The XXII. ROHKUNSTBAU addresses the situation of children, their dreams and hopes, but also their lives, threatened by the worldwide crises. Although the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is supposed to protect the children, make their voices heard, assure them participation, the situation is worse than ever. Child soldiers, underage suicide bombers and fleeing children, children living in war, starving and threatened children, children without childhood or youth. The artists of XXII. Rohkunstbau examine the world of the children at the beginning of the 21st century. The exhibition opens on the 9th of July 2016 at 3 PM in Roskow.
The search for a better world is currently driving many people into breaking away and leaving their homes towards a newer something that is hopefully better. For many families and their children the risk to their lives appear better than the reality of daily life in Africa, in the war zones of the Middle East, and the Caucasus. Issues of flight, departure, journeying into an unknown world, illuminated in different ways, characterize the experience of many young people and children today. Hence in particular children and young people are the focus of XXII. ROHKUNSTBAU ‘Between The Worlds’.
The moral idea of childhood is marked in civil societies with the image of the safe and sheltered child, sometimes perhaps restricted by their parents, but who society tries to give an open free liberal education, and to integrate and address the needs of childhood and children. Within this image of childhood and adolescence the role of children's literature and visual culture, the child and young people are able to imagine new adventures; to escape from the restrictions of their sheltered world and experience imagined adventures of the adult world. These experiences are life forming and it is important that they are healthy and free experiences. A transition from childhood to adulthood (between ‘the’ worlds) is described generally. Thus connected to this idea is the childhood sense that such experiences might fruitfully be carried into adult life, while retaining the universal simile that kids do not always want to grow up. Travel adventures, new worlds, fantasy worlds, underworlds, between-worlds, belong to the repertoire of children's books and literature.
But childhood in societies that are marked by poverty and war, however, look quite different to those in a liberal Western society. Children and young people living in poverty, suffering hunger, child labour or war, have an arrested and often unhealthy development, and the enriching experiences of childhood do not enter into their daily lives. Brainwashed child soldiers, young adolescent prisoners, starving children, and the death of children is seen everyday on the world news. For these children/young people from regions marked by violence and hardship, escape and arduous journey, dangerous attempts at escape are often the only way out of their hopeless situation. They lose a sense of childhood and youth that denies them access to a better world. Hence escapist and desperate worlds eviscerate their childhoods, create confused worlds of longing, distort hopes and desires, reflect unhealthy paths of reality in the struggle for survival.
The XXII. Rohkunstbau examines the World of the children – Between the worlds, between childhood and adolescence, between oppression and freedom, between reality and fantasy. The following eleven artists will take part in the exhibition:
1. Ammar al Beik (Syria)
2. Edouard Baribeaud (France)
3. Sokari Douglas Camp (Nigeria/ Great Britain)
4. Angela de la Cruz (Spain)
5. Anthony Goicolea (Cuba/ USA)
6. Jia (China)
7. Clemens Krauss (Germany)
8. Ryan Mosley (Great Britain)
9. Arne Schreiber (Germany)
10. Peter Stauss (Germany)
11. Hamid Sulaiman (Syria)