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Schools of Sustainability

Agency in the Face of Crisis

Cultural Education

March 2023–December 2024

Abschlusskongress: „Kann Schule Klima retten?“ in the context of S.O.S. – Schools of Sustainability, 2022

Abschlusskongress: „Kann Schule Klima retten?“ in the context of S.O.S. – Schools of Sustainability, 2022. Photo: Laura Fiorio © MVT photography

Schools of Sustainability. Agency in the Face of Crisis is a cooperation with three partner schools initiated by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, which deals intensely with climate anxieties of children and young people. Feelings of hopelessness and impotence are counterposed with a much-needed agency.

Students and teachers from three schools in Berlin will be working with artists and experts from the fields of education, ecology, politics, and social sciences in the 2023/24 school year, and will embark on an open-ended and collaborative artistic research process. The focus of their collaborative work lies on the engagement with feelings of overextension, loss of control, impotence and hopelessness that go hand in hand with climate change.

In the project work, strategies for the classroom are developed to address such anxieties, train teaching staff, and sensitize parents. For this purpose, a series of regular training courses for teachers is planned. Furthermore, techniques of care are collectively developed with school social workers, educators, and external experts. The aim is to create safe spaces in which all those involved can express their concerns and try out resilience techniques.

The results of the artistic research will be presented to the public at a project presentation and conference on 19 and 20 September 2024. Activists, psychologists, and pedagogues discuss the topic of climate anxiety with students and the public, and craft strategies for dealing with such phenomena in an educational context.

Moreover, the perspective of world regions and people, which are particularly affected by the ramifications of climate change, will be emphasised during the closing conference. Their practices and protest movements, as well as the situation in which people with diasporic connections find themselves, are only marginally recognized by the predominantly white climate movement in this country. How to deal with this blank space in the education system? What can we learn from diasporic resistance practices, and how can such practices be adapted for an educational context?

Participating schools:
Evangelische Schule Berlin Zentrum

Participating artists:
Johannes Frick a.k.a. Jon Darc
Marcos García Pérez
Atefeh Kheirabadi
Bahar Meriç
Mehrad Sepahnia
Marta Stanisława Sala

Accompanying research:
In cooperation with Universität der Künste Berlin, students under the direction of Nanna Lüth are accompanying the project artistically and scientifically, and will be developing further training for teachers as well as handouts for lessons, which will be available to all interested teachers at the end of the project.

The project is a continuation of S.O.S—Schools of Sustainability. Can schools save the climate? (2021-2022), which brought sustainability to fruition in the classroom, in the school building, and in the students’ minds.