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Do animals think? And if yes what do they think about?



Enala/ EuroLandArt 
 Applied Land Art week in Lindstedt 2012:

The feast (2012)
social-land art project

foto by J. Freyer

The village of Lindstedt once was a very lively village which lived from farming and agriculture. Just as many other villages in this area of Germany it is also affected by the rural exodus. By now there are almost no young families  living in Lindstedt and the few who stayed are working somewhere else, so Lindstedt became a "sleeping village" with no social life at all. Talking with the local elderly people soon it was obvious that is wasn't like this before, exactly the opposite, the village had many celebrations and social events in the past so people met each other and the community was important for them.  So I thought it would be nice to organize an event for the villagers where they can meet again and start some conversations. There is an old abandoned swimming pool in the forest next to Lindsted , it was the communal swimming pool in the past, but by now the nature almost took it back totally. I choose this scene for the event not just because it is a very nice and romantic place, but because all the locals must have memories about this place which is already a good basis to start some conversations. To atreck as much people as possible I needed something a bit more special as well, so I decided I will try to make a projection on water sprayed from the pool, with the help of the local firemen.  The projection itself was a slideshow of pictures about celebrations, social activities in Lindstedt from the past, collected from the elderly local people. On the opening night of the Enala Land Art week we made a possibility for the people of the village to bring their old pictures connected to community events, celebrations. I scanned  and digitalized the pictures and made them into a video. "The feast" was organized to be on the last evening of the Land Art Week so we had time to experiment how the water screen would work the best, to organize catering, an architect student from the Netherlands built furnitures from recycled  material found on the spot, everything necessary, just like a small wedding. We were hoping to start some conversations between the villagers, awaken some nostalgia and longing for community events in the village, not just with the pictures but with this occasion itself when they  can get together and share their lives, this would be very necessary for the future of Lindstedt. I can gladly say that the event was a success thanks for the cooperation of the local Fireman and many very helpful people of the village. It was really an event which brought together the local people, as much the preparations of the event as the event itself, where almost all the locals were present, sitting and eating together around huge tables and talking, so let's see if they will organize the event next year again by their own,without some outsiders pushing them to do it.

"Yes/No thanks I have a birch in my garden" project

On the introduction days of Lindstedt  I have heard many interesting stories about the beautiful village and a lot of sad facts as well. The most shocking was the fact that after thousand years this year was the first without the traditional celebration Pentecost. On this celebrations they used birch twigs carried from the forest to decorate the doors of the houses. To remind people for this tradition , and all tradition of the village I thought  giving birch seedlings for the people of the village as a present would be appropriate. First there will be a short survey made , send out to all the people in the village , to find out if they would accept the birch seedling , and if yes  why yes , and if no why not.  The purpose of this survey would be to find out if they connect the birch with the Pentecost celebration or not at all any more, and also to find out if they are willing to keep the traditions or not even have the interest for that any more. At the result of the project 10 people from the village accepted the present, and most of the people who have filled the survey didn't want the tree because they didn't have place in their garden or had a birch trees already. The point of the project other than to give the tree for the people  was mainly to communicate the message about their endangered traditions, which have reached the people finally even if they didn't fill the questionnaire.

The  questionnaire:

Dear Lindstedter!

As the part of the Land Art week in Lindstedt we are offering you a birch tree-seedling , as a part of an art project. We would like to use birch tree seedlings as a reminder of the village traditions , here in the village , because in the last year there was no  celebrations for the Pentecost. If you accept the tree , please plant it in your garden. It would be really interesting for us if you would answer the following questionnaire , thanks a lot in advance.

Would you like a Birch tree as a present?

-Yes thanks , i would like to have a birch tree in my garden to remind me about the traditions of my village.

-Yes thanks, i really would like to have a birch tree in my garden, because i don't have it yet and i love trees, although i don't think it will remind me about the village -traditions.

-No thanks , i don't want it for other reasons ,but i do really care about the village traditions.

-No thanks I don't want a  birch tree in my garden, the village Tradition don't  interest me that much.


Thank you very much !

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