Summer University 2023

56 committed volunteers, 5 topics, 1 exhibition

Feminism, racism, democracy & populism, climate protection and war – five topics, one ambitious goal: to create an exhibition in five days (actually it was only two!), which could be viewed at the end in the creative rooms of Caritas Munich. And that with 56 people from eight countries, most of whom had never seen each other before! This is what the youngcaritas volunteers from Luxembourg, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, Austria and Germany managed to do at the Summer University 2023 under the title “Glow the future” at Lake Starnberg from 21 to 25 August 2023.

Kleingruppe plant ihren Teil der Ausstellung

For some, the topics may sound heavy at first – but we were full of interest, wanted to learn more, were engaged in discussions and were super motivated to bring these topics closer to the visitors in an exhibition.
But one after the other: After arriving, most of us jumped into the lake, it was warm and our hostel was only a few steps away from the lake. In the evening we got to know each other better with several games. We started Monday by thinking about the future and getting creative right away – to warm up for our big task. In the afternoon, we explored Munich with thematic city tours (action bounds) – the fact that it was very hot and that there was rail replacement service on the trainline during this very week did not stop us. We relaxed in our showroom in the factory district, when we had the opportunity to visit. Then we enjoyed a view over the city from the Ferris wheel, took a lot of pictures and finally went to an original Bavarian beer garden.
On Tuesday we went into the exchange with experts:

Afterwards, the groups began to discuss what perspectives for the future on the respective topics might look like and to consider how they wanted to present their results. Our artistic supervisor, Elena Carr, used a look book to show what was possible and advised the groups on how to implement their ideas.

After the ride on the Ferris wheel in Munich’s Werksviertel.

On Wednesday we spent a wonderful day at the Eibsee (the one from the internet with turquoise water and a view of the Zugspitze) followed by a hike through the Partnachklamm near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A good opportunity to get to know each other even better!

In the evenings, we enjoyed Lake Starnberg, admired the starry sky and had an open-air cinema. Thursday was the final spurt: the whole day we worked on our exhibition with concentration and high pressure and did not let the reporter team that was present distract us. We celebrated the successful completion of the artworks until late at night.

On Friday, the exhibition was opened in the project room of Caritas Munich in the Werksviertel in Munich. The exhibits were very diverse: interactive elements digital and analogue, paintings, moving objects and even a newly composed rap song including a video. Gabriele Stark-Angermeier, Executive Director of Caritas Munich-Freising, gave a welcoming speech and was impressed and enthusiastic about the exhibition. The exhibition could be visited free of charge for another week. In addition, Tabea from youngcaritas Munich gave an interview for the radio station M94.5, which you can listen to here.

The exhibition is to be shown at other locations. For this purpose, Elena Carr has created a kit so that all youngcaritas locations can either reproduce the exhibition originally or partly create it themselves using the methods, we created.

Thank you to all participants for your commitment and this unforgettable week!

It was hosted by youngcaritas Germany and youngcaritas Munich for the network “YoungCaritas in Europe”. Funded by the European Union through Erasmus+ and Movetia from Switzerland.

Article written by Aaron Müksch and Irene L. Bär, youngcaritas Germany