A Cultural Event on Care

Keine Sorge / Don't Care

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Video preview image

Caring concerns us all. At that time, this sentence would have been considered either a superfluous phrase or a step toward socialism, but with the year 2020 it was suddenly inscribed in everyday life.

Caring was to be the thematic focus for the Center for Literature in 2020. And it remained so. Because what we stand for is exactly that: not seeing literature and art as disconnected from the way we live and want to live.

So: Don't worry.
Or: No worries?
Or: No worries!
Or: Time to worry! Not in the sense of pessimism, but in the sense of:
Let's care!

During the five-day cultural event from August 26 to 30, 2020, we reflected, asked questions, answered questions and raised new questions together with the audience. We danced, celebrated and marveled with them, realizing how we all depend and rely on each other. If the pandemic has brought anything home to us and inscribed it in our bodies, in our everyday practice of 1-meter-50-distance, it is this.

Together with many fantastic artists, with the Filmwerkstatt Münster, with the Frauen*Kollektiv Münster, with numerous institutions of care, with the choir Die Untertanen, with students of the universities WWU Münster, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Berlin and KHM Cologne, we have explored in different approaches which perspectives there can be on (care), how we can get into conversation about it and which topics are perhaps still blind spots for ourselves or within society. How important it is to listen to those who are "dependent on care" and what that means for them in the first place; what we think it means when we (want to) give care and to create a sensitivity for togetherness and what this can look like.

To the media library
Artists
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Poet and visual artist Robert Montgomery creates a light installation and poster series for Don't Care/Don't Care. In addition, he has also reflected for us in a text on what care meant to him during the period of the creation process:

The Corona Virus/Covid-19 crisis gave us a new perspective on what it is »to care«. To care in that context most of us had to stop our normal lives to protect the vulnerable in our society; others of us (medical workers and essential workers) had to risk our own safety caring for everyone else. We often think that money runs the world, but we showed in this moment that we are a society of empathy.

We also stopped the rat race for a moment. For a moment the world of business and money was not the most important thing. Cars and airplanes stopped, our cities became silent and you could hear the bird song. The air became cleaner and in this new silence you could hear the music of the trees. It was, potentially, a moment of spiritual awakening. I wrote a poem in the first week of the lockdown, it said,

A QUIET PRAYER HOLDS OVER
LONDON, THE TREES
BECOME OUR CITIZENS & GUARDIANS
IN THE WIND THE TREES HOLD
THEIR OWN
SILENT RIOT
IN OUR HONOUR

WE ARE STOPPED
TO APPRECIATE THE PEOPLE WHO CARE FOR US/
A TENDER
PERCUSSION
ORCHESTRA OF
APPLAUSE JOINS THE COUNTRY
—A FAIRY LIGHT NET OF KINDNESS.
WE TRY OUR BEST WE LOVE OUR NHS.

Robert Montgomery

The NHS is the valuable publicly-owned healthcare service in Britain. Every Thursday night we stood on our doorsteps and humbly applauded our brave healthcare workers.

I think something else happened in this moment. I think we realised we do not have to live at the frantic pace we have been living. I think we all know we have been living too fast. We all know we are consuming carbon and resources at a rate our planet cannot sustain. We have known for a long time that the way we are living is driving us quickly towards ecological apocalypse. But we thought we couldn't stop- we thought the system demands we drive to our offices every day, the system demands that we fly to other countries for meetings, the system demands we work so much and live so fast that we have no time to care for our planet. Well, we just stopped the system and the world didn't end. We stopped driving to our offices every day and we cut air traffic by 65% and the world didn't end.

This is why I think this period is a period of possible spiritual awakening, if we come out of it the right way, with our eyes opened newly to the beauty and fragility of nature, and with a new feeling of empowerment, as individuals and governments and corporations to put the earth and our environment first. For sure the only way to care for ourselves in the next 50 years will to be care for the environment. We must put nature first now.

My artwork for this festival is a simple poem about trees. My most vivid memory of this period will be hearing for the first time the sound of the wind in the trees in London. In those moments I had a strong feeling that the trees will always be here, but unless we are more careful with our world human beings may not be. The trees seem to me our closest friends in this journey, even our protectors- the protectors of our oxygen, our sentinels and our friends. If we were gone I feel the trees would riot in our honour.

In the context of the theme Fürsorge / Care other works have also been created, which you can find on the following page. Among others the work of the Frauen*Kollektiv Münster. This resulted in contributions and workshops of the Care-Lab. It is and was about the distribution of roles within the care sector, the fact that these people are usually read mostly female, what roles the women* moreover, and how these role(s) are presented in the media. They created four digital care packages for us to sharpen or even break down perceptions and think further or anew.

Care-Labor Frauen*Kollektiv

To the Care Packages

woerterbuch

In another project of the Center for Literature together with The Big Draw Nijmegen, the bilingual Wörterbuch der Fürsorge/Woordenboek der Zorg has been produced.

To the dictionary
Free Care

A supply of care packages of text, video, audio and more.


With all public life at a standstill, museums closing and events cancelled in the spring of 2020, we, the team at the Center for Literature, had no choice but to work from home.
So we went ahead and kicked it up a notch.
We didn't want to lose the art in the home office.
And we wanted to support the artists*ers who work for us by transforming this complex and strange world into touching and beautiful.
The result is a series of texts, of audio contributions, of films, of image series, of live readings, of concerts, of questionnaires.
With this we could provide you, the audience: free care.
The contributions remain.
As a memory of this time and of how important care is for all of us.

Zu Free Care

Von keines Herdes Pflicht gebunden, Meint jeder nur, wir seien grad’ Für sein Bedürfnis nur erfunden, Das hilfbereite fünfte Rad. Was hilft es uns, daß frei wir stehen, Auf keines Menschen Hände sehen? Man zeichnet dennoch uns den Pfad.

— Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Auch ein Beruf

Keine Sorge/Don’t Care wurde gefördert durch die Kunststiftung NRW und das Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes NRW im Programm »Regionale Kulturpolitik«.

In Kooperation mit der Filmwerkstatt Münster, Frauen*Kollektiv und Theater Münster.