Through the projects that it supports, the Sommer Foundation aims to stimulate the minds of children and youngsters and make them more inquisitive so that they can participate in our society through the medium of culture and the arts. It encourages the creation of new forms of cooperation between partners from different communities and with different viewpoints, so that the people and cultures in Luxembourg may understand each other better.
MY ECHO, MY SHADOW AND ME (3 X ME)
“My Echo, My Shadow and Me” was an art and social project on the topic of how digital culture influences the identity of younger generations and how technological tools (e.g. cameras, smartphones and social media) can be used as a method of investigation and understanding of the self and one’s own community. The project had regular autobiographical workshops at its core, led by artist and facilitator Cristina Nuñez between February and June 2022, and involving groups of local young people (15-26) that produced participative artworks with an autobiographical focus and a social ethos. A selection of the participatory material resulting from the workshops was presented through an exhibition at the University of Luxembourg, an online platform and a publication.
DANSEURS A L'ECOLE
As part of the implementation of the dance programme at the Lycée Vauban for the 2021-22 school year, following two artistic residencies, the contemporary dance companies Corps In Situ and AWA – As We Are joined forces with the school to set up an artistic and cultural education project.
This project enabled the students to meet the artists and to have access to works from the companies’ repertoire. It also allowed them to develop artistic and cultural practice through regular workshops and thus promoted the acquisition of knowledge and skills. As for the teachers, the project contributed to perfecting their training in contemporary dance. Overall, “Danseurs à l’école” has encouraged the creation of bridges between school disciplines and choreographic creation. Thus, young people were able to give meaning to their experiences and better understand the contemporary world, all around the themes of play and fake news.
DIE MASCHINE STEHT STILL
Die Maschine steht still is a transdisciplinary and in situ science fiction theatre performance, which is part of Esch 2022, European Capital of Culture. Directed by Marion Rothhaar and produced by the Théâtre National du Luxembourg, it uses the public space of Esch Belval station and transforms it into a stage.
In this project, the students of the Lycée de Garçons in Esch/Alzette are seen as experts of their own realities and are involved in the artistic decision-making processes. The young people become intensively familiar with the material and are taken seriously with their own ideas, impulses and questions. They play an active role in the production process. Through a mutual exchange with the artistic team, they become co-creators of a professional artistic project and develop their own material. Parts of the play and the soundtrack are thus created in direct exchange and collaboration with the students, while the final play uses their creations: the thoughts, bodies, voices and sounds developed are used and reused according to the Esch22 motto: REMIX.
Participation generates a positive experience and allows participants to step outside themselves and develop their particular strengths. Working together promotes a sense of belonging, courage and self-confidence. Fear of public presentation is overcome. Students demonstrate personal responsibility and have lasting experiences of success.
E ROUDE FUEDEM DUERCH DE ROUTDE BUEDEM
Inspired by Mil Goerens repertoire Eiser Soen, the MASKéNADA artists’ collective has developed six different performances (2 sound walks, 3 theatrical performances and 1 performance reading) that bring back to life images of women conveyed in old Luxembourgish stories and legends. Within the framework of Esch 2022, European Capital of Culture, six legend routes in six communes of southern Luxembourg form this “artistic walk” and a discovery theatre, set in the natural setting and its mysteries of the Minett region. For more impact, a pedagogical project, adapted to three particular routes (for the sound walk in Esch/Ellergronn and the two theatre walks in Sanem/Zolwerknapp and Differdange/Lasauvage), accompanies the great project of E Roude Fuedem duerch de roude Buedem. The collaboration with theatre educators and partnerships with schools in the municipalities concerned enables the students to familiarise themselves with the theme of the legends, to meet the artists involved in the productions and to give them keys to reading as well as practical exercises in preparation and extension of the show they are going to see.
Nomadic Island brought together people of different ages, professions, social and cultural backgrounds. For three weeks, artists from Luxembourg and abroad, as well as teenagers from three youth centres in the south of Luxembourg and France, shared time and space in a beautiful location, on the threshold of wilderness and industrial landscape, and were able to demonstrate their creativity in a spirit of collaboration. For Friday Island vzw, the project leader, this multidisciplinary art residency was a great experience for all participants. “We learned a lot from each other, we had fun together, we talked about a better future. Such an integrative project allowed for the coexistence of different levels of human concern: sustainable development, social inclusion, youth empowerment, artistic creation, self-management, independent living together, collaborative work and an intergenerational approach.
