Almost 100 banners with pairs of eyes from the Jens-Nydahl elementary school children have been hanged on the outside of the U1 subway station at Kottbusser Tor since December 24th, 2021.
This exhibition is part of a series of exhibitions with the same topic and approach that the “Wir sind der Kotti” ("We are the Kotti") project which has been ongoing in the neighborhood since 2017. In addition to the exhibition that has now been realized on the U1, you can also currently see other pairs of eyes hanging in front of and at the Jens-Nydahl elementary school (Admiralstrasse), - as well as at the Gustav-Meier school.
Background: Kottbusser Tor is mostly seen by the media and by many Berliners only as a transit point or often also as a “problematic place”. The drug, tourism and security issues are in the foreground. A major deficit in this context is the fact that there is little representation of the local residents - that it is hardly noticed that more than 2000 people have their home at Kottbusser Tor, that they go to sleep, get up, children grow up and go to school - they live life. In the urban context, the place is seen by many as a kind of transit point and not as a neighborhood. Nonetheless, many neighbors and shopkeepers have been involved for years in the neighborhood council, in social and tenant initiatives, with social and cultural institutions, in schools and daycare centers, etc.
The exhibition wants to counteract the negative images and make it clear that many people with very different stories live at Kottbusser Tor and give them a face. The eyes of the children now overlook Kottbusser Tor - sometimes questioning, sometimes thoughtfull, sometimes angry, sometimes laughing, they look into the future...
Life is Beautiful. Even if it's not always easy. Like Kotti.
With the portraits, we also produced this little book where each half-face of each child is interchangeable with each other.
“Every face is a miracle ...
Living together is an adventure where love, friendship is a beautiful encounter with what is not me, what is always different from me and which enriches me.”
(From Tahar Ben Jelloun)
gestus — visual communication & social relationships