“The Bauhaus is your place”
The Bauhaus Agents: far from being exhausted
What happens when a younger generation engages with the Bauhaus? What can one learn from it about the relevance of the Bauhaus? An interview with Maxie Götze, a Bauhaus Agent in Weimar.
Maxie Götze, what does a Bauhaus Agent actually do?
Bauhaus Agents regard themselves as the voice of visitors and above all children and young people inside the museum, but also outwardly to address a broader public.
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How does one reach a younger target audience and how do you contact them?
We work very actively with schools in Weimar and the surrounding region. Those schools also approached us with ideas on how they wish to experience the Bauhaus and discover the Bauhaus Museum. We have also approached schools with ideas and invited them to develop projects with us. The work was very diverse, because schools are completely different. It included visits to classes, workshops and entire project weeks.
Is the Bauhaus relevant to young people today? What reactions to the contact did you encounter?
It is always great to see how open children and young people are. The cliché that everyone thinks the Bauhaus is simply a chain of DIY stores is really not true. We had some wonderful encounters on an equal footing, in which we learned from each other. We talked to them about the Bauhaus and described the museum, while the young people enhanced their projects, approaches and interests.
We continue to see and experience great interest in the Bauhaus, as they not only perceive the historical Bauhaus, but also see where the themes of the Bauhaus affect life today and find current points of reference. We have also found a good way of getting young people involved, moving from concrete activities to knowledge.
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How much Bauhaus is there in the Agents concept?
The open cooperation and workshop method is very Bauhaus-like. The workshop was especially important. We quickly realised that young people don’t just want to work digitally, as one might have expected. There was a desire to work in a clear, often analogue and hands-on way in the workshops. That is Bauhaus.
When were the moments that made it especially clear that the Bauhaus philosophy had been inspiring to the schoolchildren?
One example was typical of many exciting moments. We worked together with one school over an entire week on the theme of the Bauhaus and at the end, the results of the project week were presented during a joint celebration. The sense of community in developing and bringing that together in a joint party was a wonderful moment for me. You can see how much everyone enjoyed it and how much fun not on the pupils had, but also the teachers. Celebrations were also an element of the historical Bauhaus culture and they can provide important inspiration for communal life in the school. That spirit became very lively.
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Does the Agents programme and its workshop character also act as a pilot project for working with young people?
That would certainly be desirable. The feedback we’re receiving from schools, both from the teachers and the schoolchildren, confirms just that. Workshops and practical work allow you to access and teach themes in a completely different way.
You have now completed three intensive years teaching the Bauhaus. What lies ahead for the Bauhaus Agents?
The centenary year was certainly an exceptional one. Now it will be exciting to see how it continues, especially for the museums. The agents will continue to work with our partner schools until the end of the school year. We will also go through the museums again with the pupils and look at what they find especially successful and where they still have ideas. Naturally, we will also have a great final party in the spirit of the Bauhaus. Beyond that, the topics are far from being exhausted. As Agents, we have by no means exhausted all of our ideas. Above all, we want the young people to know that the Bauhaus, the museum, is their place. And in future, we want to know how they experience that and wish to explore it.
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Thank you for talking to us.
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