Making Art - Taking Part! Artistic and cultural interventions by and with youth to create participatory publics

Supported by Sparkling Science – A program of the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy


Term: October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2016


Team: Elke Zobl, Elke Smodics (Büro trafo.K), Laila Huber, Veronika Aqra


Carried out in cooperation with the Neue Mittelschule Liefering (Brigitte Werdenig-Gruber) and the Bundesoberstufenrealgymnasium Mittersill (Nathalie Gantner).


Cooperation partners: Elisabeth Klaus and Ricarda Drüecke, Department of Communication Studies, University of Salzburg; Iwan Pasuchin, University of Education, Salzburg, Carmen Mörsch, Institute for Art Education, Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland), Hans Holzinger and Walter Spielmann, Robert-Jungk Foundation, Int. Library, Salzburg, various artists and cultural workers


This research project explores and tests out the production of an expanded and publicly visible scope of action in the context of contemporary art and active cultural production with the aim of opening up spaces of action for youth to shape society.


This two-year project, carried out in conjunction with pupils from two classes (thirteen to sixteen years old) at two secondary school types, a Neue Mittelschule (NMS) and a Bundesoberstufenrealgymnasium (BORG), located in the city and province of Salzburg, tests out, documents and analyzes the use of intervening artistic strategies in specific local contexts and compiles a practice-related toolbox.


Starting from DIY workshops and future workshops (according to Robert Jungk) that provide impulses, educational artistic projects will be developed and realized together with the pupils and artists. The methods and materials employed will be elaborated as a Toolbox that will be at the disposal of teachers and multipliers beyond the term of the project for the realization of similar undertakings.


The project’s entire development process will be accompanied by qualitative social research methods, whereby primarily methods of participatory action research will be applied. At the center of research is the question, “How can artistic and cultural interventions be designed in the educational context to open up new perspectives and options for social participation for youths so that they are able to experience expanded and publicly visible scopes of action?”


Focus is on exploring the production of a participative public space at the interface of youth-art-politics-education. In an interdisciplinary working group, various perspectives on social and societal transformation processes will be brought together. The project will include researchers from the University of Salzburg (Focus Area “Science & Art,” Department of Communication Studies); teachers from the participating schools; and experts in the areas of culture, education, and civic society (Institute of Art and Education, Zurich; Robert-Jungk Foundation, Inter. Library, Salzburg; Abt. für Gesellschaftliches Lernen und Politische Bildung, University of Education, Salzburg).


Within the context of the project, the pupils are co-producers in terms of the research perspectives and also, artistic and cultural perspectives. They learn methods of qualitative social research and artistic strategies for the production of public space. At the same time, entanglements arise between various forms of knowledge as well as participative approaches of science, art, education, and civil society. All of the strategies, methods, and materials employed will be continually further developed in a several-step process in exchange with the participants.