Skating and Music – A Meeting of Youth Cultures Documented on Film

Skating, listening to music, giving your own concerts – whatever is currently “in” on the Stuttgart scene is just as cool in Tel Aviv, and if both sides get together, it won’t just be a group chill-out session that emerges as a result. It’s this potential for “more” that gave the young volunteers from various youth and cultural centers in Esslingen and Ostfildern the idea of traveling to Israel together with various musician and skater friends. How does the “scene” work there as a social space? What image of Israeli society does it reflect and vice versa?

15 music and skating enthusiasts now take off on a journey into the cultural and social nexus of a country (as yet) foreign to them and make this country their own together with their Israeli hosts: on skateboards, at concerts and on trips to Jerusalem and Haifa. Meetings with Holocaust survivors and a visit to Yad Vashem equally form part of their journey, at whose end many questions will still remain: what connects adolescents and young adults in cultural, historical and social terms? What expectations do the guests from Germany have on their arrival in Tel Aviv and what expectations will they have on their return? One important part of this project is that its participants (deliberately) avoid spending their time within institution or association structures and do not represent the classic clientele of international youth meetings. How do they view the project? And how can a new form of German-Israeli exchange be established from their perspective that incorporates their interests?  

Beyond these conceptual questions, the project is ideally not just a continuation of the town partnership between the municipalities of Esslingen and Givatayim, within whose framework the meeting takes place, but rather the start of personal friendships. A return visit to the Stuttgart region is already planned in any case – and what the participants first experience on tour in Israel will be captured in several exhibitions in the borough of Esslingen as well as in a documentary film.

“Skaters in Givatayim” is a project that forms part of the town partnership between Esslingen near Stuttgart and Givatayim in the greater Tel Aviv area. It takes place from March 22 to October 25, 2014 and brings together 15 volunteers from youth and cultural centers in Esslingen and Ostfildern, skaters from the region as well as members of the band “Die Nerven” with young Israelis. The participants are between 19 and 25 years of age. Alongside joint skating, concerts and trips, the program also includes meetings with Holocaust survivors. The project is concluded with a short documentary film and several exhibitions.