CLASS MATTERS – Residency by Verena Brakonier, Josephine Findeisen, Greta Granderath and Daniel Ernesto Müller
Artists in residence
CLASS MATTERS is a meeting that aims at opening a space to share experiences with and knowledge about classism. Classism describes the structural discrimination of people based on their social position or origin. A part of that space is dedicated to finding a common vocabulary and strategies that enable a conversation about classism in the field of performance and dance and in relation to the body.
As dancers with a working and/or poverty class background, the choreographers Verena Brakonier, Josephine Findeisen and Daniel Ernesto Müller consider this approach to be empowering. Throughout the residency of four weeks they share and develop political and choreographic tools and practices which build upon similar experiences of being socialized in a so called ‘lower class’ milieu. With opening that space and conversation, they hope to counteract a lack of awareness and visibility. How can one talk about social differences and segregation in society, if we miss a common language? There are a lot of myths about talent and equal opportunities in the arts, but as studies tell, it is often the financial, cultural and social capital that allows for access to institutions like universities and the following career (E.g.:https://www.zhdk.ch/forschungsprojekt/making-differences-schweizer-kunsthochschulen-426994). The three dancers approach this structural inequality through their personal lenses and bodies.
Josephine Findeisen was born in Dresden and is based in Berlin, where she studied Dance at “Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz”. Her artistic work on female-proletarian perspectives and the intersections of class and body was supported by a PACT residency in 2020 and presented at ATELIER No.62.
Verena Brakonier, based in Hamburg, grew up in a little village in a car repair shop, later with a single mother in Rheinland-Pfalz near Koblenz. She studied dance at Folkwang University in Essen and works as a choreographer and dancer. She researches classism in activism and art since 2019 and runs the blog www.classmatters-immernoch.de as well as the instagram account @classmatters_immernoch.
Daniel Ernesto Müller, based in Düsseldorf, grew up in a family with a long history of metal workers, close to Frankfurt in Hessen. After his teacher training he studied dance at “Folkwang Universität der Künste” in Essen. Since then he works as a performer and choreographer in the artist collective HARTMANNMUELLER. He has been a guest at PACT since 2017 regularly.
The research is accompanied by Greta Granderath: She grew up as a child of two academics in Gelsenkirchen close to PACT and is based in Hamburg. She studied Theatre Studies, Comparative Literature and Performance Studies and works as a freelance performance maker and writer. www.gretagranderath.de
Anonymous working-class children – Exchange and networking meeting
06.04.2021, 7pm (Online)
In the frame of the PACT residency CLASS MATTERS the choreographers Verena Brakonier and Josephine Findeisen invite to an exchange and networking meeting for artists and cultural workers who were or are affected by classism. The open meeting should provide a space for exchange and empowerment. Classism describes discrimination based on socio-economic origin or position in society. There is hardly a social area or institution that is not shaped by classism. Let's talk about our experiences.
How is class exclusion expressed in the cultural field?
What is our lived class experience?
What do we want to change?
How can we show solidarity and take action?