LebensBILD – Exhibitions opened in the libraries

A selection of the artistic project results can be seen in exhibitions in the district libraries of Gorbitz, Laubegast and Strehlen until 31.01.2021: Illustrations by the artists/illustrators (from tandem sessions) and works by the participants* (from various workshops).


“Tell me a childhood prank” or “What was your first love?” – biographical experiences were the focus of the encounters of our integrative project LebensBILD. Through their art, artists and illustrators encouraged the participants to actively remember and illustrate these moments in life. Sharing the life stories, commonalities were discovered and social cohesion was promoted. Creative and interactive events provided artistic access to the diverse life plans and experiences of the people of Dresden:

atelier workshop: participants show what they have learned at the workshop of illustrator Liane Hoder, 6th Juli 2020 in the District house Äußere Neustadt (Photography: Elisabeth Renneberg)

In atelier workshops the artists/illustrators presented their own biography and their “way of becoming an artist”. Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to get to know the personal style of the artist and implement it in their own illustrations.

In monthly meeting cafés, the artists/illustrators invited to discussions about the meaning of free art. This took place on the basis of themes – based on true stories – such as raising children, first love, women’s rights and patriarchy. The lively discussions showed how talking about empowering, painful or wonderful experiences opens people. The narrated biographical experiences also revealed several commonalities of the people in Dresden, regardless of their origin.

meeting café: Exchange on the topic “First Love”, guided by the artist Yini Tao, in the SPIKE, 27th August 2020 (Photography: Elena Pagel)
biography workshop: moments of life are shared, with: illustrator Paula Huhle, in the Putjatinhaus, 08th August 2020 (Photography: Elisabeth Renneberg)

In addition, our participants could creatively realize moments from their lives in monthly biography workshops and illustrate their own pictures, sketches or comic sequences. The artists/illustrators taught, among other things, the basics of comic drawing and the method of storytelling. Storytelling and listening were so intense that the two workshop hours were often felt to be much too short.

LebensBILD took place in many districts of Dresden: Old Town, Johannstadt, Neustadt, Kleinschachwitz, Striesen, Gorbitz, Prohlis, Pieschen, Friedrichstadt. The participants got to know and appreciate Dresden and several institutions of the cooperation partners, which accompany people in different phases of life, better. In this way, the project also strengthened social cohesion in Dresden.

Project Poster.
Please click to enlarge.

The interactive exchange between artists/illustrators and individual participants was further intensified in tandem sessions: An artist/illustrator and a participant shared a special experience; the artists/illustrators immortalized these biographical moments in comic-like illustrations. Four participants contributed their own pictures.

LebensBILD. bioGraphic encounters demonstrates the immense potential of art: art opens people’s hearts and makes them tell stories. The two artistic directors Elena Pagel and Nazanin Zandi already gathered these experiences in their comic book courses “Wandelsterne” (2018-2019). Together with the ethnologist Dr. Verena Böll, they initiated the project LebensBILD.


This measure is co-financed by tax revenues on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon State Parliament within the framework of the State Program Integrative Measures. The project LebensBILD is also supported by the House of Resources Dresden.

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