New Patrons


The New Patrons
of Steinhöfel

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Good ways of growing older together

Patrons*innen: Inhabitants of Steinhöfel: Steffen Adam, Regina Funke, Jane Gersdorf, Annegret Huth, Mela Meierhans, Kerstin Neitsch, Beatrix Oppermann, Hannegret Richter,

Commission: We are commissioning an artistic project that will bring together people from the twelve villages of the Steinhöfel to engage in a dialogue about the scope for shaping their aging. So we want to find new ways of helping each other to grow older in the villages support. At the same time, the connections between the villages should become visible, which have been obscured by political restructuring. Our shared stories go beyond beyond local borders. They connect us all.

Mediators*innen: Sophia Trollmann, Lena Ziese (until 2021),

Artists*innen: Rimini Protokoll, ConstructLab,

Cooperation Partners and Sponsors: Federal Cultural Foundation, Fonds Soziokultur, Fondation de France,

Duration: 2019 –

Everyone gets older. But that's nothing people like to talk about. The New Patrons of Steinhöfel are certain: the challenges that ageing in the countryside brings with it are existential and affect everyone.

They want to connect the people from the Steinhöfel community's twelve villages closer with an artistic project about getting older together. In collaboration with the authors' collective Rimini Protokoll and the design and architecture network ConstructLab, they want to strengthen the possibilities for action and the sense of community for a self-determined ageing in the countryside.

Steinhöfel inhabitants get together during a Dorfrezepte get-together

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Rimini Protokoll's Helgard Haug (in the middle) with inhabitants from Steinhöfel during the Dorfrezepte get-together

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Mediator Lena Ziese

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

The art project is to span between the villages of Steinhöfel. Within the framework of the project, the villages of the community will therefore become narrators for each other. By exchanging stories, grown connections become visible again, which have been forgotten due to restructuring, or new bonds are formed where there have never been any before.

The rediscovery and invention of commonalities and the resulting artistic impulses on site should provide the framework for sustainable activities of their own in the long term, in which the people of the community support each other as they grow older.

Old photography from Steinhöfel

Coordinator Sophia Trollmann with senior citizen representative Renate Kliems

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

An old black and white photograph from Steinhöfel shows three old people sitting on a bench in the village. They are in the centre, visible, approachable. The past scene is also the image of a possible future. Shared histories of the community become the basis for a common future.

In a dialogue between the twelve villages of the Steinhöfel community, we want to find new ways to support each other in getting older.

New Patron Hannegret Richter (left) hosting the Dorfrezepte-Fest is supported by Steinhöfel inhabitants

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

New Patron Hannegret Richter on air

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

For the research phase of the project, Rimini Protokoll and ConstructLab have started to visit the villages of Steinhöfel. They asked about the simplest stories that people from different generations pass on to each other - and about the recipes with which they master their lives every day, but also for the best cheesecake or onion soup. These village recipes were published every month for a year in the community newspaper and are available online: They were the reason for a village recipe festival in summer 2021 and are the material basis for further project steps in Steinhöfel.

Postcard design for collecting "Dorfrezepte" (village recipes)

New Patron Regina Funke during the "Dorfrezepte" presentation

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Presentation of the "Dorfrezepte"

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

In the summer of 2022, the new patrons of Steinhöfel, together with ConstructLab, achieved a next big step: for 14 days, they spent time on the village green in Hasenfelde and Heinersdorf screwdriving, sawing, sewing, cooking and discussing. The result is the Kistenflitzer, a mobile and multifunctional meeting place for the villages of the community. As an electrically assisted trailer, it fits on any bicycle. A modular system of boxes sets no limits to its possible uses. There is already a sports box, a cinema box, a cocktail bar box, a regional box and a church box.

For the design of the mobile meeting place, stories from the villages were collected and woven together with the village chroniclers. The result is an eye-catching vehicle that refers to the geography and the coats of arms of the villages in the municipality.

To grow old together means to share everyday life: With the Kistenflitzer and the workshops, the new patrons of Steinhöfel have created new moments of community: whether playing skat together at the newly established weekly Dorfanger meeting or building the Kistenflitzer together, there will be many opportunities to engage with growing old in community in the further course of the project. When it comes to describing places in a new way, Rimini Protokoll will start there.

Kistenflitzer and village coat of arms

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Construction workshop

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

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