LE BUTAÏ DE SOPHIA
The school public in Luxembourg is linguistically very diverse and the aim of this project was to awaken in the students (10 classes in cycles 3 and 4, in 3 schools) a taste for oral expression in French, whatever their linguistic level, through theatrical play and storytelling. This project provided an insight into the cultural richness of Portugal, beyond clichés, and introduced the participants to the world of a little-known Portuguese author, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andersen. With its eclectic mix of Portuguese literary history, the oriental tradition of Kamishibai (paper theatre) and Boutaï (narrative genre) and a taste for the French language, Rita Bento dos Reis’ project highlighted the great richness of cultural knowledge and familiarised the naturally curious children with the pleasure of books, reading and play.
Along the way, the project evolved and the workshops were held in French and Portuguese and were also organised as part of Portuguese classes in Luxembourg public schools, in collaboration with the Camões Institute in Luxembourg.
This project was initiated and organised by the Fondation EME and the state school CSAE Adam Roberti which welcomes refugee children who have just arrived in Luxembourg. In weekly workshops, children from two classes learned to play the djembe and to learn about music. The djembe allows for creative and direct expression. This versatile instrument, which does not produce false notes, gives confidence to its performers. Through music, the children were able to express themselves without language barriers, through rhythm and dance. Regardless of their age or nationality, percussionist Robert Bodja succeeded in captivating all the participants and arousing their interest in the djembe, rhythm and music in general.
WHAT'S IN YOUR EYES?
Students of the Lycée des Arts et Métiers under the artistic direction of Joseph Tomassini and Jean Back.
This collaboration between Jean Back and the 2TPTI class (video and photography) at the Lycée des Arts et Métiers is based on the play “Bilder einer Ausstellung revisited”, which accompanies the new novel “l’Arc di Marianna” (Editions Guy Binsfeld) by Jean Back.
The author asked the students to create a visual interpretation of the texts he had written for Modest Mussorgsky’s famous piano cycle. The photographs created in this way are thus a further development of the historical pictures by Viktor Hartmann, which inspired the Russian composer. The very free literary interpretation of Mussorgsky’s work by Back is contrasted with the very personal view of the young people, who were able to get to know the diverse professional profiles and working worlds in the theatre through this project.
OP WEI ENGEM GRONDRËSS WËLLS DU WUNNEN?
In the framework of her architecture mediation project WAA – Wat ass Architektur? the independent artist-architect Julie Marthe Hoffmann organised, in collaboration with different educational and cultural partners in Luxembourg, workshops with the title WAA – OP WEI ENGEM GRONDRËSS WËLLS DU WUNNEN? in which schoolchildren were asked to imagine the plans in which they would like to live. The aim of this project was to consciously and thoroughly address the topics of housing, cohabitation and architecture and to create a public debate on the most suitable housing for our current and future lifestyles. Thus, these life-size reflections on “new forms of housing” make it possible to imagine new solutions, at the heart of the housing problem in Luxembourg.
TEMPLE – THE ART’N BE PART PROJECT
This is the story of young teenagers on the run, who find themselves left to their own devices in an abandoned “temple”: no presence, no adult to show them how to cope… They don’t know each other and yet they will have to learn to live together for an indefinite time. Coming from different backgrounds, will they be ready to trust each other and live together in order to survive? What will happen if the young people start to create their own system of rules and laws? Will everyone find their place in this community? Will they manage to recreate a better world?
This unique participatory project, launched in 2020, allowed young people aged 12 to 20 to discover the performing arts, to experiment with artistic practice and to become artists of their own creation. Accompanied in their work by 4 experienced multidisciplinary artists – Natercia Rebelo, Benoît Callens, Sacha Hanlet and Elric Vanpouille – and directed by Nathalie Moyen, they worked throughout last season to present this innovative show combining theatre, dance and music on the CAPE stage.
This project is based on an initial proposal and with the financial support of Fondation Sommer.
MY TINY TINY HOUSE
As part of its architectural education mission, the LUCA – Fondation de l’Architecture et de l’Ingénierie regularly organises activities for children and young people.
To launch a new series of workshops, entitled “Architektur SUMMER”, the LUCA has been supported by Fondation Sommer. Through these workshops, the participants are led towards different architectural or urbanistic reflections, but also towards more social aspects and they work on themes that change every year. For the first edition, in summer 2021, of this new programme, LUCA has chosen the theme of “Tiny Houses”, a movement that originated in America and quickly conquered the whole world and found many followers. A Tiny House contains all the essentials for daily life: kitchen, bed, bathroom… However, everything is housed in a very small space ranging from 12 to 25 m2.
During this workshop, children from 6 years old were asked to reflect on several points: how to live in a small space, to discover the advantages and disadvantages, to become familiar with the idea of alternative, ecological and minimalist housing. The workshop went beyond theory. To allow them to be creative, but also to create a greater knowledge and understanding of their built environment, real wooden “Tiny Houses” were imagined and built with the children on a 1:2 scale (they were therefore twice as small as in reality). Together, the participants created a small “Tiny Houses village” in order to raise their awareness of community life.
