Jan 20, 2010–Dec 31, 2012

Über Lebenskunst

Initiative for Culture and Sustainability

How do we define "good living" given the global ecological crisis? This question, which is relevant for everyone no matter what social group they belong to, is the central thematic focus of ÜBER LEBENSKUNST (the art of living), an initiative project of the Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. In a multi-part programme, the project explores the profound changes our planet is undergoing through art – in performance, visual art, music, discourse and literature. ÜBER LEBENSKUNST brings together actors from widely varying disciplines to identify existing strategies and to develop and test out models of sustainable living fit for day-to-day life.

The Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt are jointly launching a two-year program entitled ÜBER LEBENSKUNST. Together with partners from all over the world, they have set themselves the goal of developing and testing new approaches to the art of survival in the 21st century.

In keeping with the principles of sustainability, ÜBER LEBENSKUNST focuses on Berlin and its inhabitants. This metropolis with residents from 190 countries is a symbol of a model city for the art of sustainable living at the beginning of the 21st century.

The project, which will run over two years, was launched in April 2010 with a CALL FOR FUTURE that received submissions for more than 850 project ideas. In 2011, ÜBER LEBENSKUNST will turn the city of Berlin into a showcase for artistic projects that bring together culture and sustainability: An international jury has selected 14 ÜBER LEBENSKUNST.Initiatives which are receiving support for one year at various locations throughout Berlin. Other projects are coming up with strategies for sustainable living using food, mobility and fashion as examples: a larder (VORRATSKAMMER) with food from the region around Berlin, new models for urban mobility and stories about pieces of clothing and the people who wear them.

The ÜBER LEBENSKUNST.School educational programme, which was jointly developed with the Future Institute of the Free University of Berlin, will bring the issues of culture and sustainability to classrooms throughout Germany and the national committee of the UN Decade "Education for Sustainable Development" added this project to the official measures in the national action plan.

With a festival to be held in August 2011 that will present all of the individual projects that have come into being by then, ÜBER LEBENSKUNST also reflects on the practice of creating contemporary culture and thus about itself. The festival seeks new ways and formats of conveying culture between art and day-to-day life at both the local and global levels.

In the run-up to the festival, the ÜBER LEBENSKUNST.Club will bring together actors from the realms of art, culture and sustainability starting in March. In addition, there will be many readings, discussions and concerts in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt under the auspices of the ÜBER LEBENSKUNST project.

An initiantive of

Kulturstiftung des Bundes

in co-operation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt