things they take for granted are missing in their everyday lives; vacations, sports, culture, nutrition. What strategies poor children use to deal with shame and feelings of inferiority. How they act under stress, e.g. when they lose valuable things. How they dream up "beautiful worlds" and through which behaviors they strive for recognition. How they deal with pressure, e.g. by becoming silent or by turning their anger and powerlessness inside out. How they deal with a lack of friendships, with missing birthday parties, too little pocket money and unaffordable visits to fun fairs or theaters. How they think about money. What they wish for. Where they meet, seek relaxation. What music they listen to. What they collect. What they miss. What burdens them. What delights them. What is taboo for them.
The project also aims to create a network of actors in Düsseldorf. Actors and institutions of youth welfare, employees of the Youth Welfare Office and the Child Protection Association are involved, as well as artists from various fields (acting, spoken word, dance and visual arts). Thus, an art exhibition is just as much a goal as a documentary film and the theater production at the Junges Schauspiel. Furthermore, networking with the "Tafel", different schools and youth welfare institutions is aimed for.
Junges Schauspiel - Düsseldorf
Author Akın Emanuel Şipal and the Junges Schauspiel Düsseldorf are working on a play for children, teenagers (and adults) aged 10 and older, Das Pommes-Paradis.
Internationally acclaimed director Liesbeth Coltof ("The Boy with the Suitcase," "Life Doesn't Scare Me") will be directing the production and plans to have actors in it together with children affected by poverty, as well as their adults, on stage.
And also: Matts Johan Leenders (musik), Aylin Celik (Spoken Word) und Kirstin Hess (dramaturgie, project- and textdevelopment)