TEEN POETRY SLAM "LAUTSPRECHER"
Giving young people a voice was the aim of the LAUTSPRECHER project of the Pierre Werner Institute.
In eight poetry slam workshops at the Lënster International School, the Sportlycée and the European School I, young people between the ages of 14 and 18 were challenged to lyrically deal with the theme of freedom in the Corona era. They were coached in writing and performing the texts by professional slam poets Bas Böttcher and Florian Cieslik.
Slam texts consist of three equally important elements: idea, text and performance. In the workshops, the students learned techniques for finding ideas for their own literary texts, writing techniques and practical exercises for stage presentation. The results were recorded and edited into a poetry film.
The project also includes a training course open to all interested teachers on the subject of “poetry slam”, certified by the Institut de formation et de l’éducation Nationale du Luxembourg.
DEI 6. KLASS OP DER BÜHN
Through this project, Kultrun asbl, in cooperation with the Waldorf School in Luxembourg City, aims to create a new space in the school context for the development of the artistic and social skills of the students. Through a regular drama class, children in the 6th grade can experience different ways of artistic expression: through speech, music, choreography and photography. In this way, they have the opportunity to work together to achieve a common goal, which will allow them to discover and value themselves as individuals and as a creative community.
MUDAM STUDENT REPORTERS
Mudam hosted the exhibition “More Sweetly Play the Dance” by South African artist William Kentridge between 13 February and 6 June 2021. This exhibition has the particularity of being part of the red bridge project, a cultural project uniting the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, the Philharmonie and the Mudam. William Kentridge, a multi-disciplinary artist with a mastery of the plastic and performing arts, is therefore halfway between the disciplines promoted by the three Luxembourg cultural institutions. Throughout the exhibition, the BTS Media Writing class from the Lycée Classique de Diekirch and the 1ère Section Image class from the Lycée des Arts et Métiers were the new reporters for Mudam! In the form of a photographic report and a written report, the students revealed the secrets behind the scenes of the exhibition. Following the artist and the Mudam team throughout the exhibition project ( installation and associated programme), the Mudam Student Reporters took an original and personal look at the exhibition.
For the 125th anniversary of the school, the Lycée des Arts et Métiers decided to present itself in a new form. Apart from the more conventional events that punctuate such festivities, the school opted for an exhibition/installation directed by the artist Edmond Oliveira, which questions the place of the school in our societies.
The Think ahead exhibition is based on the concept of participation of all pupils and students of the school. “We put our students at the centre of the project by soliciting their skills, their know-how. But not exclusively academic, we want to give them a space to present themselves! We want them to understand that this is their school, their training and that this school works for and with them.”
At each stage of the exhibition, students from the school’s departments and training courses were asked to participate so that they could live this experience together and become aware of the multitude of interactions necessary to set up such an undertaking.
MEGA BEIS! NUR WUT!
Anger is a very familiar and generally negative feeling. Children are conditioned not to express their anger publicly, to contain it. As they grow older, they are more likely to hide it. However, anger is not an irrational emotion and should be taken seriously and expressed in a positive way.
This is what Kopla Bunz wanted to achieve through its piece “Mega béis! Nur Wut!” for children from 6 years old. Through theatre and dance, the children have been led to analyse anger, to name it, understand it, accept it and deal with it constructively. A website with videos made by the artists and games tailored to a young audience accompanies this project.
A journey can be manifold. It can be geographical, but also literary and philosophical. One can travel for the taste of exploration, discovery, contemplation, a desire for adventure, a spiritual call or a poetic vocation. One can also travel without moving, letting the spirit wander and thus escaping while the body remains motionless.
Through their project “Voyageurs immobiles”, the Compagnie Artezia questions the components of travel through contemporary dance. Curiosity, openness to the world, acceptance of difference but also imagination and experimentation. In order to nourish its creation and to share its knowledge, the company has carried out some of its creative work in the school environment.
Despite the sanitary context, this was made possible by a strict hygienic concept and a successful collaboration between all stakeholders. For the second time, the company entered the Lycée Vauban for a one-week creative residency in January 2021. This enabled the students to familiarise themselves with the stages of the choreographic creation process. Afterwards, practical workshops were organised so that the students could experiment with contemporary dance and its language.
A short film “Trip, a choreographic creation” recounting the artists’ residency in the school was made by the students of the cinema-audiovisual option and also presented at the “Cinécourts en Herbe” festival.
