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The objective of the Denkfabrik Belarus was to network pop musicians, producers and music managers from Belarus with German colleagues and relevant initiatives in Germany. In doing so, they mainly aimed at gaining a larger audience for music beyond the mainstream and, in spite of the different economic and technical prerequisites, to find approaches for cooperation between German and Belarusian producers. It is a project with quite political connotations – in Belarus pop music is an engine of social change.
The Denkfabrik Bolivia dealt with the problem of untamed urbanization. The participants identified the lack of scaling and monitoring of urban growth as the causes of uncontrolled growth and squalidness. In Bolivia there are no distinct ideas for cohabitation in urban quarters.
The Denkfabrik developed ideas for municipal alliances in which citizens, administrations, associations and institutions can together draw up scenarios for neighbourhood life, where, for example, families can be trained to separate refuse and dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way.
The Denkfabrik Georgia networked art students with established artists from the Diaspora. The artists from overseas held workshops in various art subjects and discussed cultural policy issues with the public. Most of all, however, they contributed to a renewal of the teaching methods and ways of thinking in the art academies.
In future, the Denkfabrik plans to strengthen this exchange and continue lessons by artists from the Diaspora and, for example, promote the establishment of associations and networks across art regions.
The Denkfabrik Cameroon addressed the topic of migration, not only migration from Africa to Europe, but primarily inner-African migration. The participants familiarized themselves with academic studies, research approaches and political strategies and advocated making use of the special resources that migrants bring with them such as empathy, adaptability and linguistic skills more intensively as social resources. In 2013, the Denkfabrik plans to examine how this could be done in Cameroon.
The aim of the Denkfabrik Kenya was to integrate the oral cultures of the country into the knowledge society and to preserve non-written, indigenous knowledge from being forgotten. Their recommendation was to convey the pride in the oral tradition in the schools and to promote the talents it generates in a more targeted way. For this purpose, the participants devised three approaches for reforming the school curricula: supplementing curricula with non-performance-related, artistic elements, involving radio stations in lessons, and having pupils express their everyday problems in participatory theatrical plays
The Denkfabrik Lebanon decided to do something about the lack of environmental awareness and the growing mountains of rubbish in the landscape. Together with a recycling firm, they initiated the art project “Recycle Your School,” encouraging pupils to collect their plastic refuse. With what they collected, a bench was made for the schoolyard.
Since the project, first tested at two private schools, was so successful, the initiators hope to expand it next year to state schools.
The Denkfabrik Morocco drew up suggestions for improving the country’s greatest problem: the poor educational system. There is a great discrepancy between private and state schools. The teachers at state schools are inadequately trained, there is no modern curriculum, and education in the arts is neglected.
The teams of the Denkfabrik devised a number of projects that would gradually produce improvements. First, an independent institution will be established after the example of “Teacher First Deutschland,” which will act as a mediator between ministries, industry and civil society. In addition, a brochure will be produced containing all of the projects by the German-Moroccan educational cooperation as well as a study done of the status quo of arts education.
The Denkfabrik Peru asked itself what role education and culture would have to play in Peru in order to accelerate social development processes. It paid special attention to the division of the educational system in public and private institutions, the role of the various cultures and the involvement of entrepreneurs in cultural and educational funding.
At the end, they had put three project proposals for development cooperation to paper: the expansion of the alumni platform, a regionalization project that would implement the methods of the Denkfabrik to compile knowledge and build consensus at the local level and one to set up digital libraries, which builds on existing projects by the Goethe-Institut.
The Denkfabrik South Africa is tying into the project Drama for Life – DFL that was begun in 2006, which examines the effect of art productions on therapeutic and social development processes. Its focus is on participatory theatre, which plays a vital role in AIDS education. In addition, the programme wishes to promote a new generation of artists that grasps artistic work as a social task.
The Denkfabrik drew up recommendations for how the specifically African approaches of DFL could be introduced to partner organizations and government, for example through an institutionalized dialogue and the founding of a professional association of DFL activists that will develop standards for cooperation between funders and theatre-makers.
The Denkfabrik Southeast Asia is the only supra-regional group that was founded in the awareness that the development problems in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam are similar in nature. The participants, who met in Bangkok, asked themselves what would need to change in the societies of Southeast Asia to give the young generation the feeling of being noticed politically and socially.
They came to the realization that the alumni themselves could make a major contribution to this by setting up regional training centres and counselling offices, through the development of networks as well as through media campaigns and school workshops that generate attention for the needs of young people. A Youth Survey will be drawn up to analyze the aspirations and needs of the young generation and align projects to these.
Finally, the Denkfabrik Uzbekistan is dedicated to promoting environmental awareness, which is practically nonexistent in the country. One group of alumni is preparing to shoot a documentary on the threatening water shortage and the waste of resources; another developed a computer game as an app intended to awaken the environmental awareness of young people that will also be made available to the participants of the Denkfabrik.
The third group campaigned for the use of solar panels for the energy supply. Scientists will mount collectors on a house in the mountains and teach pupils in workshops how to build their own.
In January 2013, the three groups will hold a conference to develop project ideas together, which will also be presented to the representatives of funding organizations who are also invited.
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