Discover Germany, Issue 55, October 2017

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Culture Highlights Switzerland – Top Museums 2017


Left: Exhibition HEIMAT – ‘first home’ installation. © Stapferhaus Midlle: Exhibition HEIMAT – home land: ‘Who may stay?’. © Stapferhaus Right: Exhibition HEIMAT in Lenzburg – Ferris wheel. © Stapferhaus

A position of one’s own The Stapferhaus Lenzburg foundation puts educational freethinking front and centre. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: ANITA AFFENTRANGER

The self-described “laboratory for the art of living” provides regular exhibitions that deal with the critical questions of our day, thereby encouraging discussions and exchange for individuals and families, as well as school classes and expert groups. By addressing each visitor at eye level, the Stapferhaus motivates forming a position of one’s own as opposed to taking in pre-formulated answers. The Heimat. Drawing the Line exhibition invites visitors to explore the term ‘Heimat’ (the sense of belonging) from an individual perspective: What connects us with our home or home country – and how different is our perspective from the one that others have? A gigantic Ferris wheel, placed in front of the Lenzburg Zeughaus, is part of the exhibition tour to both a different world and inside yourself; a world that puts the question first and does not necessarily provide an 42  |  Issue 55  |  October 2017

answer. Sibylle Lichtensteiger, head of the Stapferhaus, explains: “The general question in times of globalisation is what exactly forms an identity, who sets the rules and how cultural history influences our view on what is right and what is wrong – and who may stay.” Certainly a serious topic, at the HEIMAT exhibition the search for an answer is linked with an inspiring parcours on various levels: Stapferhaus takes you on a voyage of discovery from the first home, your mother’s womb, to the far reaches of outer space, gazing back at our home planet Earth. You encounter people with differing narratives of ‘Heimat’, investigate the rules of nations and gain new perspectives on the Ferris wheel. In the spirit of Philipp Albert Stapfer, an early Swiss politician and philosopher, the educational aspect of Stapferhaus exhibitions allow visitors to find the answers in themselves.“We start every project with a blank sheet,” says Sibylle Lichtensteiger.

“For the HEIMAT exhibition, we went on an explorative journey of our own which took us on funfairs through the whole country from St. Gallen to Montreux. At each station, we invited people for a free ride on the Ferris wheel in exchange for answering a few questions on what constitutes the term ‘Heimat’ for them. We based our project on the 1,000 answers we got in turn.” Gain an insight into a foreign home, confront yourself in the mirror garden and feel invited to encounter prejudices as you enter the Ferris wheel, which will help you to explore your very own sense of ‘Heimat’ – and that of others. HEIMAT. Drawing the Line – An interactive journey Venue: Zeughaus Lenzburg, only 20 mins from Zurich Exhibition in German/English/French; guided tours and workshops available Opening hours: Tue through Sun 9am – 5pm, Thu 9am – 8pm (closed on Mondays)