MY VOICE IS MY POWER
MY VOICE IS MY POWER is a choral project organised by Douri non-profit organisation. This project aims to bring together young people from different cultures and languages. In spite of their differences, they are encouraged to communicate. Their common language is music.
Through music, the young people have been introduced to each other’s culture. They identified what they have in common and work to accept diversity. The group was made up of young people from immigrant and local backgrounds. In addition to working on voice, repertoire and choral singing, the group has strengthened its cohesion and acceptance of diversity. The workshops were led by Maestro Shafi Badreddin.
D'MINA AN DÉI VERGIESSE MELODIE
Within the framework of the children’s production of the Mierscher Kulturhaus D’Mina an déi vergiesse Melodie, the Sommer Foundation supports educational music workshops for hearing-impaired children at the Centre de Logopédie. D’Mina an déi vergiesse Melodie is a music and theatre show based on the work of Beethoven, accessible to hearing and hearing-impaired children, thanks to the participation of professional Luxembourgish artists and a sign language actress.
Based on this creation, the workshops to prepare for the show allow children to listen to, perceive and feel music in their own way, to get to know various musical instruments and to express themselves on music by dancing and singing. The workshop is conducted by the Luxembourg theatre pedagogue Catherine Hengesch, who plays on stage and who co-developed the concept of the show.
In general, this production raises awareness of deafness and underlines the importance of accessibility to artistic productions; accessibility that must be guaranteed to the whole society, including people with special needs. The hearing public (re)discovers sign language as a powerful and surprising tool of expression.
Between travel story and mythology, the play Ecological Anxiety Disorder plunges young spectators over the age of 14 into a dreamlike and surreal world, an expedition into a world apart, in the very heart of the seventh continent. A plastic continent made up of circular currents in the middle of the ocean. In this terrible relationship with the environment, the boundary between the illusory and the real becomes blurred: the ancestral fears of sea monsters, both frightening and fascinating, re-emerge between the symptoms of this pathology, eco-anxiety.
Far from falling into moralizing traps, this immersion in the abyss takes us on a fascinating scenic journey. In Ecological Anxiety Disorder, the performers take over a synthetic ecosystem in the middle of a lost paradise. An odyssey that is both poetic and disturbing, choreographing body and matter. Thanks to the “Transmissions” project based on the research material of the piece, the artists initiate young teenagers to creation and respect for the environment through a series of scenic workshops: writing, dance and music. Immersing the young people in the heart of the theatrical world and the ecological problems, they open up a dialogue by preparing the young people for the world of the play and by collecting their questions after the creation.
“Bringing together, sharing, creating, exchanging, expressing oneself, interacting and dialoguing” : these are the values of capoeira. Between dance, percussion and music, it inculcates humility, allows the surpassing of oneself and the learning of respect for others. Capoeira has always had the vocation to include and bring people together. Throughout the year 2020, Abadá Capoeira Luxembourg celebrates its 20 years of existence and cultural and social action. In this context, the Sommer Foundation is financing the project “La Roda” (the round, as the participants form a circle) which will culminate in a capoeira show performed with the pupils of the primary school of Bonnevoie-Gellé and the children and teenagers of the Abadá Capoeira Luxembourg club. To prepare for this performance at the primary school of Bonnevoie-Gellé, the pupils are taking classes in capoeira, Afro-Brazilian dances and Brazilian percussion. Through these workshops where “music makes the body speak”, young people from all walks of life are introduced to Afro-Brazilian culture and experience a new space for intercultural exchange. Via “La Roda”, the capoerist apprentices develop their self-esteem and creativity, but also their ability to express themselves and exchange.
K – D’ÉCOLE
K -D’ÉCOLE is an artistic and cultural education project carried out in parallel with the creation of PROJECT K, and carried out in dialogue with three partners: the Lycée Vauban, the TROIS C-L (Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois) and the company Corps In Situ/ARTEZIA. The aim of this project is to promote creation and transmission by introducing an artistic and professional creation residency in a school, the Lycée Vauban.
The Biergerbühn was one of the first projects supported by the Sommer Foundation between 2017 and 2019. Through this participatory project, the collective Independent Little Lies created a space where children and adolescents could discover and exercise their creativity by staging a play that reflected their worldview. During weekly workshops at Kulturfabrik Esch, conducted by theatre and dance teachers, actors, writers, and set designers, the young participants learned about various practices and techniques of the theatre arts, and became authors themselves.
This project was selected by the Sommer Foundation because it saw great value in creating an alternative meeting-space for youngsters in the city of Esch, as such a space would have the potential to enhance the positive dynamic of the city’s cultural life. Thanks to the participatory process and the importance given to dialogue, the participants felt that they were encouraged to be creative, and they were able to grow in terms of their knowledge, artistic skills, and their sense of engagement.